Washington pushes through to regional finals

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Lynell Washington will be the lone Lady Demon to vie for an NCAA Championship spot as she blasted her way through the opening regionals round in the 100 meters.

The sophomore started quickly and matched two-time indoor national champion (200 meters) Abby Steiner of Kentucky early before finishing fourth in her heat and 19th overall.

Her 11.41 is a personal record and stands second all-time in NSU history, just .04 shy of De’Shalyn Jones’ program record 11.37.

“Lynell got out very well, and I think she hung with (Steiner) through about 50 meters,” said NSU coach Mike Heimerman. “She looked good, maybe she got a little tight at the end.

“We’ve got to hold on to the top end a little better, but she did what she needed to do to advance.”

Washington will compete in Saturday’s regional finals, which is scheduled for 5:35 p.m. if weather doesn’t interfere.

Pole vaulter Annemarie Broussard and hurdler Janiel Moore saw their seasons end Thursday.

Broussard started strong by clearing 12-11.75 on her first attempt, but the junior couldn’t sky over 13-5.75 with three misses.

Broussard was one of 22 jumpers to clear that height on her first attempt, but she ended up in a tie for 29th. In her first regionals in 2019, Broussard finished 34th.

“The first attempt was smooth, but then she wasn’t staying connected with the pole,” Heimerman said. “She was rushing a few things, and her rhythm wasn’t quite in sync.

“It wasn’t from a lack of want or will – maybe she even wanted it too much. But the women’s vault was incredibly competitive today, and it would have taken a personal record to advance.

Eleven of the 12 national qualifiers cleared 14-1.75, which is four inches better than Broussard’s personal record. The 12th and final vaulter cleared 13-9.75 and the previous bars cleanly to advance.

Moore just missed the regional finals as she clocked a 59.64 to finish fifth in her heat and 28th overall. The top 24 advance to the finals with the qualifying time of 59.25 taking the last spot.

“Janiel was on pace to get a personal record and advance until about hurdle six or seven, and she stuttered a little and it took her momentum away,” Heimerman said. “Even with that, she still ran under a minute that would have been a personal record before her Last Chance Meet run.”

In her first regionals in 2021, Moore placed 34th with a 58.98.

The senior ends her collegiate career with her second regionals appearance and has nine Southland Conference medals.

The final day of the men’s competition takes place Friday with a gaggle of Demons aching to go to nationals.

If the weather doesn’t move events up for the third straight day, a trio of discus throwers begins the competition at noon.

Djimon Gumbs (ranked ninth) will attempt to qualify in his second event after making the shot put championships Wednesday with an eighth-place finish.

Teammates Diamante Gumbs (35th) and Tarajh Hudson (27th) will also compete for one of the 12 spots.

The NSU men’s 4×100 relay is slotted 12th coming in and will attempt to break through to nationals for the first time since 2018 when then-freshman Kie’Ave Harry and Tre’Darius Carr ran legs on the All-American relay. The event is set for a 5 p.m. start with other running events to follow.

Harry will attempt to reach the national stage as an individual 100 meters sprinter after finishing 21st with a 10.27 despite cramping in the final 15 meters.

Destine Scott could make his first nationals appearance if he can finish in the top 12 in the 400 meters.

Scott ran a 46.52 out of Lane 2 on Wednesday to place 16th, and he’ll be aiming for sub-46 out of a better lane Friday.

Photo: Erik Williams/The Southland Conference