Track and field heads to 3 meets

By Rhema Rhea

Track and field looks to continue the sprint to outdoor conference when it splits into two groups this weekend.

This weekend will mark the second time this season the Huskies will split into groups. One set of sprint, jump and throw athletes are heading to San Marcos, Texas, and Austin, Texas, for the Bobcat Invitational and Texas Relays. The distance student-athletes will go to Raleigh, N.C., for the Raleigh Relays.

“One of our reasons for splitting the track meet up between Raleigh and Texas is because Texas is usually extremely hot,” said head coach Connie Teaberry. “For sprinting, throwers and jumpers, we love it. For distance runners running that many laps, and with the heat being the way it is there and the humidity, it drains them quicker. For them, Raleigh is a better situation for the meet because of the weather conditions.”

NIU will see a few national powerhouses during the 87th annual Texas Relays, including No. 5 meet host Texas Longhorns, the Big 12 Indoor Conference Champions.

Teaberry said the Huskies aren’t worried about the ranked teams they will see this weekend and are hoping to build upon their nice start to the outdoor season.

“We want to continue to improve upon things that we’ve been working on throughout the week, also continue our confidence,” Teaberry said. “We’re walking into Raleigh and Texas not caring who the competitors are; just make sure that we compete hard, and if we compete we’ll do extremely well because the competition at those two meets are very good.”

The distance group, which sat out most of its top runners during the Huskies’ last outing, is looking to get the outdoor portion of the schedule off on the right foot. The last time the distance runners took to the track was during the Feb. 28 to March 1 Indoor MAC Championship.

The endurance runners will be highlighted by redshirt junior Meghan Heuer, a program mile record holder and fourth place conference performer.

Also on the track this weekend are Ali Olson and Hannah Savage, who teamed up with Heuer and middle distance runner Julianne Cronin to notch their names in the NIU record book by setting a new distance medley relay mark at indoor conference championships.