Tuesday, July 16, 2024

College track and field: Heimerman named SLC Women’s Coach of the Year, highlighting all-conference selections

by Russell Hedges
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By Jonathan Zenk, Northwestern State Assistant Director of Communications; featured photo by Prenice James

NATCHITOCHES—A total team effort from the Northwestern State track and field athletes and coaches to earn the Southland Conference Women’s Outdoor Championship earned Mike Heimerman the SLC Women’s Coach of the Year, the conference announced Tuesday.

Heimerman guided the women’s track and field team to its first outdoor team title in program history, as the team clinched the title in the last event of the meet: the 4×400 relay.

The relay team solidified a comeback victory for NSU, as it won the title with 182.5 points, just ahead of rival McNeese’s 181 points.

The women’s team swept the indoor and outdoor team titles and has won three of the last four women’s team titles in the last two seasons.

By winning the 4×400 relay, the quartet of Sanaria Butler, Vanessa Balde, Tranasia Jones and Maygan Shaw also were named First Team All-Conference in the event.

To earn first team, NSU nearly broke the meet record, running a 3:35.84.

The women’s 4×400 relay team was one of seven NSU athletes or relays to capture first team honors.

Also joining the relay on the first team on the women’s side are Butler (400-meter dash), Balde (100-meter hurdles) and Shakera Kirk (discus).

On the men’s side, the 4×100 relay team, Djimon Gumbs (shot put) and Diamante Gumbs (discus) all earned a spot first team.

Balde won her gold, running a 13.63 to win the hurdles. She also captured a pair of bronzes and Third Team All-SLC selections in the 400-meter dash and as a member of the 4×100 relay team.

The 4×100 team of Balde, Butler, Shaw and Lynell Washington clocked a 45.22 to earn third team.

Balde’s bronze in the 400 was a part of an NSU sweep in the event, as Butler (52.56) and Shaw (52.85) won the gold and silver, respectively, to earn first and second team honors.

Butler (23.48) and Shaw (23.67) also each found the podium in the 200-meter dash, earned second and third team honors.

Butler also earned second team in the long jump, posting a 19-8.25.

Kirk earned the final first team spot for NSU, tossing a personal-best 167-3 in the women’s discus, which not only won her the gold, but earned her a spot in regionals.

In the women’s hammer, Bernesha Knowles earned a third team selection, tossing a 174-5.

The final two all-conference spots from NSU went to Annemarie Broussard and Madison Brown, who made second and third team, respectively, in the women’s pole vault.

On the men’s side, each Gumbs twin earned a spot atop the medal stand and thus, earned a first team spot.

In the shot put, Djimon Gumbs threw a 62-1.75 to come away with the first team spot, while Diamante tossed a 184-7 in the men’s discus. Diamante took the silver in the discus with a distance of 178-10.

Before the men’s 4×100 relay team reached nationals, it earned the gold and a first team selection at the SLC Outdoor Championships. The quartet of Zachaeus Beard, Cyrus Jacobs, Keontae Gaines and Mikkel Johansson ran a 39.42, holding off a furious rally from Texas A&M-Commerce and New Orleans.

Beard, who earned a Second Team All-American spot at nationals in the men’s 100-meter dash, collected a pair of silvers in individual events, including one in the 100, running a then-wind legal best of 10.19.

He also clocked a 20.48 in the 200, solidifying his second team selection.

Gaines (10.42) and Jacobs (20.97) both were named to the third team in the 100 and 200m respectively.

Jacobs also took home the silver in the 400-meter dash, running a 46.78 to collect a third team selection.

Beard, Jacobs, Jaysaun Smith and Desmond Duncan combined to earn the silver in the 4×400 relay, running a 3:08.27.

Taj Morris (110-meter hurdles), Andrew Gilreath (triple jump) and Randy Kelly (high jump) all earned third team selections to round out the performers.

Men’s Outstanding Field Events Performer – Kyle Sieracki, UIW
Kyle Sieracki had himself quite the spring in the SLC. He found himself on the medal stand three times at the conference championships, coming in second in the men’s javelin and winning the pole vault and decathlon. 

