Jan. 17, 2009
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - Northern Illinois athletes took first place in three events at the University of Northern Iowa's Panther Open, Saturday, highlighted by a pair of wins by sophomore sprinter Rasheta Butler.
Butler (Chicago, Ill./Percy L. Julian) bursted to first place in the 60-meter dash with a time of 8.04 seconds, 0.03 seconds ahead of runner-up Cambria Parnder of Drake. Butler's margin of victory in the 200-meter dash was slightly larger. She finished the race in 26.24, just over half a second faster than Pardner.
"This was a great competition for Rasheta," Head Coach Connie Teaberry said. "It's a great confidence booster, especially with Drake and UNI in the heats."
Butler wasn't the the only impressive sprinter for the Huskies. Junior Rochelle Muskeyvalley (Rock Island, Ill./Rock Island) recorded a personal record in the 60-meter dash, finishing fourth with a time of 8.11, and sophomore Kaylee Walters (Lafayette, Ind./Hononegah) took fifth in 8.12 seconds.
In the long jump, junior Brittany Houghton (Freeport, Ill./Dakota) won for the second week in a row. Houghton took first with a 18'07.75" leap, outdoing her first-place performance of 17'11.50" from last week's Carthage Opener by more than eight inches.
"She is definitely ahead of where she was at this time last season," said Teaberry.
Former high school teammates Deidra McIntosh (Rockford, Ill./Christian Life) and Jenner Sio (Rockford, Ill./Christian Life) earned third and fourth, respectively, in the long jump. Nicole Williams (Mendota, Ill./Sterling), a newcomer to NIU, leapt 5'05.25" in the high jump to take third. In the triple jump, senior Shoshanna Brown (Plainfield, Ill./Romeoville) finished second, just ahead of Sio in third, and Houghton, who took fourth.
"The jump ladies have heart, and I beleive in track and field you have to have heart," Teaberry said.
Teaberry said she is proud of newcomer Nancy Nieto (Elgin, Ill./Streamwood), who arrived at NIU in January. Nieto took second in the 3,000-meter run with a time of 10:45.72. Senior Meghan Ginter (Aurora, Ill./Waubonsie Valley) placed third with a time of 10:56.28.
"She put on that Huskie uniform and really competed," Teaberry said. "She made a lot of good strides and represented Northern Illinois well."
Nieto was one of four Huskie newcomers to finish in the top-three of an event.
"The younger athletes respect the older ones, but at the end of the day they all want first," Teaberry said.
The Huskies continue the indoor season, Saturday, Jan. 24 at the Carle/Health Alliance Invitational, hosted by the University of Illinois.