Feb. 1, 2014
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Following several quality performances Friday, the Northern Illinois University track & field team closed the Indiana Relays Saturday with multiple personal records and a school record-tying performance.
Freshman Claudette Day (Belleville, Ill./Belleville West) headlined the day by matching the NIU record in the long jump, while three other Huskies set new PRs in their respective events.
"The student-athletes finished up the second day of competition strong," said NIU head coach Connie Teaberry. "Just about every athlete either set a new PR, had their season best or hit the MAC qualifying standard. We are starting to see confidence and true competitive spirit. These ladies were focused an d came to compete."
Day, who was competing in Saturday's invitational section of the long jump, leaped 18-08.50 (5.70m) to place seventh. The freshman tied the mark set in 2008 by Brittany Houghton. In the 60 hurdles semifinals, she placed 12th with a time of 9.01. Teammate Latesha Bigby (Hanover, Jamaica/Butler CC) finished one spot ahead of her in 11th, crossing the finish line with a time of 8.95.
In the invitational 5000 meters, Juliane Totzke (Graefenroda, Germany/Carl Zeiss Gymnasium) and Leah Raffety (Machesney Park, Ill./Harlem) each notched career-best times. Totzke bested her previous PR by almost 19 seconds, running 17:31.56 to place fifth. Meanwhile, Raffety clocked in at 17:49.18 - 27 seconds better than her old mark - to claim seventh.
Julianne Cronin (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett) also beat her PR in the 800 meters, running 2:17.42 to place ninth. Sophomore Hannah Savage (Cedar Falls, Iowa/Cedar Falls) won her heat of the event with a time of 2:19.25, placing 16th overall.
NIU's 4x400 relay team of Bigby, Rebecca Cronin, A'Iesha Irvin-Muhammad and Julianne Cronin finished seventh on the day, crossing the finish line at 3:49.92.
The Huskies get a breather next week before they split for a two-meet weekend Feb. 14-15 at Grand Valley State's Big Meet and Purdue's Fred Wilt Invitational.