Jeremiah Mayes helped take the drama out of one team competition, and Rachel Misher relished it in the other.
The two seniors provided a double dose of excellence as Episcopal swept the Class 2A state titles for the second straight year at the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Outdoor State Track & Field meet on Friday night.
Mayes was voted the Outstanding Performer for the boys after leading the Knights to a finish that included a school-record total of 113 points for a state meet. EHS was ahead of Sophie B. Wright with 48 and St. Thomas Aquinas at 34.
“It means everything for me,” Mayes said of winning the team title. “Especially winning Outstanding Performer my senior year. … it really touches the heart.”
After winning two individual events, Misher closed out the victory for the Episcopal girls by running an achor-leg split of just over 55 seconds in the 4x400-meter relay. The EHS girls tallied 81 points. Hammond-based STA (70) and Westminster Christian (68) completed the top three.
“That is the most incredible 400 leg I’ve ever seen a high school girl run,” Episcopal girls coach Eddie Cole said. “And I’ve been doing this for a long time. Winning one state title is special and then winning two in a row is something. And for both teams to win it for two straight years. … That’s incredible.”
The pressure situation was nothing new for Misher, who is scheduled to sign with LSU on Thursday. When she lined up for the 200 meters, the Knights led STA 60-58.
“Before I lined up in the blocks I thought, ‘I can’t let my team down. I’ve got to do it,’ ” Misher said. “Coach (Cole) always tells us how every point counts. I knew I had to leave it on the track.”
Despite her heroics, Misher was not the top girls performer. Westminster’s Ivy Cains won the 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles to go along with a first-place finish in the one relay and a second in another.
Like Misher, the Episcopal girls were the picture of consistency. The EHS girls grabbed a lot of points by placing anywhere from second to fourth.
There were two impressive early victories. Kaitlyn Walker won the high jump in 5 feet, 7 inches, while Misher won the 100 meters in 11.74 seconds and won the 200 in 24.71.
While Catholic-New Iberia’s Regann Leleux set the record in the pole vault with a winning mark of 12-7 inches, the Knights’ Parish Kitto was second at 11-6. Episcopal also picked up second places in the 4x200 and 4x100 relays.
Kevin Tripeaux and Mayes helped the Episcopal boys make a powerful statement in the early field events. Both cleared 6-8 in the high jump with Tripeaux, a basketball player competing in track for the first time, claiming first.
Mayes later won the triple jump in 44-9½ and also placed third in the long jump. He also was part of the winning 4x400 relay.
“I never dreamed we’d have been able to win it with that big a margin,” Episcopal boys coach Claney Duplechin said. “The high jump got it going with Tripeaux and Jeremiah. Two 6-8s. … I’d have never dreamed that. In the field, I think we had all PRs except for one. The field definitely set the tone.”
EHS played to its strengths on the track. Alex Dunbar won the 1,600 meters in 4 minutes, 40.57 seconds with teammate Kenny Schafer placing third. Dunbar won the 3,200 in 10:18.58 with teammate Kris Jackson placing second.
Northeast’s Briana Haney (girls shot put) was the other local winner. Tenoa Alex closed out Redemptorist’s final season of athletics by placing fourth in the 300 hurdles and sixth in the 110 hurdles. Alex led the 300 hurdles until he fell over the final hurdle. Episcopal’s Caden Dickinson won in 39.81.
“I felt awesome,” Alex said he asked about representing the Wolves one last time. “I promised my baseball teammates I’d win a state title for them. I just came up a little short. I did the best I could.”