FORT WORTH, Texas – The Northwestern State track and field teams closed out the TCU Invitational on Saturday with a bevy of personal bests and record-breaking performances, as six marks cracked the NSU all-time list this weekend at the Lowdon Track & Field Complex.
“This was one of the best days we’ve ever had since I’ve been here,” associate head coach Adam Pennington said. “The way we performed overall, it was just a fantastic meet.”
Not only does Junior De’Shalyn Jones’ name sit atop the Lady Demon record book in the 200-meters after her time of 23.12 bested the previous mark of 23.63 held by Jermika McBride, she is also the top-ranked 200m runner in the country.
“De’Shalyn (Jones) smashed the school record,” Pennington said. “She was a little banged up, but she still looked great; I think she can run sub 22 seconds when we get her healthy.”
Joining Jones in Lady Demon lore are juniors Braneshia Payton and Daeshon Gordon with their efforts in the 100-meter hurdles.
Payton’s personal best time of 13.51 led to a second-place finish, which is not only second in school history, but also ranks fourth in the country.
Gordon’s time of 13.55 snagged third overall in the meet, and at the same time, tied her for fourth on the women’s all-time list.
In women’s jumps, freshman Jasmyn Steels and junior Fay Nation showed their abilities in the long and triple jump.
Both Steels and Nation hit personal bests in the long jump. Steels won the event with a personal best leap of 19-09.50, which ranks fifth in the country, while Nation’s PR of 18-02.50 resulted in sixth.
Nation also achieved a personal best in the triple with a mark of 40-01.25, which resulted in a second place finish.
Also with a win in the field events was junior Kelsey Frank. Frank got the day started off by unfurling a javelin throw of 152 feet to take first in the event.
Not only did both the women’s 4×100 and 4×400 relay teams finished second, both claimed spots on the all-time list.
The 4×4 team consisting of Gordon, Natashia Jackson, Jones and Madison Morton crossed the line in a time of 3:41.09, which is third in NSU history, and currently ranks third in the nation.
The 4×1 team of Payton, Jones, Jackson and Tamara Style finished in 45.32, which is now fourth in school history.
Morton also went on to finish second in the women’s 400H with a time of 1:02.08.
On the men’s side, it was the lethal combination of junior Amir James and sophomore Micah Larkins who both set personal bests at the TCU Invitational.
The pair finished 1-2 in the 100 and the 200, as Larkins, the reigning Southland Conference Athlete of the Week, took first in the 100 with a nation-leading time of 10.26, which also ranks fifth in NSU history.
James finished right behind Larkins with a PR of his own, 10.30, putting him third in the country.
In the 200, the duo switched places, as James’ time of 20.56 not only placed him first at the meet, but also first in the NCAA, and second all-time in Demon history.
Larkins claimed second with the nation’s fifth fastest time to date of 20.98.
The two All-American’s also made up half of the country’s third-ranked 4×100 team, who joined fell senior All-American Ty Shilling and junior Terrance Johnson to finish second behind TCU with a time of 39.92.
“Our men’s 4×100 team was pretty impressive today,” Pennington said. “Going stride for stride with TCU’s All-American squad was all we could ask for at this point in the season.”
Joshua Wilkins, the highly touted junior distance runner, hit a PR in the men’s 1500 run as well with his second-place time of 3:57.18.
Also making their mark for the Demons was the jump’s squad, who posted a win in both the high and triple jump.
Freshman Tre’ Evans claimed victory for NSU in the high jump with his mark of 6-06.75, while sophomore Ceaser Stephens hit a personal best of 49-10 to claim victory in the triple.
Also placing in the triple, was freshman Quindarrius Thompson, whose third-place effort tied his personal-best mark of 48-07.25, and senior Zhaquan Porter finished closely behind in fourth at 48-03.50.
Lastly, the men’s throws had a day, as junior-transfer Kyrin Tucker’s PR of 56-02.50 placed him second overall, with junior Cedric Paul finishing fourth at 52-10.
NSU is set to compete again on March 24-25 in Arlington, Texas at the Bobby Lane Invitational.