As a member of the Northern Illinois University track & field/cross country programs, student-athletes get a rewarding experience not only in competition, but also in the classroom.
One of the many highlights at NIU are the many new facilities on campus the teams use for training and competition. Tops in this group are the recently-opened Kenneth and Ellen Chessick Practice Center – a 80,600-square foot facility that houses a four-lane track, jump pits and a throws area. The Huskies also utilize the six-lane, 200-meter practice track inside the Convocation Center. Outdoors, the Huskies compete at the NIU Track & Field Complex (opened in 2008) and the recently-reconfigured NIU North 40 cross country course (host of the 2011 NCAA Midwest Regional Championships).
Whether in cross country or in track & field, the Huskies always take on a very challenging schedule against some of the best programs in the Midwest and the entire country. More recently, NIU has competed at such prestigious meets such as the Penn Relays, Drake Relays, Mt. SAC Relays and Texas Relays. In cross country, the Huskies regularly go head-to-head with the region’s best at meets like Minnesota’s Roy Griak Invitational or the Greater Louisville Classic.
What completes the experience, though, is the wealth of academic resources available on- and off-campus. As a whole, NIU is ranked in the top 10% of public universities by U.S. News and World Report and offers numerous undergraduate, masters, doctorate and professional degrees, including law, business, engineering, education and health sciences. NIU’s Student-Athlete Academic Support Services gives student-athletes a wide range of resources, including academic counseling, early registration, tutoring and computer labs.
Student-athletes also experience the best of college life off campus. A quintessential college town, DeKalb offers unique small businesses alongside familiar major chains like Starbucks, Best Buy and Panera Bread. Another added benefit to DeKalb is its location, as the city sits about an hour drive from downtown Chicago.
Of course, one of NIU’s greatest assets is the positive atmosphere of positive teammates, supportive coaches and a university that respects and cares for individuals. Your NIU experience will be unique and memorable and you will reach your goals. Yet, you will never forget your NIU experience and you will always be proud that you chose to become a Huskie.