First Baptist sophomore Gabrielle Jennings won four events, including three in Class C record times, to highlight action Thursday during the first day of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association/State Farm Track & Field meet at LSU’s Bernie Moore Track Stadium.
It was also a good day for Patrick Taylor seniors Celia Zaeringer and Stephen Torry, who swept the Class B girls and boys 1,600 meters. Zaeringer also won the 3,200 for her 11th state title.
Hackberry repeated as Class C girls champion with 190 points. Epps was second with 84 and First Baptist third with 67 points.
The Jennings sisters contributed 64¼ points points to help the Eagles better their fourth-place finish from 2013. Madelyn Jennings, an eighth-grader, finished second in the 1,600, 800 and 3,200 and was the anchor on the 4x400 relay team that finished sixth to earn a point and edge Louisiana School for the Deaf (66 points) in the team race.
Gabrielle Jennings won the 1,600 meters in 2 minutes, 24.93 seconds, the 800 in 2:24.81, the 400 in 1:02.76 and the 3,200 in 11:36.65. The 1,600 time lowered her own class record from 2012 by 8.17 seconds. The 800 class record time was .12 seconds faster than she ran in 2013. The 3,200 time was 5.80 seconds faster than she ran in 2013.
“It was exciting to have three class records in one day and reach my goals,” said Gabrielle Jennings, who won her sixth straight 1,600 and 3,200 titles and now has 30 total state titles.
“Running is a mindset, a mentality. I picture myself having success and really work hard.”
Asked about running in front with no one to push her, Class C outstanding girls performer Jennings said that was not a problem.
“I mostly train by myself so I’m used to it,” she said. “There aren’t many runners who have quadrupled at state, so I’m excited to be among them.”
New Living Word won the boys Class C title with 122 points. Johnson Bayou (81) was second, Epps (56) third, Jehovah-Jireh (50) fourth and Holy Rosary (48) fifth.
First Baptist sophomore Quinten Wesley won the boys shot put with a throw of 43 feet 8¼ inches.
Holy Rosary senior Reid Dimaggio was second in the Class C boys 800 with a personal best of 2:13.20. Jehovah-Jireh’s Randy Carter, Jr. won the event in 2:11.01. Carter also won the 1,600 and 3,200 and was named the Class C boys outstanding performer.
“I was pleased with my race,” said Dimaggio, who won the 800 in 2013. “It was a pretty tough race. I gave it my all. Our team did great today.”
Dimaggio also was third in the 1,600, and fourth in 300 hurdles and 3,200.
Holy Rosary eighth-grader Accord Green won the discus with a throw of 111-6 to edge Hackberry’s Bryce Welch by a foot.
“This is my first year to do track,” Green said. “I watched the other guys warmup and I thought I had a chance. It was exciting to win.”
Patrick Taylor’s Zaeringer (5:22.61) and Torry (4:39.20) won the 1,600. Zaeringer won the 3,200 in 12:08.15. It was her fourth straight 1,600 state title and fifth straight 3,200 title. She also won two cross country titles.
“The weather was beautiful,” said Zaeringer, who has signed a track scholarship with Southeastern Louisiana University. “I was glad I was able to come out here and do well in my last year.”
Weston won the Class B girls title with 70 points. Episcopal of Acadiana (62) was second and Bell City (53) third.
Arthur Reddick of Phoenix won the Class C boys javelin in 148-5.
Simsboro won the Class B boys title with 64.5 points. Centerville (61) was second and Bell City (52) third.
Episcopal of Acadiana’s Elasha Williams was the Class B girls outstanding performer. She won the 400 among her events. Simsboro’s Rontavious Abney won the 110 hurdles in 15.19 and 300 hurdles in 40.86 to win Class B boys outstanding performer.