Track and field faces practice issues with rough weather

By Ed Rietveld

The bad weather of Illinois winters makes it challenging for NIU’s track and field team to practice during its indoor season.

This can be especially challenging for the field athletes. Currently, NIU does not have a long jump pit for long jumpers and triple jumpers to practice in. Head coach Connie Teaberry said not having a place for all the field athletes to practice makes it hard on them when they compete in the indoor season.

“We have a lot of drawbacks, facility-wise,” Teaberry said. “Right now we just can’t wait for the Chessick Center to get done… Some of those field events, you know, we don’t have a place to practice. The girls don’t have a pit for the long-term or triple jump area.”

This will with the Kenneth and Ellen Chessick Practice Center, which will have a four-lane indoor track as well as a long jump pit.

Freshman jumper Ellen Renk said that not having a place to practice makes competition day almost like practice day.

“I think the biggest challenge is just that as jumpers we don’t get a lot of experience jumping into the pit,” Renk said. “And so we have to utilize the meet really well because not only is it our competition time, it’s also kind of a little bit of our practice time because it’s the only time we get to actually be in the sand.”

Teaberry said her team makes the best of it even though resources are somewhat limited. The team has to practice in three different locations to try and get the necessary work in.

“Were in the Convocation Center now,” Teaberry said. “We’re in the [Chick] Evans Fieldhouse and Sycamore High School to practice for some of the events. So we have a couple places where we can go to get some things done.”