Track and field had strong showing at season open

By Ed Rietveld

Over spring break, track and field began its outdoor season by competing in the Bulls Invitational, which was hosted by the University of South Florida.

The Huskies started the outdoor season on the right foot with 15 top 10 finishes, including an event title by sophomore distance runner Meghan Heuer, who won the 1,500 meters with a time of 4:36.63.

Fellow Huskie distance runner sophomore Jamie Burr finished second in the events, running a personal best of 4:37.41 in the 1,500 meters.

In the 3,000 meters, freshman Leah Raffety came within three seconds of breaking the school record in the event with her second-place time of 10:18.91. Also finishing in the top three of the 3000 meters, junior Juliane Totzke clocked in at 10:22.34.

Connie Teaberry, track and field head coach, said the South Florida weather gave the runners a boost.

“The distance runners did very well yesterday,” Teaberry said. “What they did over the week was really got a chance to work outside. We weren’t hampered by the weather that we have there in Illinois until the weather breaks. So they got some time to get some really quality practices in.”

With that being said, the success was not limited to the distance runners. Senior sprinter Janay Mitchell, who had already qualified for the MAC Indoor Championships in previous meets, had a ninth-place finish in the 200 meters with a time of 24.40.

Mitchell said it is nice to already have punched a ticket to the MAC Championships this early in the outdoor season.

“It feels pretty good,” Mitchell said. “I feel like I executed everything well and that allowed me to basically just run fast and get a good time.”

Teaberry said it is nice for the team to start the outdoor season on such a positive note.

“That’s great for our outdoor season starting because it adds momentum to the rest of the season,” Teaberry said. “Everyone that competed, competed well and with great determination, so that gives the girls confidence going into the entire outdoor season to follow.”