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NSU Track and Field shows success in the Southland Conference Indoor Championship

Michael Wade
NSU Track and Field brings home new title from the 2024 SLC Indoor Championship.

Northwestern State University of Louisiana’s track and field teams drastically improved from last season at the 2024 Southland Conference Indoor Championship in Birmingham, Ala.

Mike Heimerman, track and field head coach, explained that the weekend was full of success and wins for NSU.

“We had a lot of great performances. I think almost everyone that went, probably 95 percent of the kids, if not higher, did better than the performance they needed to get there,” Heimerman said.

For both teams combined, NSU won two gold medals in the 60-meters, a gold, a silver and two bronzes in the 200-meters, a gold in the 400-meters, a gold in the 60-meter hurdles and a gold in the 4×400 meter relay.

Then the team also earned a gold, silver and bronze in pole vault, a silver and bronze in long jump, two bronzes in triple jump, a silver in high jump, two golds and a silver in shot put, a gold and silver in weight throws and finally earned a silver and bronze in multi events.

The women’s team are back-to-back SLC Indoor Champions finishing first with a score of 170 points and are the first team to repeat the championship title since Stephen F. Austin State University in 2019 and 2020. The men’s team finished third in the conference with a score of 104 points, just behind McNeese State University by two points.

Sanaria Butler, sophomore sprinter and jumper who was named most valuable performer (MVP), scored 30.5 points for the women’s team. Butler earned a gold medal in the 400-meter with a time of 53.52 seconds and 4×400 with a time of 3:42.49 minutes, a silver in the long jump with a distance of 5.93 meters, bronze in the triple jump with a distance of 12.05 meters and fifth place in the 200-meter dash with a time of 24.18 seconds.

“Butler was a really big work horse and we leaned on her a lot to win this title for the women,” Heimerman said.

Annemarie Broussard, pole vaulter and senior health and human performance major, won pole vault with a height of 3.85 meters and had every motivation to do so.

“This team has grown to become a family to me, I have been on many different teams here at NSU, and this team is the closest on and off the track,” Broussard said. “Also, with it being my last year of eligibility it is a good feeling to walk away with hardware and a ring.”

Broussard explained that she was worried during the start of the indoor season due to her lack of off-season training just after coming off her injury.

“I knew I wanted to come back and win another conference title because before my injury that was my goal for my last season, and I wanted to still accomplish that goal,” Broussard said. “I achieved my goal and came home with another conference title.”

Maygan Shaw, sprinter and junior nursing major, finished sixth in the 200-meter dash with a time of 24.57, fourth in the 400-meters with a time of 54.69 seconds and one of the four to earn gold in the 4×400 meter relay on the final day of the championship.
“The highlight of the SLC Championship for me was running the 4×4 with three of the most talented and hardworking girls at my side,” Shaw said. “That race meant two things for me: one, that all our hard work paid off, and two, it was time to go home.”
Even though Shaw set high expectations for herself going into the Championship, she remembered to keep a calm mindset going into the competition.

“Going into the championship I kept a positive mindset despite the outcome of any race, finished this meet injury free, and left the facility with a first-place trophy in hand. With the support of my family and teammates, I achieved all 3,” Shaw said. “When I am competing, my mindset is positive and clear. I remind myself that every race will be less than a minute, pray for no injuries, then I’m ready to run. When there’s no stress, you perform your best.”

Shaw added advice for future or current track and field athletes about indoor tournaments and performing at your highest level.
“If you’re running, jumping or throwing consistent times or distances, without a personal best, you should still be proud of yourself,” Shaw said. “Keep your head up, work at your own pace and don’t take those milliseconds or 0.01-meter personal records for granted. Appreciating those small victories will open the door to larger accomplishments.”
Going into the outdoor season, Heimerman added that the teams are ready to compete and win more titles.

“On the women’s side we would like to win a team title, after getting second indoors and we didn’t have the meet we quite expected, so we want to avenge that and win a title,” Heimerman said. “The men want to win one desperately, because they were second for both indoor and outdoor last year and third indoor this year. They see the women celebrating and they want to celebrate too, they want the championship ring badly.”

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About the Contributor
Kallie Bourgeois
Kallie Bourgeois, Current Sauce - Reporter
Kallie Bourgeois is a freshman communication major, with a minor in sociology at NSU. This is her second semester as a reporter for The Current Sauce. She has had a love for storytelling since high school, where she spent a year as her school’s Editor for their newspaper. Kallie looks forward to continuing her passion for journalism by delivering stories of exciting events happening on campus and in the Natchitoches area.  

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