Track and field expects to continue great play

By Rhema Rhea

Track and field is looking to carry last weekend’s success into a meet featuring several MAC rivals.

The Huskies are traveling to the Ball State Quadrangular in Muncie, Ind., where in past seasons they have faced up to four MAC schools. This will be their last chance for competition before the MAC Indoor Championships starting on Feb. 28.

“It prepares the girls for [the MAC Indoor Championships]. This is almost like a mini MAC meet,” said head coach Connie Teaberry. “This will be an opportunity for our student-athletes to have competition within the MAC conference, so we expect them to step up in whichever event they are in to give it everything that they have and make sure they are executing all the way down the track or in the throws, or in their jumps, and if we do that we will have some great performances and we’ll end up with a great display at the meet.”

The distance group, which had a strong showing at the Grand Valley State Big Meet, including three qualifying marks for the MAC Championships and a school record in the mile by junior Meghan Heuer, is one of the groups of athletes Teaberry said will continue to shine heading into the MAC Indoor Championships.

“The distance girls have really stepped up,” Teaberry said. “I think the biggest part is the belief in their own capabilities and just believing in themselves. These young ladies have worked hard through cross-country, and now coming into indoor season they are reaping the benefits of the hard work that they have put in and it’s starting to show on the track.”

The 4×400 relay is one of the relays that is not set in stone for the conference meet, and the Ball State Quadrangular could act as one of the last meets to try and figure a final lineup for the conference four-by-four team.

“We are at that point now where we have a little bit of depth,” Teaberry said. “So we have a couple of girls that can fill those last spots that we have kind of played with who has been on it, but we feel very confident that the relay that we put together for conference with the young ladies that we have, and having options is great, will be able to get the job done and get us some points on the board for the four-by-four.”

In the last two seasons, NIU has finished in second place at the Ball State Quadrangular. Last season, it had several top five finishes. The 4×400 relay team that included senior Erica Miller and junior Julianne Cronin had a third-place finish.

Heuer earned her first Huskie career event title at this meet last year when she won the mile, and thrower Sidra Sherrill placed fourth in the shot put with a toss of 46-06.75.