Men’s Outstanding Running Events Performer – Griffin Neal, UIW
Griffin Neal ran his way right into this award as he took home the gold in both the 5,000-meter run and the 10,000-meter run. 

Men’s Freshman of the Year – Alex Martin, McNeese
Freshman Alex, Martin made a splash taking home the gold medal in the 800-meter run, and found himself on the podium again, taking third place in the 1500-meter run

Men’s Newcomer of the Year – John Adesola, UNO
John Adesola grabbed a gold medal in an exciting 110-meter hurdle race. He also competed on the third-place 4×100-meter relay. 

Men’s Athlete of the Year – Kenson Tate, Lamar
Kenson Tate was outstanding this year winning the men’s long jump and competing in the 5th place 4×100 relay as well as both the 100-meter dash & the 200-meter dash. 

Leon Johnson Award (Men’s Coach of the Year) – Dr. Derek Riedel, UIW
Coach Riedel finds himself as the recipient the Leon Johnson Award as Men’s Coach of the Year yet again. He lead the Cardinals to the team championship with 167 points. The Cards grabbed both the 2024 Indoor Championship & the 2024 Outdoor Championship.

Women’s Athlete of the Year & Outstanding Field Events Performer – Morgan Talley, McNeese
Morgan Talley scored 36 points for the Cowgirls and became a familiar face at the podium. She took home the gold in the women’s long jump, triple jump, and heptathlon. She grabbed third place in the 100-meter hurdles and competed in the high jump as well.

Outstanding Running Events Performer – Brianna Howard, Lamar
Brianna Howard took home the gold in both the 100-meter dash and the 200-meter dash and was also a part of the gold medal 4×100-meter relay. 

Women’s Freshman of the Year – Onyah Favour, Southeastern
Onyah Favour grabbed two fourth-place spots in a fast 400-meter dash field and was also a part of the fourth-place 4×400-meter relay. 

Women’s Newcomer of the Year – Jeny Barcenas, McNeese
Jeny Barcenas dominated the 3000-meter steeplechase, taking home a gold medal and she also placed fifth in the 1500-meter run. 

Women’s Coach of the Year – Mike Heimerman, Northwestern State
Coach Heimerman won coach of the year honors after pushing the Demons to a 182.5 point victory. The Demons took home the 2024 championships in both Indoor & Outdoor. 

2024 Southland Conference Men’s Outdoor Track & Field All-Conference Teams

100 meter dashIbrahim Fuseini, TAMUCZachaeus Beard, NSUKeontae Gaines, NSU
200 meter dashIbrahim Fuseini, TAMUCZachaeus Beard, NSUCyrus Jacobs, NSU
400 meter dashJalon White, McNeeseCyrus Jacobs, NSUJavon-Taye Williams, SLU
800 meter runAlex Martin, McNeeseKrzysztof Turski, HCUOmer El-Fadl, McNeese
1,500 meter runAlex Piquart, HCUOmer El-Fadl, McNeeseFreddy Richardson, LU
5,000 meter runGriffin Neal, UIWKelvin Kimaiyo, AMCCDennis Kipngeno, AMCC
10,000 meter runGriffin Neal, UIWKelvin Kimaiyo, AMCCGilbert Kimutai, McNeese
110 meter hurdlesJohn Adesola, UNOJorim Bangue, UNOTaj Morris, NSU
400 meter hurdlesJaden Powell, McNeeseEthan Ellis, LUDenzel Hinds, HCU
3,000 meter steeplechaseChristopher Daniels, UNONicholas Deutsch, TAMUCEric Pineda, UIW
4×100 meter relayZachaeus Beard, Cyrus Jacobs, Keontae Gaines, Mikkel Johansson– NSURonald Owens, Oguze Uyar, Enoch Fosuhene, Ibrahim Fueseini – TAMUC Chrsitopher Murphy, John Adesola, Darryl George Jr., Madonna Favour– UNO
4×400 meter relayEnoch Fosuhene, Philip Krenek, Ziphion Reevey, Ibrahim Fuseini– TAMUCDesmond Duncan, Cyrus Jacobs, Zachaeus Beard, Jaysaun Smith – NSUEthan Ellis, Christian Johnson, Jaylon Robers, Cameron Chin – LU
High JumpSlavko Stevic, SLUJustine Jimoh, TAMUCRandy Kelly, NSU
Pole VaultKyle Sieracki, UIWJosiah Martinez,  UIWIsaiah Hudgens, UIW
Long JumpKenson Tate, LamarChristopher Murphy, UNOJustice Jones, UIW
Triple JumpAmire Ledet, McNeeseJacarius Demmerritte, LUAndrew Gilreath, NSU
Shot PutDjimon Gumbs, NSUMarcus Francis, McNeeseDonroy Brown, SLU
Discus ThrowDiamante Gumbs, NSUDjimon Gumbs, NSUMarcus Francis, McNeese
Hammer ThrowTerrell Webb, SLUDiamante Gumbs, NSUTyler Challis, McNeese
Javelin ThrowHunter Longino, McNeeseKyle Sieracki, UIWGabriel Lim, SLU
DecathlonKyle Sieracki, UIWIsaiah Hudgens, UIWScott Boon, HCU

