Nieto, Statler Score First Place Finishes at Illinois Intercollegiate

GO HUSKIES Jessica Statler took first place in the high jump at Saturday's Illinois Intercollegiate.
Jessica Statler took first place in the high jump at Saturday's Illinois Intercollegiate.

Jan. 31, 2009


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CHARLESTON, Ill. - Sophomore Nancy Nieto and junior Jessica Statler both notched victories for the Northern Illinois track and field team, Saturday, at the Illinois Intercollegiate.

Nieto, who has placed in the top four in three different distance events since arriving at NIU in January, won her first race as a Huskie. She broke the tape in the 3,000-meter run, finishing in a career-best time of 10:25.39. In addition, Meghan Ginter and Ashley Rittenbacher both recorded season bests in the event.

"Nancy was a fireball out there," Head Coach Connie Teaberry said."She led the race from the beginning to the end, and none of the other girls were even near her."

After taking fifth in three previous meets, Statler broke through in the high jump, using a 5-04.25 leap to earn the victory.

"Jessica jumped really well in the high jump," Teaberry said. "It's so nice for her to do a real approach on a real high jump because you can tell a huge difference from competing in smaller areas."

As a team, the Huskies totaled 69 points, good for fourth place. Southern Illinois won bragging rights for the Land of Lincoln with 132 points to take home first.

"The girls competed very well, I believe they left it all out on the track," Teaberry said. "We had a lot of PRs and a lot of season bests."

Statler wasn't the only jumper to find success, as junior Brittany Houghton (Freeport, Ill./Dakota) placed thid in the long jump with a mark of 17-08.75.

A pair of throwers also earned bronze medal honors. Jennene Anthony took third in the weight throw with a personal record toss of 52-02, while Cora Caulfield placed third in the shot put at 40-07.

Teaberry was also pleased with the 60-meter dash, where Kaylee Walters and Rochelle Muskeyvalley became the first Huskies this season to break the eight second barrier. Muskeyvalley ran a 7.87, a personal record, in the preliminaries, and a 7.99 in the finals to take seventh. Walters took sixth with a time of 7.92, also a personal best.

"The 60-meter dash was a huge threshhold forus," Teaberry said. "We had two girls go under eight seconds, and that's big for both of them."

The Huskies return to action, Friday, Feb. 6, at the Central Michigan Quadrangular.

"Very pleased with the results. No matter the times or the place or the team, the girls competed hard and we're peaking in several events," Teaberry said. "We executed a lot better today, and that's just what they needed going to the conference."



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