March 21, 2014
DeKALB, Ill. – The Northern Illinois University track & field team starts their 2014 outdoor season Saturday in Edwardsville, Ill., when they compete in the Cougar Classic.
The meet gets underway at noon inside SIU Edwardsville’s Korte Stadium with the hammer throw and long jump. Running events will begin at 2 p.m. with the 4x100 relay.
“The transition from indoors to outdoors can be simple or as complicated as the region an athlete resides,” said NIU head coach Connie Teaberry. “For us, it brings challenges, especially with the winter we had in this area. There are certain events that have not received the proper attention due to the need to practice outside, like the 400 hurdles, discus, hammer, 4x100 relay, steeplechase and javelin. The other events are easier to transition into. This weekend will be the first or second time the majority of the athletes will have ran outside since the fall. We will use this competition as a starting point, a chance to begin to get the athletes use to the outdoor elements, working on competing through whatever the weather and competition my bring.”
The Huskies closed out their indoor season February 28 and March 1 at the 2014 Mid-American Conference Championships, where they took 10th place with 37 points, the second-highest point total at the conference indoor meet in NIU history. At the meet, Claudette Day (Belleville, Ill./Belleville West) broke the school’s long jump record and Latesha Bigby (Hanover, Jamaica/Butler CC) topped the NIU pentathlon standard, while the quartet of Ali Olson (New Auburn Wis./Bloomer), Julianne Cronin (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett), Hannah Savage (Cedar Falls, Iowa/Cedar Falls) and Meghan Heuer (St. Charles, Ill./North( combined to break the Huskie record in the distance medley relay.
Looking ahead to the upcoming weekend, NIU will take on in-state rivals SIUE, Bradley and Western Illinois in the Metro East, in addition to Milwaukee and Western Kentucky.
Live results will be available on SIUECougars.com.