Track team competes at Grand Valley


NIU freshman Kishona McCray leaping over a hurdle during the 100-meter Friday afternoon at the Huskie Classic. Isiah Jacobs | Northern Star

By Maddie Barrett

DeKALB — The track team traveled Friday to Allendale, Michigan, to compete in the Grand Valley State University Holiday Open. Although the weather is cooling off outside, the team is heating up inside on the track.

In her first meet of the season, senior Ericka Hibser led the team with a MAC automatic qualifying performance in the 5K, coming in 11th overall with a time of 16:39.47.

A veteran of the sport, senior Jehvania Whyte earned a fourth place finish in the long jump with a leap of 5.7 meters, her best of three jumps in the competition.

Head Coach Connie Teaberry said Whyte has progressed physically as her team mentality has grown.

Realated: Track and Field to open season at Grand Valley State

“Her focus has definitely switched from self to team,” Teaberry said. “She sees what she can contribute to the team not just athletically.”

NIU had another fourth place finish in the 4×400-meter relay as a trio of first-years and one third-year, Taylor Tillman, Jahnetta Jones, Kaitlyn Lewis and junior NeShay Curtis finished with a time of 3:50.51.

Despite Whyte’s final season approaching, Teaberry said she is not concerned about the future leadership of the team.

“We have a lot of [first-years], but they are very mature,” Teaberry said. “I also think [junior] Remy [Amarteifio] is a great leader as well.”

Not only is Amarteifio a leader for the team’s mentality, but she also led on the track. She advanced to the final of the 60-meter hurdles after a fifth-place preliminary finish with a time of 8.84 seconds. The Huskie placed fifth in the finals with a time of 8.73 seconds.

NIU also scored top-10 finishes from sophomore Brynn Bartlett in the mile, taking sixth with a time of 5:15.85, and Curtis in the 400-meters, taking seventh with a time of 57.96.

Hibser’s 5K, although qualifying for the MAC indoor championship, placed her just outside the top 10 with a time of 16:39.47.

The Huskies have a three week break from competition, giving them an extended opportunity to train and practice for their next meet in January.

Teaberry said she hopes her team continues to practice over break, so its performance is not hindered by time off.

“Having three weeks off could potentially damage their performance if they don’t practice,” Teaberry said. “It’s all up to them being consistent in what they do and practicing over break.”

The Huskies will return to the track in 2019 when they travel to the Gene Edmonds Open on Saturday Jan. 12. in West Lafayette, Indiana, hosted by Purdue University.