Zachary’s Janie O’Connor continues to add to her impressive list of accomplishments. The junior track standout was most recently named the Louisiana Gatorade Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year.
She is the second Zachary High athlete to earn a Gatorade award during the 2015-16 school year. Senior quarterback Lindsey Scott Jr., who guided the Broncos to their first state title in football, received the award for his sport in the fall.
O’Connor guided the Lady Broncos to the Division I indoor and outdoor state titles this spring as she solidified her reputation as the top sprinter prospect in the state for the Class of 2017.
“I’ve got to thank my coaches and my teammates for everything they’ve done to help me get to this point,” O’Connor said. “This is a big award, it’s an honor to win it. I’m proud to receive it.
“I still feel like there were times when I could have pushed myself harder, especially in the 400 (meters). But I’m pleased and something like this (award) gives me motivation to finish stronger my senior year.”
The Gatorade award is given annually to the top track and field athlete who excels on the field and also contributes to their community. As Louisiana’s winner, O’Connor is now eligible to compete for the national Gatorade honor that will be announced in the weeks ahead.
Recent winners include two current college All-Americans, former Baton Rouge sprinter Mikiah Brisco, of LSU, and ex-Catholic-New Iberia pole vaulter Morgann Leleux, of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
“She definitely keeps getting better and is dropping her times every year,” Zachary track coach Chris Carrier said. “The thing about this that’s so impressive is that she’s also being honored for the other things she does. Janie’s a good student and does service projects in the community. It’s not all about track for her.”
O’Connor recorded the state’s fastest times in the 60 meters (7.48 seconds) and 400 meters (56.14 seconds) to help the Lady Broncos at the Division I indoor meet in February.
In May, O’Connor posted the state’s top times in the 100 meters (11.62 seconds), 200 (23.82 seconds) and 400 (53.73 seconds) at the Class 5A outdoor meet. She also was part of winning relay teams at both the indoor and outdoor meets.
Her 53.73 time in the 400 meters at the LHSAA outdoor meet tied a state meet record. Her indoor and outdoor 400 times ranked among the nation’s top 10.
“As she’s matured, you can see her attention to detail grow,” Carrier said. “On relays and in practice she makes others around her better. Finishing second to Janie in practice means you’ve got a chance to beat a lot of people.”
O’Connor was also was named the Outstanding Track Performer for girls by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association for her success this year.
ZHS players earn All-State honors
Zachary finished as the Class 5A softball runner-up and placed two players on the LSWA 5A All-State first team, including pitcher Baylie Doiron, a Spring Hill signee,who was 26-6 with a 1.73 ERA and 328 strikeouts. Also named to the first team is outfielder Abby Lewis, who batted .418 with 12 extra-base hits and 23 RBIs. Lakyn Wales is an honorable mention for the team.
Meanwhile, pitcher Joey Blanchard, of the Zachary baseballboys team, has been named honorable mention on the Class 5A All-State team.
Baker resident Greg Fisher hit a double eagle at Copper Mill Golf Club on June 21.
Louis Goodman and Columbus Talmore witnessed Fisher use his driver and 3-wood on the 18th hole at the Zachary course.
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