Butler, Heimerman lead 10 Northwestern State athletes/coaches on SLC Indoor All-Conference teams

Off an indoor season in which each team finished in the top two at the Southland Conference Championships, the Northwestern State track & field teams had 12 players or coaches honored, including two superlatives on the SLC All-Conference Teams. 

Sanaria Butler was named SLC Women’s Freshman of the Year and head coach Mike Heimerman was named women’s coach of the year, the conference announced Monday. 

I am very proud of Sanaria,” head coach Mike Heimerman said. “It is a very well-deserved award for such a hard-working, team-first mentality. She is an outstanding student athlete.” 

Butler found the medal stand three times. Individually, she came away with two bronze medals, one each in the 400-meters and the triple jump. 

She was also a member of the 4×400-meter relay team that finished with the silver medal, clinching the indoor championship for the Lady Demons. Shaw was joined on the relay team by Sian Weller, Butler and Vanessa Balde. 

Heimerman helped lead the women’s track team to the title for the first time in program history. 

“I’m very honored to receive coach of the year,” Heimerman said. “But I couldn’t do it without my hard-working staff and, of course, the hard student athletes that I wouldn’t trade for any team in the country. This award is a team effort and I appreciate everyone involved.” 

The pairing is joined by 10 other athletes, including six who made it to the All-Conference Team in multiple events. 

Helping lead the women to its first conference team championship, Lynell Washington made the first team in two events, the 60-meters and the 200-meters. 

After posting a meet record 7.32 in the 60-meter prelims, she posted a 7.39 time in the finals to earn the gold. She followed that up with a gold in the 200-meters with a 23.90. 

Shaw, last year’s freshman of the year in the conference, found the podium twice, including a gold medal in the 400-meters. 

Balde found the podium two more times as an individual. She collected a silver in the 60-meter hurdles and bronze in the 200-meters. 

Djimon Gumbs, fresh off a record-breaking performance in the first outdoor meet of the season, earned a first team selection in the shot put. 

Twin brother Diamante Gumbs earned a pair of medals in the SLC Championships. He garnered the silver medal in the weight throw with a distance of 60-4 and a bronze in the shot put with a 55-2.75. 

The final gold medal was captured by Andrew Gilreath in the triple jump with a 50-0.75 and earned a bronze medal in the long jump. 

Destine-Unique Scott was the last of the Demons to be named to the all-conference team in multiple events. Scott made the podium twice with a pair of silver medals. 

After winning the prelims in both the 200-meters and the 400-meters, he finished in second in the finals. In the 400-meters, he finished in second despite running a faster time (47.05) than he did in the prelims (47.21) in which he finished first. 

Dylan Swain (60-meters) and Karlyn Trahan (pole vault) each were named to the second team, while Randy Kelly (high jump) was named to the third team. 

NSU continues its outdoor season with a trip to Fort Worth for the TCU Alumni Invite, a two-day meet which begins Friday.