April 5, 2014
CHARLESTON, Ill. - The Northern Illinois University track & field team earned two top three finishes and another Mid-American Conference automatic berth Saturday as the distance crew ran at the EIU Big Blue Classic.
Meghan Heuer (St. Charles, Ill./North) punched her ticket to the conference meet in the 800 meters, while Ali Olson (New Auburn, Wis./Bloomer) earned a second-place finish in the 3000 steeplechase.
"Overall, the group competed well today," said NIU assistant coach Greg Hipp. "Meghan and Ali both led us with their performances in the 800 and steeplechase, respectively. We ran well, but we still have some race execution areas to fine tune. I'm looking forward to seeing our progression over the next month."
After making her outdoor season debut last weekend in North Carolina, Heuer grabbed a MAC bid in the 800 meters with a time of 2:11.21 to finish third in the field. Behind her was teammate Jamie Burr (Onalaska, Wis./Onalaska), who clocked in at 2:20.73 in her first competition of the 2014 campaign.
For Olson, she took runner-up honors in the steeplechase with an 11:02.26 clip. Also making her first run in the event was freshman Carly Pederson (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community), as she took 10th place at 11:53.45.
Hannah Savage (Cedar Falls, Iowa/Cedar Falls) led the way for NIU in the 1500 meters, running 4:43.61 en route to a 14th-place finish. Meanwhile, senior Claire McAuley (Glasgow, Scotland/Glasgow School of Sport) ran 4:50.69 to claim 22nd.
The full team returns to competition next weekend, when they compete at both the UTEP Invitational and the Chicagoland Championships.