Jan. 15, 2011
DEKALB, Ill.- Sprinters Janay Mitchell and Rasheta Butler set the pace for the Northern Illinois track and field team Saturday when Mitchell earned a first-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles and Butler set a school record in the 200-meter dash as the Huskies opened 2011 at the Wisconsin Track Classic, hosted by Wisconsin, in Madison.
"The coaching staff felt we had a very solid meet today," said head NIU track and field coach Connie Teaberry. "The girls came back from the winter break in good shape and you can see that reflected on the track. We had some very strong performances against a Big Ten team (Wisconsin)."
Freshman sprinter, Mitchell claimed the Huskies top finish of the afternoon when she raced to a first-place time of 7.75 in the 60-meter dash. Mitchell set the pace for the Huskies, who notched a school record and nine top-five performances at the Camp Randall Memorial Sports Center (The Shell).
Getting off to a great start this season, the Huskies set their second school record in as many meets when Butler posted a NIU school record in the 200-meter dash. Butler crossed the finish line in a second-place and personal-best time of 25.32. Butler went on to run the 400-meter run where she picked up a fourth-place finish of 59.16.
Competing in the 60-meter hurdles Roneisha Frye recorded a second-place finish, clocking in with a time of 8.92.Rebecca Cronin, Courtney Oldenburg, and Deidra McIntosh had impressive outings at the track classic as wekll as each Huskie ran away with a top-five finish.
Cronin posted a fourth-place finish in the 600-meter run with a time of 1:38.50, while Oldenburg also recorded a fourth-place time when she ran 10:26.33 in the 3,000-meter run.Earning the Huskies top finish in the field events, McIntosh earned a fifth-place finish with a leap of 16-10.75 (5.15m).
The Distance Medley Relay and 4x400-meter relay teams wrapped up the Huskies' top- five performances of the evening. Claire McAuley, Sunsea Shaw, Nora Ferguson, and Courtney Oldenburg combined forces in the DMR, racing to a fifth-place time of 13:13.91. The mile relay proved just as successful for NIU as Butler, Mitchell, Erin Miller and Cronin ran a combined time of 4:05.86 to finish fifth.
Rounding out the top performances of the afternoon, Alexis Capps, Heather Childs, Chanel Kellyman and Ferguson tallied career-best performances at the meet. Capps and Childs each earned personal records in the 1-mile run, racing to times of 5:55.94 and 5:57.59, respectively.
Ferguson saw her career best in the 1,000-meter run when she finished in a time of 3:08.57. Racing to a personal record in the 200-meter dash, Kellyman recorded a career-best 26.35.
"I am very pleased with the girls' intensity and outlook on the meet," said Teaberry. "They are working hard, they compete to the best of their ability and they continue to improve. Today was a good start to 2011, and I think it we continue to see good things from the team in the near future."
The Huskies will be back in action next weekend when they travel to Normal, Ill. to compete in the Illinois State Invitational on Saturday, January 22.