JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Northwestern State freshman Micah Larkins, a former Haughton standout, has qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in two events.
Larkins qualified in the 100-meter dash with a third-place finish in his heat in the NCAA’s East Preliminary Round in Jacksonville, Fla., on Friday.
Larkins, who won two Class 5A 100 championships at Haughton, ran a 10.32.
A day later, Larkins combined with former Haughton teammate Ty Shilling, George Flaviano and Amir James to qualify in the 4X100 relay.
The foursome ran a 39.85, fifth in the fastest of three qualifying heats. That was just enough to earn the Demons a trip to Eugene, Ore., for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships June 8-11.
James also qualified in the 100. He finished fourth in his heat at 10.39 and won a head-to-head duel with Troy’s Hakim Montgomery to qualify.
Two NSU seniors, Ashley Aldredge in the javelin and Emmanuel Williams in the long jump, are also headed to Eugene.
The top three finishers in each of the three eight-man regional final races, along with the next three fastest times, advanced.
Larkins knew as he crossed the finish line in the 100 that he was heading west.
“That’s the best feeling a track athlete can ever have, knowing they’re going to Oregon,” said Larkins, the Southland Conference 100 meter champion. “That’s sensational, surreal, a dream come true.”
When the times in the next two heats were posted, and James’ journey to Eugene was assured, Larkins felt even happier.
“That’s a double thrill. One of my closest friends, my teammate, and it makes a great moment even more memorable,” he said.
James took pride in reaching his first national meet alongside Larkins.
“We’ve been running well all season, and against quality competition,” he said, “but to be able to send two to nationals in one event is real good for a smaller D1 program. Now our goal is to make the most of it in Oregon.”
— Northwestern State Sports Information