Senior sprinter bids NIU farewell

By Ed Rietveld

Yet another outstanding career for an NIU track and field athlete is about to come to an end: that of senior sprinter Janay Mitchell.

Mitchell has had a historic career as a Huskie. At the 2012 MAC outdoor meet she won three titles in the 100 meters, and she also was a participant on NIU’s 4×100 meter relay team.

In 2012, Mitchell became the first NIU track and field athlete to compete in three events at the NCAA West Preliminary round: the 100 meters, 200 meters and the 4×100 meter relay.

Mitchell, a Teaneck, N.J., native has been a part of six school records during her time at NIU, including those for the 100 meters and 200 meters. She will compete in the 100 and 200 meters at this weekend’s conference meet, which is to be hosted by the University of Akron.

“Janay Mitchell’s an exceptional athlete,” said Connie Teaberry, track and field head coach. “Her performances in the last three years…have helped…elevate our program to the next level in the MAC conference and nationally. Her making it to the NCAA’s first round in the 100 and 200 and also in the 4×1[00] last year was something [that] since I’ve been here in the nine years since the program’s re-institution hadn’t been done in the sprint program. So she’s definitely helped elevate the program nationally and helped us capture some titles that we hadn’t done in quite some time.”

Mitchell, an organizational/corporate communications major said she learned practice time was very valuable once she got to NIU.

“Well, before I didn’t take practice as serious and I really didn’t enjoy lifting weights,” Mitchell said. “But as I got older I realized that weights actually help in practice because it makes you stronger and you could finish your workout better.”

She said she will miss one thing in particular after her career at NIU has come to close.

“I have to say most of all the Huskie pride and just the student athletes out here as a whole,” Mitchell said. “We really support each other and come to each other’s events and just help out as much as possible.”