Feb. 24, 2012
AKRON, Ohio – The Northern Illinois track & field team got out to a quick start Friday at the Mid-American Conference Indoor Championships by breaking three school records and qualifying six for tomorrow’s final rounds.
Following the first day of action, the Huskies sit in 10th place in the team standings with five points, leading Ball State and Bowling Green. Toledo leads the field with 37 points.
“The ladies had a strong first day of competition,” said Huskie head coach Connie Teaberry. “There were some events that we should have seized a spot in the finals or scored, but we just didn’t have enough to get it done. However, the ladies that moved on to compete Saturday have a shot at giving NIU it’s highest indoor finish.”
On a day filled mostly with preliminary rounds, it was Northern’s distance medley relay team of Jamie Burr, Julianne Cronin, Rebecca Cronin and Courtney Oldenburg who scored the only Huskie points of the day, finishing fourth with a school record time of 11:42.28. The quartet topped the previous school record – an 11:58.67 clip set at the 2002 MAC Indoor Championships by Alicja Czajka, Laura Dunn, Shelli Gotto and Michelle Rhoden – by over 16 seconds.
In the sprints, Chanel Kellyman topped the NIU record in the 200 meters with a prelim time of 24.48, placing fifth to advance to tomorrow’s final. Janay Mitchell also qualified for tomorrow’s 200 meters final with a personal best time of 24.54.
That duo also earned spots in the 60 meters final with a third and fifth place finish, respectively. Kellyman ran a 7.58 mark and Mitchell posted a 7.62 clip.
NIU’s third record-setting performance of the day came courtesy of Rasheta Butler, who demolished her own record in the 400 meters with a time of 56.51 to finish 13th. Butler’s previous school record mark was 57.15, which she set at last season’s conference indoor meet. Not far behind was Jenelle McCalla, who ran a personal-best time of 58.30.
Two other Huskie athletes moved on to the finals in their respective events. Megan Gregory ran an 8.74 mark in the 60 hurdles to place fifth and Rebecca Cronin recorded a career-low time of 2:12.84 in the 800 meters.
Juliane Totzke placed 11th in the 5000 meters, clocking in at 17:50.50. In addition, Lydia Mitchell took 16th in the pentathlon with 2,915 points and Michaela Dwyer placed 18th with 2,622 points.
The Huskies resume competition tomorrow inside the Stile Field House at noon CT with the high jump. Running events start at 12:35 p.m. CT with the mile.