HOUSTON – The Northwestern State women’s track and field team traveled to the University of Houston G5 & Super 22 Invitational with a No. 23 national ranking.
The Lady Demons left the two-day competition with that ranking and a school record as well.
Sophomore pole vaulter Annemarie Broussard established a new Northwestern State indoor pole vault mark, clearing 13-9.25 inside the Yeoman Fieldhouse to highlight another solid day of competition for the Lady Demons and Demons.
“AnneMarie had a phenomenal day,” head coach Mike Heimerman said. “Her attempt at 4.10 (meters), she had the best bar clearance I’ve seen from her. I thought she had it on her second attempt at 14 feet. We bought a new pole, so it’s ben well worth the money.”
After breaking her personal best of 13-1 on her final attempt at 13-1.5, Broussard needed two tries to top 13-5.5 before setting a new record on her third attempt at 13-9.25, giving her a fourth-place finish. Broussard tied unattached competitor Madison Pecot in height, but Pecot cleared 13-9.25 on her initial attempt.
Broussard’s record day was part of a busy Saturday for the Lady Demons as they enjoyed a second straight successful day at a meet that featured the most varied competition they will face in the indoor season.
Three Lady Demons nailed down podium finishes as part of eight top-10 performances for the Northwestern State women.
LaTyria Jefferson collected a second-place finish in the invitational high jump, clearing 5-8.75.
The Lady Demons had two events in which they accumulated two top-eight finishes.
In the women’s invitational triple jump, Lauren Clarke took third place with a PR leap of 42-4.25 while Jasmyn Steels notched a fifth-place showing, jumping 40-11.5, which marked an indoor PR.
Freshman Brianna Washington continued her meet-by-meet improvement, taking third in the shot put with a season-best throw of 46-7.25. Teammate Cori Runnels gave the Lady Demons a pair in the top 8, delivering a season-best throw of 43-3.25.
Senior sprinter Natashia Jackson wrapped up a busy two days, helping the 4×400 relay team finish fourth with a 3:46.84 time and also finished seventh in the 200 meters, clocking a 24.24 time, while sophomore Marlee Paulk cleared 5-3 to finish 10th in the women’s open high jump.
“Our jumpers had a great day,” Heimerman said. “Both Lauren and Jasmyn had indoor PRs, and they had small foot faults that took away big jumps. This was LaTyria’s first time long jumping and turning around the next day and high jumping. She was still a little stiff from yesterday. Brianna had her all-time PR, and she competed in a deep field. This is her first time competing indoor, so she’s learning. The indoor shot is bigger than the outdoor. She’s learning to adapt. She’s going to get better and better.
“This team is going to battle for a conference title. They are hungry for it, and they’re all determined for it. They’re hitting their sync and stride right now.”
On the men’s side, shot putter Marco Arevalo established a personal best with a throw of 53-7.5, good for a seventh-place finish. Quindarrius Thompson also notched a PR, going 51-3 in the invitational triple jump, finishing eighth.
The Demons’ 4×400 relay team of Dejon Blake, Kennedy Harrison, Slavoski Wright and Brad Alexander clocked a 3:17.86 to grab a seventh-place finish.
“That was an indoor PR for Marco and was very close to his overall PR,” Heimerman said. “Quindarrius had a huge day. Every legal jump of his was over 50 feet for the first time, and a lot of them were over 51 feet. We’re learning and we’re building. Our runners had a decent day. We’re learning and building. The 4×4 came back, and they battled. We ran a different relay. We didn’t run Junior (Charles), but we’re right there. We had a pretty good day. We’re getting there.”
Northwestern State will take next weekend off before returning to action at the UA Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Arkansas, on Feb. 14-15.
Photo Credit: Mike Wade/Special to NSU Athletics