AUSTIN, Texas -- Northwestern State has enjoyed championship success at the Texas Relays through the years, but nothing to compare with the opportunity earned by the Demons' 4x400 meter relay team that bids for its third straight win in Austin in as many years beginning Friday.
Northwestern has picked up Texas Relays victories through the years from several of its greatest performers, including USA Olympic triple jumper LaMark Carter, NCAA Indoor and USA Outdoor high jumper Brian Brown, the fabled 1981 NCAA champion 4x100 meter relay team of Victor Oatis, Joe Delaney, Mario Johnson and Mark Duper, along with All-American sprinter Ronnie Powell. Even a medal stand finish at this 84th annual meet is a career highlight for any competitor.
The Demons have captured the university division 4x400 meter relay championship each of the past two seasons, with senior Mike Green anchoring the quartets both years and his fellow senior Michael Batts running the lead leg. NSU won in 2009 in 3:08.21 and last year posted a 3:07.06. Friday's schedule includes qualifying for Saturday afternoon's championship final. The Demons have the country's 28th-best time this year, 3:09.82.
"We'll need to run faster, and we'll have the competition to do it," said 29th-year head coach Leon Johnson. "Winning back-to-back is a great achievement. If we run our best, and compete as well as we can, we've got a chance to make it three in a row."
Sophomores Justin Walker and Kendal Taylor join Batts and Green on the unit. Taylor was on last year's winning quartet, with Walker the only newcomer this season.
Also Friday, Lady Demon All-American thrower Trecey Rew will get into action, as well as the school record-setting 4x400 Lady Demon quartet of Quiana Griffin, Andrea Warren, Lawana Perkins and Consuela Lindsy, whose 3:40.71 mark ranks 29th nationally.
The 84th Annual Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays meet concludes late Saturday afternoon. Results and many other features are available through the www.texassports.com website.
Thursday, NSU's only entry was senior thrower DeJon Griffin, who fouled twice and recorded a 13th-place mark of 159-11 in the hammer throw, nearly 24 feet back of her school record set two years ago at the NCAA Regionals.