CEDAR FALLS — As Brette Correy rounded the final curve, University of Northern Iowa track and field head coach David Paulsen urged her to “chill.”
With a strong mile run on the final leg of the distance medley relay, Correy capped a strong day for the Panther women by coasting across the finish line first at the Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships at the UNI-Dome Saturday.
“I was just trying to get her to conserve as much energy as we can, because we’ve got a lot of work left to do,” Paulsen said of Correy, one of the favorites in today’s 800. “But that was a nice way to end the day.”
The effort of Correy and DMR teammates Ashley Norem, Madisen Irmen and Lyndsie Schinkel helped UNI into third place with 40 points, just four back of first-day co-leaders Illinois State and Indiana State.
The effort also came with a team that was thrown together just an hour before the race started.
“You always have a group of people you want to use, but you just wait and see what it looks like after the prelims,” Paulsen said. “How does everyone look, how does everyone feel? I loved looking them in the eye and telling them I need you to win this race. The look they gave me back said they were ready to go.
Norem got UNI off to a good start on the opening 1,200-meter leg and had the Panthers third when she exchanged with Irmen for the 400 leg. UNI was still third when Schinkel took over for the 800 and surged into the lead.
The Panthers were confident once Correy took over. She held a 10-meter lead for much of that final leg before turning it on and steadily widening the gap to 25-30 meters over the final two laps.
“I couldn’t have done it without what my teammates did before me or during my leg,” Correy said. “At every turn there was somebody on that relay cheering me on and telling me positioning.
“Maybe I just wanted to get it done as soon as I could and then go home get some supper and rest up for tomorrow,” added Correy with a laugh.
UNI won in 11:50.3 seconds, the fifth-fastest DMR in Panther history.
UNI’s day on the women’s side got off to a strong start with a second-place finish by Lauren Frederick in the pentathlon. Frederick smashed her personal-best with a score of 3,752.
“Honestly, it was just coming in with a positive attitude and reminding myself I have worked really hard for this,” Frederick said.
The Panther women also got big points from three top-eight finishers in the weight throw. Senior Sarah Pate took second with a best throw of 65-feet, 3 1/4-inches. Junior Alanna Neitert was third with a long of 61-3 1/4, and junior Maddy O’Brien was seventh.
McKayla Cole took sixth in 5,000.
“Lauren got us off to a good start,” Paulsen said. “Track and field is a momentum sport. You can feel it in football and basketball, and track and field definitely, too. You see your teammates getting it done and all that good effort, it is contagious.”
Top performers for the men Saturday were Isaac Holtz in the weight throw and Cade Kirkpatrick in the long jump.
Holtz threw 61-10 1/4, a personal best, to take fourth, and Kirkpatrick leaped 23-8 to take fifth.
TEAM STANDINGS — 1. (tie) Illinois St., Indiana St., 44, 3. Northern Iowa 40, 4. Missouri St. 24, 5. Loyola 19. 6. Bradley 10, 7. Southern Illinois 9, 8. Drake 5.
PENTATHALON — 1. Tessa Holland (Ill. St), 3,834, 2. Lauren Frederick (UNI), 3,752, 3. Ayanna Morgan (Ind. St), 3,650. 6. Brooke Lorenz (UNI).
WEIGHT THROW — 1. Erin Reese (Ind. St.), 69-1 1/4, 2. Sarah Pate (UNI), 65-3 1/4, 3. Alanna Nietert (UNI), 61-3 1/2. 7. Maddie O’Brien (UNI), 59-0.
LONG JUMP — 1. Amanda McClain (Ill. St), 19-10 1/4, 2. Kameesha Smith (Ill. St.), 19-9, 3. Caitlyn Redmon (Ind. St.), 19-8.
5,000 — 1. Lindsey Brewis (Loyola), 17:16.33, 2. Taylor Austin (Ind. St.), 17:16.63, 3. Emma Hatch (Loyola), 17:24.57. 6. McKayla Cole (UNI), 17:32.21.
DISTANCE MEDLEY RELAY — 1. Northern Iowa (Ashley Norem, Madisen Irmen, Lyndsie Schinkel, Brette Correy), 11:50.35, 2. Indiana State, 11:54.50, 3. Illinois State, 11:56.12.
TEAM STANDINGS — 1. Illinois St. 44, 2. Indiana St. 37, 3. Southern Illinois 33, 4. Bradley 28, 5. Drake 20, 6. Loyola 14, 7. Northern Iowa 12, 8. Valparaiso 7.
LONG JUMP — 1. Cloud Masibhera (Drake), 24-8 1/4, 2. Eric Burns (Loyola), 24-5, 3. Scott Schreiber (Ind. St), 24-4 1/2. 5. Cade Kirkpatrick (UNI), 23-8.
POLE VAULT — 1. — Ryan Ashenbremer (Ill. St.), 16-7 1/4, 2. Kellen Kravik (Ill. St.), 16-3 1/4, 3. Luke Nelson (Ill. St.), 16-1 1/4.
WEIGHT THROW — 1. Isaac Ingram (SIU), 70-9 1/4, 2. Rick Hurley (SIU), 66-11 1/2, 3. Hunter Schuman (Ind. St.), 64-10, 4. Isaac Holtz (UNI), 61-10 1/4, 9. Kyler Yodts (UNI), 57-3 3/4.
5,000 — 1. Michael Ward (Bradley), 14:49.53, 2. Akis Medrano (Ind. St. ), 14:51.63, 3. Josh Maier (SIU), 14:51.79.
DISTANCE MEDLEY RELAY — 1. Bradley (Alec Hartman, David Shadid, Nick Porter, Daniel Gagne), 10:01.72, 2. Drake, 10:04.86, 3. Illinois State, 10:06.02.