All eyes are typically focused on the track events, but don’t forget about the field events during Saturday’s AllState Sugar Bowl/LHSAA State Indoor meet.
How well defending Division I state champions Zachary and Catholic High fare may depend on it.
“It’ll probably be us, Mandeville and Lafayette High,” Zachary girls coach Chris Carrier said. “I like our chances, especially if we can get 20 points out of the field. But even then it could be a situation where it comes down to the last event, the 4x400 relay.”
The annual meet begins at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at LSU’s Carl Maddox Field House with field events. Running events start at 2 p.m.
Zachary picked up its first girls indoor title in Division I last year. Catholic seeks its 10th straight Division I boys title in the meet that attracts teams from across the state.
“I’d think (John) Curtis is the prohibitive favorite,” Catholic coach Pete Boudreaux said. “They’re strong in a lot of different areas and are capable of scoring a lot of points. We’re also capable of scoring a number of points, so it will be a matter of being who comes out on top in this meet.
“We’ve got to get points in the areas where we have people expected to score.”
This is a year when last year’s Division II meets are worth mentioning. John Curtis had dominated the Division II boys scene for several years and moves up to Division I.
Two competitors who helped Hamilton Christian tie Episcopal for first in the Division II girls race, sisters Nique and Frankie Griffin, moved to Zachary and are part of the Broncos field contingent.
There is star power. Lafayette’s Armand “Mondo” Duplantis set a national high school indoor record by clearing 18 feet, ½-inch in the boys pole vault at the LSU Last Chance Qualifier earlier this month.
Catholic’s Nigel Despinasse will be looking to set another record in the shot put. Denham Springs’ Abigail O’Donoghue seeks the Division I girls high jump.
Three premier distance runners from the New Orleans area, Curtis’ Devyn Keith, St. Paul’s Eric Coston and First Baptist Christian’s Gabrielle Jennings should again play lead roles. Assumption’s Jacob Daigle is another top distance runner.
Zachary’s junior sprint standout Janie O’Connor is set to compete in the 60 meters and 400 meters, looking to post times that rank nationally. O’Connor and the ZHS sprint corps will look to offset Mandeville’s distance runners led by Chelsey Jones and Claire Crosby.
That matchup is one of several to note during the meet. For example, who will win the battle between Zachary’s Kristian Jackson and Live Oak’s Ashley Davis in the Division I girls shot put?
In Division II girls pole vault, Episcopal’s Parish Kitto and Catholic-New Iberia’s Reagann Leleux will meet again. The Division II sprints match Parkview Baptist’s Nicky Dawson against two Brusly’s Taylor Shaw and Ta’la Spates.
Catholic’s efforts are led by Despinasse and jumps specialist Jace Attuso. Jeffrey Kelley leads the Bears’ distance group. Hurdlers Kam Cummings and Vernon Langley may play key roles for Catholic.
Jamborees on Saturday
Local teams begin their baseball and softball seasons with Saturday jamborees.
The Brusly Jamboree set to begin at 10 a.m. at Alexander Park and features three to four games matched up in one-hour intervals.
There are eight baseball jamborees Saturday. The Denham Springs Jamboree at North Park features eight games starting at 10 a.m., while the Port Allen jamboree begins at 8 a.m. and features 11 games.