Track & Field Opens New Facility with Inaugural Huskie Open



May 9, 2009

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DeKALB - The Northern Illinois track and field team officially opened the new NIU Track & Field and Soccer Complex with the Inaugural Huskie Open, Saturday, setting one school record and winning 15 events.

"I'm still excited. It's definitely been a high from start to finish," head track and field coach Connie Teaberry said. "The girls got to compete in front of friends and family, and we now officially have a home facility."

The meet was the first at the recently-opened NIU Track & Field and Soccer Complex, and the first track meet hosted on the campus of Northern Illinois since 1982.

"What stood out to me about this first meet was the family and friends being there to cheer the girls on," Teaberry said. "I think this is the most support we've had at any track meet."

Patricia Bautista (Bridgeview, Ill./Argo Community) broke her own school record in the pole vault with a 9-00.00 mark, one of several performances that impressed Teaberry.

"Every single girl laid it out there on the track," Teaberry said. "They put their hearts into every performance, and I'm just so proud of them."

Teaberry said the direction of the program has taken a huge step forward with the addition of a first-class track.

"The recruiting will change, the training will change, and we're looking forward to that change," Teaberry said.

Northern Illinois hosted Augustana in the unscored dual meet, winning all but five events. Junior Brittany Houghton (Freeport, Ill./Dakota) won four events, including individual golds in the long jump (18-6), and the 400-meter dash (59.14). Houghton was also a part of the winning 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams. Senior Jennene Anthony (East St. Louis, Ill./East St. Louis) won two events, taking first with a 151-01 discus throw, and a 135-01 mark in the javelin.

Former Huskie Ashley Morrow, the only Northern Illinois athlete to reach the NCAA Outdoor Championships since program reinstatement in 2000, won the shot put and the hammer throw competing unattached.

Up next, the Huskies travel to Akron, Ohio, May 14-16 for the Mid-American Conference Championships.

"We've got to move up in the conference," Teaberry said. "We're looking at staying fresh the next couple of days, then making a dent in the MAC."



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