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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Vorpagel highlights NIU’s weekend at the Michael Johnson Invitational

Illinois State Athletics
Freshamn Faith Rouse chases junior Talayssia Sanders on Feb. 16 at the Redbird Tune-Up. NIU track and field earned one top-10 finish at the Michael Johnson Invitational on Saturday. (Courtesy of Illinois State Athletics)

Junior Emma Vorpagel earned NIU women’s track and field’s only top-10 finish in the 800-meter run at the Michael Johnson Invitational. 

Vorpagel took a fourth place finish in the 800-meter run, finishing with a time of 2:14.33. The junior distance runner missed a new personal best by two-hundredths of a second. 

Senior Julia Finegan also competed in the 800, taking 23rd place with a time of 2:24.28. Finegan also competed in the 1500-meter run, taking a 21st place finish with a time of 4:50.85. 

NIU’s pair of high jumpers, freshman Arianna Calloway and junior Kamiya Dendy, both cleared the mark of 1.63 meters Saturday. 

Dendy was awarded 11th place for clearing the mark in only two tries and Calloway was given 12th place because she needed three attempts to clear the bar. 

Senior Kendal Only earned herself a 14th place finish in the triple jump, with her longest jump measuring in at 11.67 meters. Only finished just 0.1 meters shy of Baylor University freshman Isabella Copeland.

Senior Malia Watkins competed in the 100 and 200-meter dash, taking 17th place in the 100 with a time of 11.84 seconds, and 22nd place in the 200 with a time of 24.38 seconds.

Junior Henriette Halwas earned a 20th place finish in the 100-meter hurdles, finishing with a time of 14.59 seconds. This was a new personal best time in this event for Halwas, surpassing her previous best of 14.88 seconds. 

Junior Talayssia Sanders earned the Huskies’ best finish in the 400-meter dash for the weekend, taking a 20th place finish. Sanders completed the race with a time of 56.58 seconds.

“We had some highs and lows this weekend, but each athlete continues to improve aspects of their events,” said NIU Director of Track and Field Connie Teaberry via NIU Athletics. “We have two regular competitions left before conference and the athletes understand they have to capitalize on each. This is no time for doubt or going backwards, just forward.”


The Huskies will be back in action on Thursday in Des Moines, Iowa, for the Drake Relays at Drake Stadium.

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