With one of the largest indoor track meets looming with the Tyson Invitational in Arkansas Feb. 9-10 and then a week-long break before the Southland Conference Indoor Championships on Feb. 21-22, the NSU Demon Track and Field athletes are continuing to work toward the NCAA championships.
The Pittsburg State Invitational on Jan. 27 was a considerable success with four top-25 performances in the nation and seven first-place wins by NSU competitors.
“We had a lot of great performances; our sprinters had a phenomenal meet,” Head Coach Mike Heimerman said. “Some felt like they could’ve had a better meet, but they’re still leading the conference in the event. All we’re doing is try to progress each meet leading up to conference. It was a great measuring stick, and I like where we’re at.”
Sophomore Micah Larkins had tremendous success posting the fifth-fastest 60-meter dash in the nation and third fastest of all time in the Southland Conference this season with a 6.63 first-place finish.
Larkins’ success didn’t end there, however, as he posted the 19th-best NCAA Division I time in the 200 meter with a 21.13 second-place finish.
“I never expect to win,” Larkins said. “I’m going with the flow, staying humble. Whatever God allows me to do, that’s what I’m going to do.”
“We had quite a few great performances, led by Micah Larkins,” Heimerman said. “I can’t wait until outdoor to see Larkins takeoff.”
NSU’s other first-place finishes came from Lady Demons senior De’Shalyn Jones as she ran a 24.24 finish in the 200, sophomore Natashia Jackson with a 55.38 in the 400 and Demons’ sophomore Tre’ Evans posting a 6-8 ¼ in the high jump.
“I can’t take everything for just for myself; it was all to my team,” Jackson said on her win. “Throughout the week, training with the team helps improve everything you would like to do.”
Heading into the Feb. 2 LSU meet, Demons Larkins and Amir James were announced to have the day off, as well as Lady Demons Jackson and Jones.
“This gives opportunity to some of the kids who haven’t gotten to compete yet,” Heimerman said.
Daeshon Gordon managed to take the only first-place win of the day in the 60-meter hurdles (8.44).
This Friday and Saturday the team will head to the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas, for the Tyson Invitational, one of the biggest meets in indoor track and field, which attracts high-caliber athletes, including Olympic and World medalists.
“Arkansas is a big meet for us; it’s a good measuring stick to see where we’re at going into conference,” Heimerman said. “I hope the men and women battle for top-three performances. We’ll have to have everyone’s best.”
“I’m really excited; it’s my first time going there,” Jackson said. “Last year I had hopes as a freshman, but this year it’s a whole new ball game.”