Northwestern State’s Jackson named Southland Conference Women’s Track Student-Athlete of the Year

Northwestern State sprinter Natashia Jackson won just about every possible Southland Conference honor with 19 career gold medals and the league’s indoor 400 meters record along with seven different iterations of the conference’s indoor and outdoor Athlete and/or Runner of the Year.

But Jackson draws attention to the “student” part of student-athlete as well.

The outgoing senior is the Southland Conference Women’s Student-Athlete of the Year, the league announced Tuesday.

Jackson has maintained a 4.0 GPA in her master’s program of homeland security this year after earning an undergraduate degree in psychology this December.

The Houston, Texas, native captured three gold medals and one silver at the Southland Conference Outdoor Championships, which increased her career SLC gold medal count to 19, second-most in league history.

She broke her own school 400 meters record twice, first at the SLC Outdoor Championships where she dove for gold to beat Stephen F. Austin’s Imani Nave.

Her 52.55 will likely stand for some time after she shaved more than half a second off her record at the NCAA East Preliminaries to reach the region finals.

The 2021 SLC Outdoor Women’s Track Athlete and Most Outstanding Running Events Performer of the Year leads a distinguished group of Demons and Lady Demons.

A combined seven NSU men and women were voted to the SLC Track All-Academic Teams as determined by the league’s coaches, academic staff and sports information directors.

Jackson is joined by pole vaulter Annemarie Broussard, thrower Kristin McDuffie, hurdler Janiel Moore and jumper Jasmyn Steels on the women’s side.

Men’s sprinter Destine Scott and jumper Quindarrius Thompson represent the Demons.

A minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA is required along with notable accomplishments on the track.

Steels (3.63 GPA in masters), who is making her fourth SLC All-Academic appearance, snatched her first conference outdoor long jump title and advanced to the NCAA Championships (honorable mention All-American) and the U.S. Olympic Trials in her final season. She also took SLC silver in the triple jump.

Broussard (3.63 GPA), a two-time All-Academic pick, captured both the Indoor and Outdoor gold medals despite not being able to train much this past offseason because of injury.

Moore and McDuffie were each picked to their first All-Academic team honor.

Moore (3.30 GPA) podiumed in both the 100 and 400 hurdles while running a leg on the 4×400 gold relay.

McDuffie (3.05 GPA in masters) grabbed bronze in the discus and scored in the hammer.

Thompson (4.0 GPA in masters) took fourth in the triple jump and advanced to the NCAA East Preliminaries.

Scott (3.20 GPA) snatched two indoor medals (silver in the 200 and bronze in the 4×400) before battling injuries during the outdoor season.

Half of all nominees make the teams — 39 men and 45 women this season.

PHOTO:  Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services