Northwestern State track teams enjoy huge day at the Wendy’s/Pittsburg State Invitational

The track teams impressed once again, as Northwestern State enjoyed another successful meet in the Wendy’s/Pittsburg State Invitational on Saturday at the Robert W. Plaster Center. 

Four Lady Demons earned first place finishes in track, including the women’s 4×400-meter relay team of Sian Weller, Sanaria Butler, Maygan Shaw and Vanessa Balde. 

“It was a great day,” head coach Mike Heimerman said. “The kids really did a great job. There is still room for improvement, but overall, it was a great day. We had a number of athletes who were great today. The meet was well worth the drive. 

“The kids are really buying in and they are bonding as one big unit. It was gratifying to see everyone cheering for each other in every event. It was very good day.” 

Shaw individually (400-meter final), Aarika Lister (60-meter final) and Lynell Washington (60-meter prelims) are the other Lady Demons who earned top spots. 

In the 60-meter finals, Lister edged out Washington to earn the top spot. Each athlete posted a 7.43, which is a personal best for Lister, but Lister’s came in a 7.428 to Washington’s 7.430.  

In the prelims for the 60-meters, Washington took the top spot with a 7.46, while Lister came in third with a 7.56 time, which tied her personal best before her blistering 7.43 run in the event final. 

The pair also finished one after another in the 200-meter final, as Lister (24.88) finished sixth and Washington (24.96) placed seventh. 

Shaw, a sophomore from Pineville, posted a time of 55.83, winning the women’s 400-meters by more than a half-second over Jaiya Patillo, who ran unattached. 

She also posted a personal best in the women’s 60-meter qualifying race, running a 7.80, which was good enough for fourth. 

In the same race, Victoria Byrd barely edged out Shaw, placing third with a time of 7.79. 

Fresh off their fantastic 2023 debuts at the Corky Classic, Simon Wulff and Zachaeus Beard both had another strong outing in Kansas, finishing second and third, respectively, in the 60-meter finals. 

Wulff, the Southland Conference Player of the Week two weeks ago, posted a personal record 6.66, while Beard finished just behind him with a time of 6.67 after his conference record time set at the Corky Classic. 

In the 60-meter qualifying race, Kavacion Webster posted a personal-best 6.82, placing second. In the race, Cyrus Jacobs also hit a personal best, running a 6.90. 

Many personal bests were captured in the 60-meter prelims, as Dylan Swain (6.80), Cyrus Jacobs (6.85), Justin Walden (6.86) and Austin Simoneaux (6.91) all accomplished the feat. 

In the field, Djimon Gumbs had another impressive showing, finishing second in the men’s shot put with a distance 59-0. 

His twin brother, Diamante Gumbs, posted a personal best in the event, placing seventh with a distance of 55-3. 

Diamante Gumbs also posted a season-best 57-10 in the weight throw. 

Also in the weight throw, Tarajh Hudson earned a personal best in the weight throw, tossing a 49-5. 

In addition to her showing on the first place women’s 4×400 team, Butler also posted a third-place finish in the women’s long jump with a distance of 18-10.5, which is a season best for the freshman. 

Jaslyn Smith, a sophomore from Pineville, recorded a personal best in the long jump with a distance of 18-2.5. 

Carolin Bielert earned a first-place finish in the women’s high jump open, the 5-2 bar. In the same event, Maison Wilbanks finished sixth, clearing 5-1. 

On the men’s side, Randy Kelly cleared 6-9.50, which tied him for third place. 

In the women’s pole vault, Annemarie Broussard, tied for second, clearing 12-8. 

The track teams take a week off before heading to the University of Arkansas for their third and final meet before the Southland Conference Championships, which take place Feb. 26 and 27.