Darbonne breaks school record, triple jumpers shine at UA Tyson Invitational

The Northwestern State track and field teams broke several records Saturday on the second and final day of the UA Tyson Invitational, including a short-lived school record.

Sophomore vaulter Reagan Darbonne catapulted herself to new heights in the women’s pole vault finals. Her mark of 13-2 ½ is a new overall school record indoor or outdoor. The Hackberry native previously set a new NSU record of 13-0 ¼ earlier this season at the Texas A&M Ted Nelson Invitational. The new height inches her closer to the second-place spot in the Southland Conference, a distinction currently held by Kaylee Bizzell of Stephen F. Austin (13-4 ¼). Darbonne finished seventh on the day.

Head coach Mike Heimerman was pleased with his team’s overall performance on such a grand stage.

“The meet was great. Everyone learned a lot about themselves this weekend and what we need to do to be prepared for conference in two weeks,” Heimerman said. “Reagan looked great today and continues to re-write the NSU record books.”

Lauren Clarke was the highest finisher for NSU in day two. The freshman took fifth in the women’s triple jump with a leap of 41-2 ½, setting a new personal record by an 1.5 inches.

Ceaser Stephens and Quindarrius Thompson also had successful days with Stephens placing sixth in the triple jump invitational and Thompson placing seventh in the regular. Thompson’s jump of 50-¾ keeps him firmly in fourth place in the SLC. Stephens moves into the conference’s top-spot after his indoor career-best jump of 51-8¼.

All-American senior sprinter Micah Larkins turned in a 21.51 in the men’s 200 meter run, good for 11th place out of 49 runners.

“The sprinters ran close to their PR’s but were not happy with their placing, and I like that. Coach Adam (Pennington) has all of them hungry for more and to never be satisfied with where they are now,” Heimerman said. “I am really pleased with where this team is heading. They are each other’s biggest supporters, and they push each other every day.”

The teams return to Baton Rouge next Friday for the LSU Twilight meet before heading to Birmingham for the Southland Conference Indoor Championships on Feb. 24 and 25.