Track and field competes well in first meet

By Rhema Rhea

Track and field took to competition for the first time when it traveled to Allendale, Mich., for the Laker Early Bird on Friday.

The Huskies’ opening meet was highlighted by a record 600-meter run by senior sprinter Rebecca Cronin. Cronin’s time of 1:33.35 resulted in a second out of 10 finish.

The record was previously held by Lorene Skipper, who ran the former record time on Jan. 17, 2004,

“We had a couple very outstanding performances for this time of the season … one being Rebecca Cronin. She broke the school record in the 600 meters,” said Connie Teaberry, director of track and field. “It is not a MAC event, but she broke the school record by two seconds.”

Cronin was among the eight athletes who finished in the top five in a respective event.

The 200-meter dash had a trio of top five finishes, all being freshmen who took second through fourth place. A’Iesha Irvin-Muhammad took second out of 29 with a time of 24.80, Tahtyana Peer finished in third with 25.26, and Alexandria Isom finished in fourth, clocking in with a 25.83.

Irvin-Muhammad (7.69) had a solid showing in the 60-meter dash, taking second out of 30 to fall just short of Loyola’s Breanna Walker (7.62). Peer missed out on another top five showing when she finished the event in sixth place, clocking in 7.85.

Junior Sidra Sherrill was one of two Huskie throwers to finish in the top five, as she placed second out of 17 in the shot put. Sherrill had a top toss of 14.38 meters. Freshman Tyra Bickham had four tosses for more than 12 meters, including her top throw of 13.02 meters to finish in fifth place.

When it came to the 60-meter hurdle event, freshman Destini Artis came in with a time of 9.03 and took third place out of 20 while freshman Logan Tillmon 9.20 took home fourth place.

In the jumping events, junior Alexandra Schad had the best performance for NIU, taking fifth out of 10 in the triple jump with a top leap of 10.13 meters.

NIU’s 4×400-meter team capped off a nice outing in the running events when the relay — made up of Peer, Isom, Rebecca Cronin and Julianne Cronin (3:54.58) — finished in third of the 13 teams who entered. Some schools entered multiple relay teams, including NIU, which had three 4×400-meter teams.

The Huskies have a little more than a month until their next competition, the Illini Classic, which is Jan. 17-18 and hosted by University of Illinois.

“Very good opener for our ladies,” Teaberry said. “The telltale sign is what they do over break. They will have four to five weeks before they return to us, we’ll have a week of training and then that following week we will head to Illinois. So it is very, very important that they get the training in over winter break so they can at least come back somewhat close to where they are now….”