Northwestern State hurdler Janiel Moore started Sunday on outside looking in on the NCAA East Preliminaries 400 hurdles field, but after NSU’s Last Chance meet, Moore is in – way in.
The senior obliterated her personal record by more than a second as she clocked a 58.59, which moves her to around 26th in the East Regionals.
Moore started the day in the 50s with her personal best of 59.81 as she needed to crack the top 48.
Her landmark PR is the second-fastest time in NSU history and makes her a threat to push through to the national championships.
“It’s been a long time coming because she’s been right there,” said NSU coach Mike Heimerman. “Janiel still didn’t execute the race as well she wanted to, and she found out she still has some energy left at the end.
“Hopefully she and (NSU sprints/hurdles coach Adam Pennington) can go back and work on a few things and run even faster. But an amazing race, and I’m really glad for Janiel because she has worked so hard for it.”
NSU thrower Diamante Gumbs posted two personal bests that solidified his East Prelims spot in two different events while Tarajh Hudson climbed the ladder in the discus.
Hudson bested his old mark discus by two feet, hurling 186-6.25 to close in on the top 30 in the East.
Gumbs pushed back his old record by three feet, slinging 182-7.25 to move into the top 40.
All three NSU discus throwers (including Demon record holder Djimon Gumbs with 193-3) have surpassed NSU’s previous program record entering this season (180-8).
In the shot put, Diamante Gumbs saved his best for last, chunking a personal best 58-0.75. Entering the weekend, that mark would sit 47th, and the extra eight centimeters have all but assured Gumbs a spot.
“I said before the season that we’d have three guys break the old (NSU discus) record, and now they have,” Heimerman said. “They were already in at (East Prelims) but they love throwing at home and both improved their standing.
“Diamante was bouncing between 47th and 49th in the shot put, and he might have still got in without today based on a few scratches (hurt or ineligible throwers). But those eight centimeters will make a difference, moving him up into the mid-40s.”
Sunday was the last day for times/marks to be recorded for East Prelims consideration, and the final list of qualifiers will be published Tuesday.
Pole vaulter Hayden Barrios just missed a personal best, school record and a NCAA East Preliminary spot after his third attempt at 16-10 clipped the bar. Barrios hoisted himself over the obstacle but knocked the bar off on his way down.
“Hayden has had a phenomenal year as a conference champion, and he learned a lot about himself,” Heimerman said of the sophomore. “The sky is the limit, and he’ll be an 18-foot vaulter by the time he’s through.”
Other events like the 4×100 women’s relay, men’s javelin, and men’s and women’s 100 meters didn’t produce any additional NCAA East qualifiers.
The NCAA East Prelims take place May 26-28 at the University of Indiana for a chance to qualify for the NCAA national championships.
PHOTO CREDIT: Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services