Almost two dozen nationally-ranked competitors set for next weekend’s Southland Outdoors at NSU

Micah Larkins

Next weekend’s Southland Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships hosted by Northwestern State at the Walter P. Ledet Track Complex will showcase intense team competition and some of the highest-ranked competitors in NCAA Division I.


Entering this weekend, 23 performances by Southland individuals and relay teams rank in the country’s top 25, including seven that are among the 10 best in the nation in their events.


Action begins early next Friday, May 3, with the longest races of the three-day meet, the 10,000 meter run, with women starting at 7:30 a.m. and the men following at 8.


The meet concludes Sunday afternoon with the final event, the 4×400 meter relays, with the women racing at 3:25 and the men at 3:35. Championship trophy presentations and recognition of the meet’s Most Valuable Performers for men and women will have everyone headed home by 4 o’clock.


Three-day all-session passes are $20 for adults, $10 for youth ages 6-17, and free for students presenting a current ID from any Southland member institution and children under 6.


Single-day tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for youth, with Southland students and children free.


Combined events competition will be held in the mornings Friday and Saturday for men and women, starting at 9:30 Friday and 9 on Saturday.


Field event championships begin at 10 a.m. Friday with the men’s hammer. The men’s long jump begins at 1, with the women’s hammer at 1:30 and one of the meet’s feature events, the women’s long jump, at 3:30. That will feature NCAA Indoor champion Jasmyn Steels of Northwestern and one of three outdoor national leaders in the event, Incarnate Word’s Sarea Williams. Steels ranks third outdoors.


Friday’s slate also includes the women’s pole vault at 4 and the women’s javelin at 4:30, where the field includes NSU record-holder and 2017 Southland champion Kelsey Frank, 20th nationally.


Other than the multi-events Saturday morning, competition won’t begin until 2 p.m. when qualifying heats start with the 1500 meter run. Women’s heats will be staged first, followed by men’s qualifiers, in seven races (1500, 100/110 hurdles, 400, 100, 800, 400 hurdles and 200) through 6:05, with the finals in the 3000 meter steeplechase finishing the competition on the track Saturday at 6:30 and 6:50.


Field event finals Saturday are the women’s shot put and men’s triple jump (both at 3 p.m.), the men’s javelin (4 p.m.), the women’s triple jump and the men’s shot (both at 5 p.m.).


The Sunday competition starts at 10 a.m. with the women’s discus and men’s high jump. The men’s pole vault begins at 11, with the last two field events, the men’s discus and the women’s high jump, at 12:30.


Championship finals on the track start at noon Sunday with the 4×100 meter relays, where NSU is the defending champion in both genders. Demons’ two-time 4×100 All-American Micah Larkins will run the first of his anticipated three races, with the 100 final at 1:30 and the 200 final at 2:30.  He is fifth nationally in the 100.


After the 4×100, finals will be contested in the 1500, 100/110 hurdles, 400, 100, 800, 400 hurdles, 200 and the 5000 before the meet wraps up with the 4×400 relays.


For additional information, visit the track and field pages on the website.