Track and field continues strong indoor season at Ball State

By Ed Rietveld

Track and field finished the regular portion of its indoor season with the Ball State University Quadrilateral meet Friday.

The meet gave the Huskies a chance to compete against three MAC schools ahead of this weekend’s MAC indoor conference championships.

The Huskies finished second with 106 points behind the Western Michigan Broncos and ahead of Miami Ohio, which finished third with 90 points, and Ball State, which finished last with 87.5 points.

Three Huskies won their offense senior sprinters, and Janay Mitchell and Megan Gregory continued their strong indoor season, earning two first-place finishes for the Huskies.

Mitchell won the 60 meters with a time of 7.57, just 0.12 seconds ahead of Western Michigan’s Iris Campbell. Mitchell also finished second in the 200 meters with a season-best time of 25.42.

Mitchell, who was coming off an injury, said she felt prepared.

“I felt ready after last weekend, but I just wanted to try and drop my times,” Mitchell said. “So, I was just really focused on this meet and I was surprised that I ran close to my times that I did last year, so I’m just excited to run next week to see what times I can ran.”

Junior Alexandra Rowe finished sixth with a time of 26.87 and sophomore Julianne Cronin finished eighth in the 400 meters, clocking in at 58.98.

Gregory won the 60 hurdles with a time of 8.77 finishing, just one-hundredth of a second ahead of WMU’s Campbell. Another Huskie, senior Jenelle McCalla, finished fifth in the 60 hurdles.

The Huskies had some strong distance running efforts as well. They were led by sophomore Meghan Heuer who earned her first career event victory at NIU with her first-place finish in the mile in 5:02.75. She beat out the competition by more than two seconds.

Heuer, a transfer from Kansas State, said it feels good to be competing again after having to sit out after transferring.

“Yeah, it is kind of weird to be competing again, I guess, but I really enjoy it,” Heuer said. “It’s fun. I mean, I enjoyed getting to know the girls and stuff. …It’s a good feeling racing again I guess.”

Sophomore Jamie Burr finished fifth in the mile with a time of 5:06.49. In the 3000 meters, distance runner freshman Leah Raffety finished fourth with a clip of 10:34.42

The top-finishing field event athlete from NIU was shot putter Sidra Sherrill, who finished fourth with a mark of 5-01.00.

Head coach Connie Teaberry said her team can use its performance to help get ready for the conference championships.

“It definitely gives the girls a boost of confidence… So this is showing the other girls on the team too, what we can do in the MAC [against] the teams [we will be facing next week],” Teaberry said. “So it gives us great momentum, having as many good finishes as we did.”