Track and field garners several honors in season debut

By Rhema Rhea

Track and field claimed 12 top-five finishes during the six-team, non-scoring Blue and Gold Invitational at Notre Dame.

NIU had 14 athletes spread across nine events at the Friday event held at the Fighting Irish’s home track, the Loftus Sports Center in Notre Dame, Ind. The Invitational marked the opening competition for the Huskies.

“The ladies put forth the effort and energy to do the best that they can. … We still have a lot of technical things we need to correct,” said head coach Connie Teaberry. “You can coach technique, but you can’t coach heart. That’s one of the things that we were looking for today: the ladies executing with a competitive nature in mind. And we were proud of their performances.”

The Huskies earned four runner-up finishes on the day, including one in the shot put when senior thrower Sidra Sherrill hit her personal record by tossing a 49-00.25 for second place out of 11. Sophomore Tyra Bickham was close behind, taking fourth-place honors after a 44-01.50 toss.

On the track, sophomore A’Iesha Irvin-Muhammad picked up two runner-up honors, grabbing second out of 24 in the 60 meters (7.65) and No. 2 out of 26 in the 200 meters. The showing by the sophomore was almost a repeat performance of last season’s indoor schedule when she took second in the 60 meters and 200 meters at the Laker Early Bird in the first meet of the year.

Senior Latesha Bigby (8.66) also took second place out 14 in the 60-meter hurdles. Like Irving-Muhammad, Bigby missed out on a first place finish when she was beat out by Jade Barber, Notre Dame’s 2014 ACC Indoor 60-meter hurdle champion. Sophomore Claudette Day gave NIU another top-three finish when she crossed the line at 8.81.

“Notre Dame has a pretty solid team, and to have the girls walk in and have a couple of top-five finishes” was big, Teaberry said. “We wanted to make sure we came out and were competitive and not looking at who was there but really fighting for that first, second and third place.”

In the long jump, Day finished in fourth place out of 14 with a 17-03.50 leap.

Teaberry said the Huskies had strong showings, but they are going to have to put work in away from campus due to winter break and the next meet not being until Jan. 10.

“The thoughts going into this is hopefully trying to set up places for the different girls that once they get home they’ll have a place to practice,” Teaberry said. “So, that’s the biggest thing [is] finding them places at home that they can practice because most of the girls are from the Midwest, so it’s colder and this area for practicing outside doesn’t work. So, hopefully having the girls a place to practice so they can make sure that they get their workouts done so that we’re competitive when we come back.”