BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Northern Illinois track & field team started their weekend at Indiana in impressive fashion Friday with an event title and four other top 10 finishes.
Senior Rebecca Cronin won the open division of the 600 meters, while Ellen Renk, Ida Burbulla and Megan Gregory all found themselves in the top 10 in their events.
"The first day of competition yielded some good performances in the field and on the track," said NIU head coach Connie Teaberry. "Ellen Renk in the long and triple jumps exhibited sound technique. Ida Burbulla showed huge technical improvements Megan Gregory and Rebecca Cronin competed with vision and execution, while Ashley Lucas and Katie Janssen ran with confidence by leading their heat for over half the race. We need to continue this momentum and we will have additional competitive results tomorrow."
Cronin highlighted the day for NIU by taking top honors in the 600 meters. The Bartlett, Ill., native won the third heat with a near career-best time of 1:35.71, a time that would vault her past Indiana's duo of Ashley Seymour and Elise Hunter, along with Amber Lalla of Notre Dame.
Gregory advanced to tomorrow's semi-finals in the 60 hurdles with a preliminary mark of 8.78. The senior narrowly beat Purdue's Ciana Tabb to win the fifth heat, as Gregory got to the finish line one-hundredth of a second quicker than Tabb. NIU's school record holder in the event enters tomorrow's semis with the eighth-best time.
Freshman jumpers Ellen Renk and Ida Burbulla kept their outstanding indoor season's going with NIU's other top performances. Renk took sixth in the long jump with a mark of 17-04.25 (5.29m), then set a new PR in the triple jump at 37-05.50 (11.42m) to place seventh. In the high jump, Burbulla tied for sixth with a height of 5-03.00 (1.60m).
In distance, Katie Janssen and Ashley Lucas put forth promising efforts in the 3000 meters, clocking in at 10:54.72 and 10:56.14, respectively.
The competition continues tomorrow inside historic Gladstein Fieldhouse for the Huskies, as the meet will resume at 9 a.m. CT.