What could be more fun than a three-ring circus? How about an intense high school track meet that features competitors in three classifications?
The LHSAA outdoor track championships for Classes 5A, 4A and 3A is set for Saturday at LSU’s Bernie Moore Track Stadium should be that kind of meet.
“The main thing I’m stressing to my guys is do the same things we’ve done the last two years,” West Feliciana boys coach Preston King said. “There will be a lot of stuff going on around us. We have to be focused and make sure we control the things we can control. That means making sure relay handoffs are executed, and that we compete to the highest level we’re capable of in each event.”
The final day of the LHSAA’s annual three-day meet begins at 10:45 a.m. with field events. Running events follow at 2:30 p.m. King’s Saints seek their third straight Class 3A boys title.
Zachary has the chance for a rare sweep of the Class 5A girls and boys titles. But Zachary coach Chris Carrier said it won’t be easy with the likes of John Curtis, Ouachita, Scotlandville and Catholic looming large on the boys side. Lafayette High and St. Joseph’s Academy figure to be the top girls challengers.
“You always talk about points and how many it will take to win,” Carrier said. “I would say the number is 60 for the boys and 70 for the girls. Anything is possible at this kind of meet. I think we proved that point at the indoor meet in February. Before the meet, Lafayette High was the favorite by 20 points. But going into the last event, we were tied and we won it.
“We know it will be competitive. You’ve got talented teams and kids. The good thing about our kids is that they’ve been running track for a long time. Orsciana Beard (hurdler, sprinter) is a freshman, but she’s been running track since she was five years old. Even the younger ones have been in big meets before.”
There is no shortage of marquee competitors. The list starts with Lafayette High’s Armand “Mondo” Duplantis, an LSU signee and one of the world’s top pole vaulters. How high can Duplantis go is just one item of curiosity. Duplantis also has the top entry mark of 10.57 seconds in the Class 5A 100 meters, the signature sprint event of the meet.
Zachary sophomore Sean Burrell has established himself as one of the nation’s top 400 meters runners and has a season best 45.88 seconds. Scotlandville’s Dorian Camel will line up against Burrell and also ranks among the nation’s leaders. West Feliciana’s Derius Davis, who will compete in the Class 3A 400, also is on the national list. In 3A, Davis and his brother Derek Turner will line up next to each other in the 200 meters as the Saints go for another title.
Zachary’s Kristian Jackson is a favorite in the shot put and discus and her sister Indya, is among the top 400 meters runners and relay competitors.
The Class 3A sprints include West Feliciana’s Kennedy London (100 meters, 100 hurdles) and Brusly’s Ta’la Spates (100, 200, 400). St. Joseph’s title hopes rely on huge contributions from a distance corps led by Lauren Hendry in the 1,600 and 3,200. West Feliciana and Scotlandville are eyeing class and composite records in the boys 4x200 and 4x100 relays.