Chris Little, Northwestern State Sports Information
NATCHITOCHES – Even as Micah Larkins’ Northwestern State track and field career nears its end, with the Haughton High School product assured of a place among the greatest Demons ever, there’s still work to be done.
Larkins tries to expand his resume’ at home this weekend, running Saturday and Sunday at the Walter P. Ledet Track Complex in the 2019 Southland Conference Outdoor Championships.
The senior star runs Saturday afternoon in qualifying heats of the 100 meter dash (4:05 p.m.) and the 200 (6:05), aiming to reach Sunday finals in those races (100 at 1:30 Sunday, 200 an hour later). He will also be the second leg of NSU’s three-time defending champion 4×100 relay unit that goes off Sunday at 12:10.
Larkins, a two-time relay All-American, enters this weekend’s competition as a six-time conference champion through his four career indoor and outdoor seasons. The first victory came at the 2016 Outdoor Championships in the 100 meter dash (10.15, + 4.8 wind) and the 4×100 relay (40.29). Most recently, the Princeton native won the 60 dash (6.68) at the 2019 Southland Indoor Championships this past February.
He’s the two-time Southland 100 meter king, winning as a freshman and last year as a junior, tying school and meet records with a 10.12 time. Also last May 6, Larkins ran on the gold medal-winning 4×100 team whose 39.53 broke a 29-year-old meet record, and he clocked a 200 meter personal record 20.54 (finishing fourth) that was the third-fastest time by any Demon sprinter all-time.
In his NSU career, Larkins has come out on top in 30 total races (including qualifying heats). His personal best in the 100 is a wind-aided 10.02 (+3.6) in 2018 at the Texas Relays (with the wind over 2.0, it was not admissible as a school record). It is the second-fastest time ever by a Demon behind Justin Walker, who shares the NSU record with Larkins and most notably ran a blazing 9.95 (denied the record by a +2.4 wind) winning the 2014 Southland crown.
Larkins has been named to the Louisiana Sports Writers Association All-Louisiana team every year of his career.
Entering this weekend’s competition, Larkins ranks first in the conference and seventh in the nation in the 100 with a time of 10.10 (+2.8) ran on April 20 at the LSU Alumni Gold. His 4×100 relay team also ranks as the nation’s 20th-best at 39.51, a mark posted by Larkins and teammates Eddie Clarke, Tre’Darius Carr and Javin Arrington at the Leon Johnson NSU Invitational on April 12.
Larkins said he feels very good heading into the conference meet, thanks to hard work and focused training under sprints coach and associate head coach Adam Pennington.
“I don’t want my work to go unseen. I’ve been dedicated to coach Adam’s plan all four years. I trust the process and have never questioned it,” said Larkins. “I feel like he’s the main reason I’m at where I’m at.
“At this point, it’s not about who is running fast. It’s the end of the season. What’s important now is taking care of the body. Ice baths, deep tissue massages, and sleep are very big. I think I’ve been doing all the right things. I feel like my body is the healthiest it’s ever been at this point in the season.”
Larkins was part of last season’s 4×100 relay team that made it all the way to the NCAA Championship meet in Eugene, Oregon where he ran the second leg with Carr, Kie’Eve Harry and 2018 senior Amir James. The squad broke a 29-year-old school record with a time of 38.92 in the preliminary round, then finished seventh in the final to earn first-team All-America honors.
He was on a 15th-place Demon 4×100 unit at the 2016 NCAA Outdoors, good for second-team All-America accolades.
After conference, regionals and nationals, Larkins plans to start training for the future past NSU.
“I’ll most likely be training for the USA meet after the season,” said Larkins. “Hopefully, I get a few more scouts to look at me and get a professional contract in the near future.”
Following the conference meet, the teams head to the McNeese Last Chance meet on May 11 with qualifiers advancing to the NCAA Eastern Preliminaries in Jacksonville, Florida (May 23-25) and the NCAA Championships (June 5-8) in Austin, Texas.