May 9, 2012
MAC Outdoor Championship Notes
DeKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois track & field team will open up their 2012 postseason this weekend when they travel to Central Michigan for the Mid-American Conference Outdoor Championships.
The meet, which will take place at Lyle Bennett Track in Mt. Pleasant, Mich., begins Thursday at 9 a.m. CT with the heptathlon. Competition continues Friday and wraps up on Saturday with the finals and the bulk of the field events beginning at 10 a.m. CT.
"Our student-athletes have prepared for this athletic moment," said Huskie head coach Connie Teaberry. "This season, the team has shown great determination and competitive spirit. The Outdoor MAC Championship is the time to save nothing and leave it all on the track. We don't have the mental barriers we once let take over our competitive nature. If we continue on that competitive path, we will perform well."
The Huskies enter the conference meet with arguably its strongest team since the program was reinstated in 2000. Heading into the weekend, 10 different NIU athletes and two relays rank in the top 10 of their respective events in the MAC performance lists. In addition, nine different Huskies rank in the top five in those events.
Given their strong regular season, Northern will be looking to keep their upward trend at the MAC meet going. The squad finished a program-best seventh place at the 2012 MAC Indoor Championships in February and took eighth place when they hosted last year's MAC Outdoor Championships.
This weekend will also serve as the last opportunity for several Huskies to position themselves into a spot at the 2012 NCAA West Preliminary Round. Currently, Roneisha Frye and Jenner Sio would automatically qualify for the 100 hurdles and triple jump, respectively, while the 4x100 relay team of Chanel Kellyman, Janay Mitchell, Frye and Rasheta Butler would also advance. With strong performances this weekend, Mitchell (100 and 200 meters), Rebecca Cronin (800 meters), Courtney Oldenburg (1500 meters) and Juliane Totzke (10,000 meters) could join that list.
Live results from the meet will be available on MAC-Sports.com. In addition, be sure to follow live updates from Central Michigan through Twitter on @NIUXCTrack.