by Assistant Sports Information Director Matt Vines
The Northwestern State women’s jumpers led a coalition of 10 individuals and one relay that were selected to the first-ever Louisiana Sports Writers Association Indoor Track and Field awards announced Saturday evening.
Graduate transfer LaTyria Jefferson shared Newcomer of the Year honors with LSU’s Symone Mason. Jefferson, who transferred from Kansas, was the only non-LSU student-athlete or coach to win one of the 10 superlative awards on the all-state collegiate track and field team.
The senior ranked third in the state in the high jump (5-10.5) and just missed the top three in the long jump (19-7.5). Student-athletes are recognized on the collegiate all-state team by posting a top-three mark in the state in an event.
NSU’s most recent Newcomer of the Year came in 2018 as sophomore Kie’ave Harry took the honor.
“She’s a big-time performer,” head coach Mike Heimerman said of Jefferson. “She came in and did exactly what we thought she would. We’re looking forward to seeing what she can do for us next year as well.”
With the outdoor season being canceled because of the novel coronavirus, this year’s Indoor team is the first of its kind in LSWA history.
NSU jumpers Jasmyn Steels and Lauren Clarke each had Louisiana’s best leaps in their specialty events.
Steels long jumped 21-2, the seventh-best mark nationally, before the 2020 NCAA Indoor Championships were canceled after Steels won the long jump national title in 2019.
Steels, who claimed the Louisiana Field Athlete of the Year, is making her second appearance on the all-state team.
Clarke is also making her second appearance on the all-state squad after making the state’s top triple jump mark (42-11.75).
Both Clarke and Steels won Southland Conference titles in those respective events.