Walker races into NCAA East Prelim finals - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Walker races into NCAA East Prelim finals

JACKSONVILLE, FL (NSU sports information) -

Northwestern State sprinter Justin Walker breezed to a win in his opening round 100 meter heat Thursday afternoon, advancing to Friday evening's national quarterfinal at the NCAA East Preliminary Round track and field competition, with Friday's top 12 finishers heading to the national meet in two weeks.

Walker strode home in 10.38, the fourth-fastest time among the 48 East region qualifiers. The Demon senior automatically moved forward by winning his heat over Ole Miss's Jalen Miller (10.41). Walker's 9.95 at the Southland Conference Championships May 11 is the best collegiate time in the country.

Among the 24 sprinters advancing to Friday's 5:30 quarterfinal were LSU junior Aaron Ernest (10.43, eighth fastest Thursday) and Louisiana Tech senior Dennis Richardson (10.65, 23rd best Thursday). Walker advanced to the national meet in the 100 last year and earned All-America honors on the Demons' 11th-place 4x100 relay team.

Walker will run on the 4x100 Saturday evening. He has the opening round in the 200 Friday evening 90 minutes after the 100, with the top 24 times moving on to the 200 quarterfinal Saturday evening.

Senior Consuela Lindsay advanced to the quarterfinal round Friday evening at 6:45 in the women's 400 meter hurdles, posting a 58.99 that was the 23rd fastest time. Her school-record 58.05 winning the Southland title would have been ninth in the opening round. The top 12 finishers Friday night move to the national meet – which would be Lindsay's first in her second East region appearance.

LSU had three 400 meter hurdles qualifiers, led by senior Nikita Tracey, whose 56.13 was the fastest time in the 48-woman field.

The other four Northwestern entries Thursday didn't fare as well, not advancing in the competition. Sophomore Rechelle Bessard, who competes Friday afternoon in the women's discus, finished 13 spots above her No. 38 regional seeding with a 184-0 throw.

Jessica Talley finished one spot below her 25th seeding in the women's javelin, with a 148-0 best mark. If she could have matched her season's best, 157-11, she would have finished 14th, two spots behind the top 12 who qualified for the national meet. Her personal best of 158-6, which earned her fourth at the 2011 East regional, would have been 13th Thursday.

Junior Aaron Williams, who competes Friday afternoon in his specialty, the triple jump, was 30th in the long jump Thursday with a 23-5 ½ mark.

Senior Kenyah McDaniel posted a 19-7 mark in the long jump that was not good enough to make the top 12. As the rain-delayed competition continued with the final 10 jumpers late Thursday night, she stood 14th, well ahead of her No. 22 seeding entering the meet.

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