April 10, 2013
Sea Ray Relays Notes
DEKALB, Ill. – The Northern Illinois track & field team treks to Knoxville, Tenn., this weekend to take part in Tennessee’s Sea Ray Relays.
The meet begins Thursday evening with the weight throw. However, the bulk of the meet gets underway Friday at 11 a.m. CT and runs through Saturday afternoon.
“We are excited to return to the Sea Ray Relays at the University of Tennessee,” said NIU head coach Connie Teaberry. “Our staff is expecting the athletes to continue to focus, execute and compete. If we continue to see these characteristics from the athletes, then we know quality performances will be the end result.”
The Huskies are coming off a third place finish at the Chicagoland Championships over the weekend despite dealing with several injuries. Natalie Tarter (heptathlon), Sidra Sherrill (shot put) and Megan Gregory (100 hurdles) all came away with event titles to lead NIU. Additionally, Tarter’s 4,206 points in the heptathlon broke the school record of 4,002 set in 2002 by Amanda Bergman.
This weekend, NIU will take on some of the nation’s top programs in the Appalachian foothills. In addition to perennial power and host Tennessee, the Huskies will go up against the likes of Wisconsin, Vanderbilt, Purdue, Middle Tennessee State and Indiana State.
The Sea Ray Relays also starts the busiest stretch of the outdoor schedule, as the Huskies will have athletes at seven different meets in the next two-plus weeks. For NIU, this flurry of meets will be the best opportunity to earn qualifying times for the MAC Championships and a possible spot in the NCAA West Preliminary Round in late May in Austin, Texas. For Teaberry, though, she sees every meet as a big meet.
“Crunch time should be every competition for the athletes,” Teaberry said. “One thing to remember about outdoor track and field is that good weather is not promised. Athletes must capitalize on every moment. If the athletes do not compete every competition with the same heart, drive and desire, they may miss their opportunity to have great performances. When you’re an athlete, no matter the sport or the level, there is no competition that's perceived as an easy one if you are pushing yourself within.”
Fans can follow along with the action at UTSports.com and via the Sea Ray Relays iPhone app. There will also be a free live stream of the meet beginning Friday morning.