Northwestern State’s Gumbs doubles up, going to NCAAs in discus after qualifying in shot put

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Djimon Gumbs already knew he was headed to Eugene, Ore., for the NCAA National Championships.

Now he’ll have to make extra room in his bag for a second implement.

Gumbs cashed his chips in the discus Friday, qualifying on his final throw of 183-5 to finish 10th. The top 12 advance in any given event.

“He likes waiting until the end,” joked NSU coach Mike Heimerman. “The conditions were rough today with a tailwind messing up a lot of guys, and then the rain came at the end of Flight 2, and Djimon had to warm up in rain that made the disc pretty slick.

“But he did what he needed to do, and now he’s going to nationals in a second event.”

Gumbs was sitting near the middle of the 48-thrower pack with throws of 173-4 and 178-6 before he vaulted eight competitors on his final mark.

He is the first male thrower to advance to the NCAAs in multiple events in NSU history and just the second of any gender, joining Trecey Rew in 2010 (shot put and discus).

While Gumbs was joined by two of his teammates on the Southland Conference discus podium, neither were able to jump out of the earlier flights to qualify for Oregon.

Tarajh Hudson placed 24th with a mark of 174-11 on his final attempt while Diamante Gumbs’ best toss of 168 feet came on his first try, placing him 38th.

“Diamante looked good in the ring, he just had bad releases,” Heimerman said. “His second throw was pretty deep but was out of bounds by a little bit.

“Tarajh handled the nerves pretty well as a freshman, he just had an early release. He still threw nearly 175 feet even though he wasn’t slinging it all the way, so that’s pretty good.”

Hudson, the SLC Freshman of the Year, finishes his first season with a discus bronze while Diamante Gumbs captured a combined five medals in three different throws at conference championships meets.

Two individual sprinters as well as the 4×100 relay had their seasons ended Friday.

The relay turned in a 39.87 to finish sixth in its heat and 16th overall.

“Kie’Ave Harry caught cramps in his calves again, and Simon Wulff was still dealing with the foot problem,” Heimerman said. “Our exchanges were good, but when you’re on a stage like this, there’s not much wiggle room.

“We would have been fine if we were healthy.”

Harry encountered the same issues in the 100 meters, clocking a 10.57 to finish 23rd in a season in which he’s blazed multiple 10.10 times.

Destine Scott drew Lane 2 for the second straight race in the 400 meters, and the junior didn’t have enough juice with a 47.36 to finish 24th.

“Kie’Ave had a great start for 50 or 60 meters, but you could see it in his face after that,” Heimerman said. “He has gotten massages and took in plenty of fluids, so we just don’t know why he continued to cramp.

“It’s not the way he wanted to end his college career, but we appreciate everything he’s done for the program. Destine ran a good first 300 meters in the rain, but the field was really fast today. Lane 2 is really tough to do anything out of.”

Harry was initially a walk-on who became an All-American as a freshman on the 2018 4×100 relay and snatched six total Southland Conference medals.

Photo: Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services