2023 Southland Conference Women’s Indoor Track & Field All-Conference Teams

100 meter dashBrianna Howard, LUSydne Porter, LUCapri Wilson, AMCC
200 meter dashBrianna Howard, LUSanaria Butler, NSUMaygan Shaw, NSU
400 meter dashSanaria Butler, NSUMaygan Shaw, NSUVanessa Balde, NSU
800 meter runJessica Rabius, HCUSophia Wolf, UNOKayla Warner, McNeese
1,500 meter runJessica Rabius, HCUAlexandra Weir, UNOCara Inch, LU
5,000 meter runNia Clatworthy, UIWRebecca DeKay, UNOCara Inch, LU
10,000 meter runRebecca DeKay, UNONia Clatworthy, UIWIrene Bonanomi, UNO
100 meter hurdlesVanessa Balde, NSUKayli Johnson, LUMorgan Talley, McNeese
400 meter hurdlesChloe Rodriguez, LUEsther Nwanze, SLUDasya Tolbert, UIW
3,000 meter steeplechaseJeny Barcenas, McNeeseAshlyn Royal, UIWDestiny Quintanilla, HCU
4×100 meter relayBrianna Howard, Kayla Smith, Kayli Johnson, Sydne Porter – LUKhiah Lara-Turner, Capri Wilson, Erial Fontenot, Nia Hampton, AMCCLynell Washington, Maygan Shaw, Vanessa Balde, Sanaria Butler– NSU
4×400 meter relayMaygan Shaw, Sanaria Butler, Vanessa Balde, Tranasia Jones – NSUKayla Warner, Jordan Carter, Jashyra Thomas, Kayla Harrison – McNeeseFaith Outing, Kayla Smith, Adebola Odunlami, Chloe Rodriguez – LU
High JumpJenneil Jacobie, TAMUCSakari Famous, McNeeseVeronika Kramarenko, TAMUC
Pole VaultAlisa Novosad, UIWAnnemarie Broussard, NSUMadison Brown, NSU
Long JumpMorgan Talley, McNeeseSanaria Butler, NSUKayli Johnson, LU
Triple JumpMorgan Talley, McNeeseJaslyn Smith, NSUMyla Tate, AMCC
Shot PutJaslyn Russell, McNeeseShakera Williams, NSUSa’Niya Fowler, UIW
Discus ThrowShakera Kirk, NSULiza Lap, HCUCassandra Rendon, TAMUC
Hammer ThrowMariah Lee, McNEsmeralda Ruiz, McNeeseBernesha Knowles, NSU
Javelin ThrowBlanche Beard, McNeeseHadley Ryland, McNeeseFaith Cauthron, McNeese
HeptathlonMorgan Talley, McNeeseRaven-Symone Jarrett, NSUCle

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