Mitchell no longer plagued by injuries

Mitchell no longer plagued by injuries

By James Cantagallo

Injuries haunted Janay Mitchell last season, but this season is a different story.

With Mitchell no longer injured, the NIU track and field performer has been working harder, and as a result, she is tearing up the track.

“She has applied herself a lot more in her workouts this year and it is easier to do that when you’re healthy,” said Connie Teaberry, NIU track and field coach.

“I put in a lot of hard work at practice and try to make my times faster at practice,” Mitchell said. “Then at the meets, I come with a competitive mindset to blow the field away if I can.”

During the indoor track season, the Teaneck, N.J. native won five event titles and helped the 4×200 relay team set a new school record. Mitchell never finished below fifth in the prelims or finals of any event during the indoor season.

Her success has carried over into the outdoor season. During the first outdoor event of the year, Mitchell broke a 5-year-old school record by running a 24.07 in the 200 meter race. She also played a role in breaking the NIU school record in the 4×100 relay at the same event.

After that performance, Mitchell was named the MAC Women’s Track Athlete of the Week.

Teaberry said Mitchell has a great sense of humor, is a fun person to be around and is entertaining, but once she is on the track, she is a leader by example.

“She does not talk about it a whole lot and doesn’t dwell on it a whole lot,” Teaberry said. “But when she gets out there and is ready to compete, that is what speaks volumes for her.”

If Mitchell keeps running well, she could gain a spot in the NCAA Regionals, with a shot to go to the NCAA Nationals. However, she is not worried about that now.

“I like to take it one step at a time, so I am worried about the MAC right now,” Mitchell said. “After, I will worry about regionals and then nationals.”