Track & Field — Relays headline strong effort at TCU Invitational

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FORT WORTH, Texas – Wading into plenty of Big 12 and West Regional competition Saturday at the TCU Invitational, Northwestern State’s relays highlighted a positive day for both the Demons and Lady Demons.

NSU women’s 4×400 relay cruised to a win by more than five seconds as the quartet of Natashia Jackson, Janiel Moore, Diana Granados and Erin Wilson clocked a 3:41.22, which ranks 12th nationally this outdoor season.

The men’s 4×100 and 4×400 relays each placed second.

The foursome of Javin Arrington, Kennedy Harrison, Kie’Ave Harry and TreDarius Carr came under 40 seconds (39.80), missing an event win by less than half a second.

The 4×400 squad of Ebenezer Aggrey, Kennedy Harrison, Dejon Blake and Destine Scott pushed winner TCU with a 3:10.73, finishing 1.5 seconds behind the Horned Frogs and beating the rest of the field by six seconds or more.

“Overall, we had a great day out here at TCU,” said NSU track coach Mike Heimerman. “The women’s 4×400 was fun to watch because they led all the Big 12 schools from the gun. They had a great time.

“That was the first time this 4×100 team had run together, and the handoffs were good but they’ll get better. We had lot of (personal records) across the board, and I’m very pleased with the results today.”

Lauren-Ashley Clarke shined individually, winning the triple jump and taking third in the high jump.

Her 42-4 triple jump is a personal outdoor record and tied for second best in NSU history. Clarke cleared 5-8.5 in the high jump, a personal outdoor record which ranks third on NSU’s list and first in the East Regional this season.

The women’s jumps were a high point all around with a total of four top four finishes.

Long jumpers Jasmyn Steels (21-2, second) and Jayla Fields (19-5.25, fourth) fared well, including Fields setting a personal mark.

The men’s long jumpers stood out as well with Markeit Sterverson (24-2.5, second) and Nikaoli Williams (personal best 22-7, third) finishing in the top three with season best marks.

High jumper Zeke Dupas placed third in the meet with a 6-2.75.

Javelin thrower Cole Spooner (fourth, 194-11) just fell shy of a personal best.

In the 100 meter hurdles, Aliyah Carswell blasted her personal mark away by more than half a second with a 14.66, which placed fourth.

NSU’s sprinters had a wave of top-five efforts across the board.

Harrison (21.33) and Harry (21.46) finished second and fourth, respectively in the 200 meters with Scott (21.51) and Carr (21.69) placing sixth and eighth.

Aggrey captured fifth in the 400 meters with a 47.79.

On the women’s side, Jackson took fourth in the 200 meters with a 24.28.

Eleven other individuals set personal outdoor records at the meet.

Six of those marks came in the women’s throws with two more in the women’s pole vault.

Briana Washington surged in the shot put, placing fifth with a personal best 47-2.5. Olivia Valliere (38-1.25, shot put) and (126-06, discus) broke two of her own personal records.

Kristin McDuffie tossed 165-07 in the hammer throw, finishing sixth and besting her personal record by 12 feet.

NSU’s women javelin throwers Akira Phillip (135-01) and Ashley Duffus (114-07) each set personal marks with Phillip placing fifth.

A trio of pole vaulters Parish Kitto, Karlyn Trahan and Madison Brown placed sixth at 11-9.75, which is a personal best for Trahan and Brown.

The men’s and women’s teams face a short turnaround in their next meet as the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays start on Wednesday.