Northwestern State track and field heads to LSU Twilight in final meet before SLC Championships

BATON ROUGE—In the final match before the Southland Conference Championships, the Northwestern State track and field teams are sending athletes to the LSU Twilight.

The meet, which takes place on Friday, begins at 10 a.m. at the Carl Maddox Field House.

NSU is coming off a strong meet at the Tyson Invitational, which featured some of the nation’s top programs.

“Since this past weekend was such a high-caliber meet, a few kids didn’t get into the competition,” head coach Mike Heimerman said. “A few of our kids just needed competition and a few more just needed work since we have had some horrible weather the last few weeks.”

No star was brighter than Maygan Shaw for the Lady Demons. She finished in the top two in the SLC this season in three different events. Her 400-meter time was clocked at 54.15, which is a full half-second better than second place, her teammate Sanaria Butler.

Shaw and Butler also are a part of the 4×400 relay team that is tops in the conference with a time of 3:42.53, which is more than eight seconds better than the next closest in the league. To put that in perspective, Incarnate Word’s seventh-place standing (3:59.10) is closer to second place McNeese (3:50.90) than McNeese is to NSU.

“Maygan is a top performer in three events,” Heimerman said. “In the 4×400, they ran well and despite a few stumbles, finished with the third-fastest time in school history. Our 4×400 team of three freshmen and a sophomore have a chance to not only break the school record, but the championships record as well.”

Shaw and Butler are two of 26 athletes NSU is sending to Baton Rouge, with 14 of them being females.

Among the track athletes from the Lady Demons, Lynell Washington also joins them. Washington owns top marks in the SLC in both the 60-meters and 200-meters.

Washington finished with the top time in the SLC in the 200-meters (23.77) at the Tyson Invitational and in the 60-meters (7.38) in the Corky Classic to open the indoor season. NSU has the top three times in the conference in the 200-meters, as Vanessa Balde—who is also heading to Baton Rouge—ranks third.

On the men’s side on the track, Destine-Unique Scott ranks third in the 400-meters in the conference, running a 47.53 in Fayetteville this past weekend.

The Gumbs twins lead the NSU field athletes. In the shot put, Djimon tossed a 59-0 at the Pittsburg State Invitational last month. Diamante ranks fourth in the shot put, posting a 55-3.5, also in the Pittsburg State Invitational.

In the weight throw, Diamante Gumbs is fourth in the conference with a distance of 58-4.5, which took place at the Tyson Invitational.

In addition to NSU, Tulane, New Orleans, McNeese, Southeastern Louisiana, Nicholls and host LSU, will be among the programs sending athletes in Baton Rouge.

“We just would like to clean up a few things and have some fun,” Heimerman said. “Our main goal is to iron out some things and remain healthy as we head into conference.”

Following the meet, NSU heads to Birmingham for the SLC Championships, which takes place Feb. 26 and 27.

PHOTO CREDIT: Mike Wade Photography