NSU’s James, Larkin dash to national meet berths

5-27-16 100m qualifiers

Two of a kind doubled Northwestern State’s list of qualifiers for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in two weeks May 27.

Demons’ freshman Micah Larkins and sophomore Amir James punched tickets for the national meet in Eugene, Ore., as NSU and LSU were the only two teams at the NCAA’s East Preliminary Round to qualify a pair of 100 meter runners for the national meet.

Larkins (10.32) and James (10.39) finished 3-4 in the first of three regional final heats. Larkins automatically qualified with his third place finish, and as it turned out, James won a head-to-head duel with Troy’s Hakim Montgomery, fifth in 10.41, for the final national qualifying spot.

The young Demons joined two NSU seniors, Ashley Aldredge in the javelin and Emmanuel Williams in the long jump, making travel plans to compete June 8-11 in “TrackTown USA.”

The top three finishers in each of the three eight-man regional final races, along with the next three fastest times, advanced Friday. Larkins knew as he crossed the finish line that he was heading west.

When the times in the next two heats were posted, and James’ journey to Eugene was assured, Larkins felt even happier.

“That’s a double thrill. One of my closest friends, my teammate, and it makes a great moment even more memorable,” he said.

James took pride in reaching his first national meet alongside Larkins.

“We’ve been running well all season, and against quality competition,” he said. “But to be able to send two to nationals in one event is real good for a smaller D1 program. Now our goal is to make the most of it in Oregon.”