Sprinters highlight Northwestern State performance at Texas State

A swirling headwind meant sprinter personal records were out of reach earlier Saturday at the Texas State Charles Austin Classic, but that didn’t stop Northwestern State from dominating the sprinter leaderboards in the 100 and 200 meters and getting bests later in the day.

The Demons grabbed the top four collegiate spots in the men’s 100 meters while the Lady Demons took three of the top four slots among women’s 100 sprinters.

Simon Wulff snatched the top spot with a 10.61 followed by teammates Tre’Darius Carr (10.70), Destine Scott (10.74) and Javin Arrington (10.77).

“The winds were swirling, and when they made the call to start the 100 meters, there was a tailwind that quickly switched to a headwind,” said NSU track coach Mike Heimerman. “We ran good 100s on both sides.”

On the women’s side, Taylor Shaw finished second with a 12.02 followed by teammates Claudasha Watson (12.33) and Maygan Shaw (12.36).

NSU’s 4×100 relays weren’t able to edge Texas State, but the Demons nevertheless recorded impressive times.

The quartet of Kie’Ave Harry, Junior Charles, Javin Arrington and Dylan Swain clocked a 39.60, one week after Harry and three different NSU sprinters posted a 39.35 at LSU.

The Lady Demons posted a season-best 45.46 with legs from Taylor Shaw, Aarika Lister, Claudasha Watson and Lynell Washington.

“The men’s group was entirely different group than last week, so we have seven or eight guys who can run on that relay and run 39-mid to 39-low,” Heimerman said. “The women ran a good time despite a bad handoff, but I expect them to get to sub-45 seconds this season.”

The wind died down by the evening as records popped left and right in the 200 meters.

The Lady Demons possessed four of top six spots with Lynell Washington’s 24.14 more than 1.5 seconds less than her previous best, winning the event. Taylor Shaw (24.49, second), Aliyah Carswell (24.94 PR, fourth) and Erin Wilson (25.36 PR, sixth).

The Demons flooded the 200 field with eight of the top 11 collegiate times. Kie’Ave Harry (PR 20.82) won the event with Simon Wulff (PR 20.86) and Destine Scott (20.92) finished second and third.

Swain’s 21.15 (fourth) and Charles’ 21.75 (seventh) also set personal bests.

“We had more great times in the 200 even though some of our runners like Scott and Charles drew bad lanes,” Heimerman said. “Great times by Harry and Wulff, and it was an impressive day overall.”

Personal records weren’t out of the question in other events.

Janiel Moore ran her first sub-minute in the 400 hurdles of the season, setting a personal record with a 59.87 to finish as the top collegian in the event. Moore’s time makes her the third-fastest performer in NSU history.

“That was huge to break the minute-mark, and she still had something left in the tank,” Heimerman said. “She’s learning what she can do, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she breaks 59 seconds by the end of the season.”

After Orsciana Beard logged a personal record in the long jump Friday, Beard and Jaslyn Smith posted bests in the triple jump Saturday. Smith was the top collegian with a 39-4.5 and Beard followed with a 38-3.5.

Carnitra Mackey continues to set personal bests as she threw a 43-6 in the shot put to finish fifth. Olivia Valliere added a sixth-place mark of 41-8.

“Those are solid jump marks for Jaslyn and Orsciana, and they are both starting to get it,” Heimerman said. “I think Mackey can go 45 or 46 feet in the shot, we’ve just got to do it.

“In the javelin for Mackey, we weren’t able to put in an approach for her (133 feet on Friday), so I think she can get to the upper 140s once we get more speed with an approach.”

Djimon Gumbs captured the men’s shot put title with a 57-3.5 as twin Diamante placed third with a 53-10.

In the men’s discus, Tarajh Hudson finished second with a 166-2 with Diamante Gumbs coming right behind him with a 166-1. Johnny Mitchell (148-2, fifth) and Landon Blubaugh (130-2, seventh) each collected personal bests.

“We were out there a lot (Friday), and we had a long day (Saturday), so our energy was low and we were zapped,” Heimerman said. “(Diamante) had a foot foul that would have been close to a PR, and everybody got a little gun shy with the way fouls were being called.

“The way (Djimon) was warming up, I thought he’d throw (18 meters) again, but we were a little flat.”

Nikaoli Williams collected his second win of the weekend with a 49-3.75 in the triple jump, besting the field by nearly four feet. Williams won the long jump Friday.

“There were only a couple of jumpers in the event, so there wasn’t the down time between jumps you’d usually get,” Heimerman said. “So that’s a solid mark considering that.”

As the only distance runner in tow this weekend, Payten Vidourek placed fourth with a 1:57.39.

PHOTO: Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services