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Northwestern State track athletes set sights on Stephen F. Austin meet
Apr 05, 2014 | 176 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With seven Southland Conference event leaders among 15 performances that rank in the league’s top three this season, the Northwestern State track and field teams continue competition today in the Skechers Carl Kight Invitational hosted by Stephen F. Austin.

NSU competitors have seven marks in the NCAA’s top 50, including four in the top 25. Junior Aaron Williams owns two top 10 rankings with his 51-4 ¼ triple jump best that is sixth nationally, and a 24-9 ¼ long jump ranking ninth. Senior sprinter Justin Walker has two top 25 times, a 12th-ranked 10.29 clocking in the 100 meter dash last week at the Texas Relays and a 21.01 mark in the 200 that ranks 23rd in the NCAA.

A few field events and distance races opened SFA’s 18-team meet Friday afternoon and the bulk of the competition will take place today at Homer Bryce Stadium. Eight of the 14 Southland Conference schools are entered, along with Wichita State, Louisiana-Monroe, Louisiana Tech, Rice, Alcorn State and Texas Southern to round out the Division I entries.

NSU’s top-ranked Southland marks are by Walker (100, 200), Williams (triple), Consuela Lindsay (400 hurdles), Rechelle Bessard (women’s discus), Por’sha Thomas (women’s triple jump) and Jaynisha Berry (women’s long jump).

Taylor Walker in the women’s triple, the Lady Demons’ 4x400 team and Williams in the men’s long jump give Northwestern marks that stand second in the Southland. Third-ranked are Shakemia Johnson in the women’s discus, Bessard in the hammer, Brent Giddens in the 110 hurdles and Quinton Helaire in the men’s high jump.

Walker has asked for a heavy work load to see if he can add to the team’s point total at next month’s Southland Conference Championships. He is adding the 4x400 relay to his usual slate of 100, 200 and 4x100 races.

“He wants to work. He wants to see if he can handle that load and help his teammates at the conference meet,” said Heimerman. “We won’t know until he tries it. He’s been training hard and he’s running well.”

Bessard could approach the school record in the hammer owned by DeJean Griffin while teammate Keona Jackson and her are on track to better the personal records each notched two weeks ago at Louisiana Tech, said their coach.

“They should get PRs in the hammer again. In the discus, Shelly and Shakemia Johnson had foot fouls on some big throws that were easily PRs last week in Texas. They want to rectify that and get it out there,” he said.
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