FORT WORTH, Texas – Northwestern State track and field stretched its outdoor legs for the first time this season with a multitude of personal bests and event wins at the TCU Invitational on Saturday.
The Demons won three events in the meet with 30 personal records set.
“We had a good day today, and we’re getting used to being back outside for a full day since we were out here for about seven hours with temperatures up in the 80s,” said NSU coach Mike Heimerman. “We had a great start to the outdoor season.
“We’re banged up in a couple of areas, but that’s to be expected a little bit with the high volume in training. We’ll get healed up a little bit and be ready for Texas Relays this coming week.”
After Djimon Gumbs set NSU’s discus record and twin Diamante posted NSU’s third best throw Friday, the Gumbs twins weren’t through rewriting their own records.
Djimon Gumbs took home a shot put win with a personal best of 61-11, which ranks third all-time at NSU. Diamante chucked a personal best 54-10 to place sixth in a loaded field with throwers from Oklahoma, Baylor and TCU.
Two other Demons broke personal marks in the shot as Tarajh Hudson (50-8.75) and Landon Blubaugh (50-4.50)
Diamante Gumbs flung 168-3 in the hammer, another third-best mark all-time at NSU to finish sixth. Add his discus from Friday, and he set personal bests in three events.
Pole vaulter Hayden Barrios captured an event win with a 16-1 mark amid a swirling wind that changed directions.
An event win and personal best is particularly impressive in pole vault without associate head coach Adam Pennington, who was present for the birth of his son.
“A big congratulations to Adam on that,” Heimerman said. “I’m especially proud of the pole vault group today because it’s the most coach dependent event.
“The conditions were tough out there today. But Hayden got a win and cleared some bars. It was a big women’s field, and Madison set a personal record while everyone had to battle it out today.”
Pennington is in charge of sprints, hurdles and vault.
The sprinters weren’t going to be left out of the personal record chase Saturday either.
Scott clocked a personal best 20.95 to finish third, and Wulff was just two-hundreths off his personal best with a 20.97 to take fifth. Others posting personal bests include Joshua Moore (22.02)
“Scott had a phenomenal day,” Heimerman said. “He made up a huge amount of ground on his 4×400 leg on top of his great 200 meters.
“Simon has never run the 200 outdoors, which a little different from indoors because there’s just one curve instead of two. He’s just that good.”
The relay success was also evident in the 4×100, but it wasn’t from NSU’s top team. The ‘A’ team dropped the baton, but the quartet of Kavacion Webster, Dylan Swain, Evan Nafe and Loyd finished in third with a time of 40.39, besting Oklahoma’s ‘B’ team and UT Arlington’s ‘A’ squad.
“That’s an impressive time, and we know we have a wave of sprinters even behind our top guys,” Heimernan said.
One of the most impressive showings of the day came from a guy that hasn’t traditionally been a sprinter.
Usual jumper Nikaoli Williams clocked a 10.60 in the 100 meters to pair with a long jump win with a personal best of 24-7.25.
Evan Nafe joined Williams with a 10.60 in the 100, which smashed his personal best and tied him and Williams for second in the field. William Glover (10.81), Austin Simoneaux (10.86), Joshua Moore (10.88), Galen Loyd (10.98), Reggie Williford (10.98) and Dylan Swain (11.27) set personal records.
“We planned for Williams to be both a jumper and a sprinter, but he was beset with surgeries when he got here in the fall of 2020,” Heimerman said. “What a great day for both Nikaoli and Evan Nafe.
“We had some decent long jump marks from Andrew Gilreath (PR 23-2) and Keegan Broussard (22-8), who finished third and fourth.”
Javeliners launched their first spears of the season and some of their NSU careers.
Payten Vidourek chalked up a personal best in middle distance as his 1:56.45 came in seventh.
Shaw followed that with a PR in the 200 (24.49), which finished 16th.
Hurdler Orsciana Beard’s 14.76 in the 100 hurdles is also a personal mark.
Jumper Jaslyn Smith posted two personal bests with a 17-3.25 (18th) in the long jump and a 37-9.25 (8th) in the triple jump.
Thrower Olivia Valliere crushed her best with a 42-7.50 in the shot put (9th) and a 124-7 in the hammer.