Track and field ready for MAC Indoor Championships


NIU’s Courtney Oldenburg keeps her pace at the NCAA Midwest Regional last fall.

By Dustin King

NIU track and field will head into the postseason this weekend with the MAC Indoor Championships in Akron, Ohio.

“The team dramatically improved from last year,” said NIU coach Greg Hipp. “If we just compete like we did all season, we’ll be successful.”

Western Michigan is considered by many to be the favorite the Championship, with hurdler Iris Campbell and long jumper Chiara Allen being major factors in their events. Last year’s winner, Eastern Michigan, is also being considered a legitimate contender for the conference crown.

The Huskies have seven athletes in the top-10 in their events for the competition. NIU’s Janay Mitchell and Chanel Kellyman are ranked third and fourth in the 60 meter run. Fellow Huskies Roneisha Frye and Megan Gregory are second and fifth in the 60 meter hurdles.

Many eyes will be on the senior Fyre, who had a record-breaking performance last week. Frye ran 8.59 seconds in the 60 meter hurdle at the Ball State Quadrangular. Frye’s time ended up breaking NIU’s record in the 60 meter hurdle event.

“From her freshman year to now, she’s done a lot of hard work,” said NIU coach Connie Teaberry, “Each year she’s improving.”

Courtney Oldenburg, who is ranked fourth in the one mile run, will be running in the top-12 runners for the first time in her career.

“I’m pretty confident, but a little bit nervous,” Oldenburg said. “This is my first year in the top 12 for my event.”

Other Huskies to watch out for will be Juliane Totzke is ranked fifth in the 3000 meters, and Jenner Sio who is ranked fifth in the triple jump.

“The girls have worked hard, executed at every meet,” Teaberry said. “I’m very confident the outcome will be great. It’s a team effort. We need everyone to bring their A game.”