NSU’s relay team officially designated first-team All-Americans

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First-team All-America honors for Northwestern State’s record-shattering 4×100 meter relay team became official Monday, along with honorable mention All-America status for six NSU athletes who were national semifinalists in their events.

The Demons’ foursome of sophomore Kie’Ave Harry, junior Micah Larkins, senior Amir James and freshman Tre’Darius Carr were named first-team All-Americans by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

The top eight finishers in every event at the NCAA Outdoor Championships earn first-team recognition, while the next eight are second team and the remaining eight national meet qualifiers receive honorable mention accolades.

The NSU foursome broke an iconic 36-year-old school record in the national semifinals last Wednesday, posting a 38.82 time that erased the 1982 mark of 39.03 by Mario Johnson, Edgar Washington, Ray Brown and Mark Duper. The performance also lowered the Southland Conference standard of 39.34 that Harry, Larkins, James and Carr ran at the NCAA East Preliminary Round last month to qualify for the national meet.

That was the sixth-fastest qualifying time for Friday’s national final at historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, where rainy weather slowed times for all but the race’s winner, Houston. The Demons ran 39.63 for a seventh-place finish.

For James and Larkins, it was their second career All-America award, coupled with second-team status as part of NSU’s 15th-place finish in the 4×100 in 2016.

Larkins also received honorable mention All-America status for the second time in three years in the 100 meter dash. His 10.18 time was 18th in the semifinals.

Senior shot putter Cedric Paul, after his first national meet appearance, was recognized as honorable mention All-America. He did not record a mark after fouling on all three of his attempts.

Four Lady Demons were on the honorable mention All-America list. The 4×100 relay team of seniors Daeshon Gordon and De’Shalyn Jones, freshman Deja Moore and sophomore Natashia Jackson ran 44.98 Thursday, finishing 22nd in the field of 24 national semifinalists. Gordon also received honorable mention status in the 100 meter hurdles, clocking 13.58 after clipping the second hurdle in her semifinal heat, settling for 23rd place.

NSU’s nine-athlete contingent qualifying for the national meet was the largest in school history, competing in five events. Six of the nine competitors return next season.

In the 4×100 relay, NSU was one of only six programs to have teams qualify for the semifinals in both men’s and women’s competition, joined by LSU, Florida State, Kentucky, Arkansas and Texas Tech.