Track and field takes top honors in six events at Redbird Invite

Huskies earn first event titles of the 2022 outdoor season during competition in Normal


Courtesy Notre Dame Athletics

The Huskies last competed at the Meyo Invitational on Feb. 4 and 5.

By Skyler Kisellus, Sports Reporter

DeKALB — Women’s track and field took home six event victories Saturday while competing in the Redbird Invite hosted by Illinois State University Saturday in Normal.

Saturday’s performance gave NIU its first event titles of the outdoor season with three events now in the books. Their first two outings at the Texas State Invitational and the Texas Relays on March 24 to 26 resulted in 10 top-10 finishes for NIU.

Huskies sprint to success

Junior Jahnetta Jones accounted for one of NIU’s six event titles at the invite. The Romeoville native finished with the fastest time in the preliminaries of the 100-meter dash at 12.01 seconds. Jones’ performance in the final of the 100-meter dash resulted in a first-place finish of 12.18 seconds.

The Huskies continued to impress in sprints with a top finish in the 200-meter dash by sophomore Malia Watkins. The transfer from Missouri State University recorded an event-best time of 24.91 seconds. Watkins’ teammate and fellow sophomore Skylynn Blue took third place at 25.43 seconds, allowing NIU to account for two of the top three finishes in the event.

NIU rounded out its sprinting performances with yet another event title in the 400-meter dash. Freshman Roshell Rowe finished in 57.63 seconds.

NIU impresses in the field

Sophomore Scout Regular earned second place in the preliminary in the 100-meter hurdles, finishing in 14.21 seconds. Regular improved her position in the final of the event, notching another Huskie team win with a 14.40 second finish.

The long jump event saw another Huskie finish on top. Senior Jazmyn Smith’s mark of 5.99 meters was enough to take first place honors over Loyola University Chicago sophomore Melissa Parrella’s mark of 5.92 meters. Senior Katrina Small’s 5.49 meter jump placed her in fifth on the leaderboard, leaving two Huskies in the top five.

The final event victory in Friday’s competition came in triple jump. Sophomore Kendal Only’s final jump of the event propelled her from fourth to first place in the standings. The final leap measured 11.75 meters.

“It was not the ideal weather conditions, but definitely ideal efforts and performances by the athletes regardless of the conditions,” director of track and field Connie Teaberry said in an NIU Athletics news release. “The staff was impressed with the athletes’ composure and determination which led to several events wins and personal best results that will move them up on the (Mid-American Conference) list.”

Looking ahead

The Huskies will look to add more titles to their 2022 resume with five events remaining before the MAC Outdoor Championships beginning on May 12.

NIU will remain in-state for next weekend’s outing at the Illini Classic hosted by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Competition will commence Friday and conclude Saturday. Events will be held at Demirjian Park in Champaign.