Track and field opens in Michigan

By Rhema Rhea

Track and field will dive into its first competition of the season Friday when it travels to Allendale, Mich., for the Laker Early Bird hosted by Grand Valley State


The Laker Early Bird stops the two-year run of the Huskies opening their season at the Cyclone Holiday Preview.

“We went there [Allendale, Mich.] last year in the second half of the season for indoor last year, and we had some good performances come out of the meet,” head coach Connie Teaberry said. “So we are excited to switch it up a little bit and take the girls there for our first competition for the indoor season.”

Last season the Laker Early Bird meet at the beginning of the season featured nine teams, including Indiana Tech, Loyola and Grand Valley. These could return to the meet again this year.

No clear winner was crowned as no team scorers were tallied during the event. That is something NIU is used to as it usually does not open the season with scoring events.

Even though scores are not tallied for the competition, Teaberry feels it is beneficial to everyone.

“I like the December meets because for the freshmen it gives them the opportunity to see that a track meet is still a track meet in college. It helps them get their jitters out,” Teaberry said. “For the returners they have practiced hard all fall, so it gives us all a gauge to see leaving for Christmas break where we are at.”

NIU is made up of more freshmen than it may be accustomed to, with some possibly seeing the track on Friday. Katlyn Luebke and Logan Tillmon were among those Teaberry listed as early standouts.

“I think our biggest goal is making sure they keep their mental aspect strong…,” Teaberry said. “They have to believe in [themselves], and they really have to attack each event that they are in. They [have] got to compete; that is the biggest thing.”