Thirteen high schools participated over the weekend in the annual Elder Outreach Dutchtown Invitational track and field event at Dutchtown High School.

Zachary won the girls division with 105 points. Leading Ascension Parish teams in fifth place was Dutchtown with 57 points, and St. Amant finished seventh with 49. Donaldsonville High finished eighth with 28 points, Ascension Catholic finished ninth with 18 points and East Ascension was 11th with 12 points.

In the triple jump, Maggie Duplechein, of St. Amant, finished in second place. St. Amant’s Cameron Matherne took first place in the discus, and teammate Alli Duplechein was second.

In the track events, Jasmine Jackson, of Dutchtown, took third place in the 100-meter run. In the 200-meter, Ariane Williams, of East Ascension, finished second. In the 800-meter, Ascension Catholic’s Stephanie Breaux took second place with the time of 2 minutes, 31.20 seconds. In the 1,600-meter, Tara Stuntz, of Dutchtown, won with a time of 5:41.69.

Dutchtown took second place in the 4x100 and 4x200 relays.

In the boys division, Catholic High of Baton Rouge took first-place honors with 194 points. Leading our parish teams in fourth place was Dutchtown with 541/2 points. St. Amant finished fifth with 431/2 points, East Ascension finished eighth with 16, Donaldsonville finished ninth and Ascension Catholic finished in 10th place.

In the field events, Marquise Hampton, of St. Amant, finished in second place in the long jump, and teammate Dylan Stephens took first place in the discus throw. Floyd Foster, of Donaldsonville, finished second.

In the track events, Lamarcus Jefferon, of East Ascension, finished third in the 100-meter run, and Javon Pierre, of Dutchtown, sprinted to a third-place finish in the 200-meter race.

In the 800-meter event, Terrence Green, of Dutchtown, was second. In the 3,200-meter race, Zack Capello, of Ascension Catholic, was first.

In the 4x100 meter relay, the Griffins finished second with a time of 43.01, and the Gators finished third in 43.64. In the 4x200, Dutchtown finished third at 1:30.52, and in the 4x400, the Griffins took second place at 3:31.99.

Softball update

The St. Amant Lady Gators softball team has five games remaining that stand in the way of finishing the season undefeated. At 18-0, 4-0, the Lady Gators have been a dominating force behind the pitching of Gabrielle Sharp with her 15-0 record, along with the hitting of teammate Bailey Bordelon, who went 4-4 with two doubles and 5 RBIs against the McKinley Panthers.

Teammate Kara Gremillion is hot at the plate, as well. Gremillion hit two home runs en route to a 5 RBI game in the Gators’ 15-0 shutout of St. Joseph’s Academy.

Aside from the recent squeaker with the Dutchtown Griffins (10-9), the pitching and hitting have been nothing short of spectacular. In five games against West Monroe, West Ouachita, Ruston, St. Joseph’s and McKinley, the Lady Gators won by the combined score of 74-3.

The Ascension Catholic Bulldogs (15-3, 7-0) and the East Ascension Spartans (16-6, 2-1) fought a tough battle between the teams’ best pitchers. The Lady Bulldogs jumped on Jessie Watts early, scoring two runs in the first inning. They plated additional runs in the third and fifth innings and went into the top of the sixth with a 4-0 lead.

Ascension Catholic’s Julia Beck pitched five innings of shutout ball, then a leadoff walk in the sixth coupled with some sloppy play in the outfield allowed the Lady Spartans to plate three runs and let the tying run come to the plate. But Beck tightened the reins and recorded her 10th strikeout of the game to end the rally and nail down the win.

This game was a real pitchers’ duel as the Bulldogs’ junior standout Beck was picked the preseason nola.com All-Baton Rouge Area Small Schools Pitcher of the Year and Jessie Watts was named the preseason nola.com All-Baton Rouge Area Large Schools Pitcher of the Year.

This all boils down to a very exciting finish to the Ascension Parish softball season with the playoffs just around the corner.

Outdoors

Now that winter is gone, outdoor activities will pick up, and south Louisiana abounds with opportunities that are second to none. Heck, we’re not called the Sportsman’s Paradise for nothing.

Along with all those opportunities is the responsibility to get kids involved. There are a number of organized days to bring a kid somewhere, such as the East Ascension Sportsman’s League kids’ fishing rodeo. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries hosts a few events every year to encourage grown-ups to take kids to an outdoor activity.

But the best way to do this is to take it upon oneself to introduce a kid to the vast array of the outdoors that is available here. Fishing is one aspect. It takes a little time, which is part of the challenge, but we must make the time for this. We do what we want to do, so the excuse of “I don’t have time” is fairly lame.

The next item on the list is patience. This one is not the easiest one to master, but it’s one that must be mastered. It’s so easy to just “do it myself,” but that takes away from a youngster’s experience.

Reserve some time, be patient in letting them “do it,” enjoy your time with them and it will all be good.

Lyle Johnson covers sports for The Ascension Advocate. He can be contacted at reelman@eatel.net or ascension@theadvocate.com.