Late Thursday night, a short text debate over how many state titles First Baptist Christian’s Gabrielle Jennings finished her career with took place.
According to the Jennings family before the meet the total would be 43. After the fact, LHSAA track announcer Mike Boyer presented the documentation proving that Jennings’ total titles in cross country, indoor and outdoor track was 44.
Consider it to be a small difference regarding a big number. A really big number we’re not likely to ever see a Louisiana competitor equal.
I know critics knock the fact Jennings started competing as an elementary school student and that she competed in Louisiana’s smallest classification, Class C.
The one thing you can’t argue with is Jennings’ consistency. Throughout her career, Jennings found ways to get better. And she added to her repertoire by adding events, like the 400 meters.
Winning the 400 meters in just over a minute doesn’t seem like a great feat to a track elitist. Try doing it after running both the 1,600 and 800 in reasonably close proximity. It’s not easy. Those were three of the four events she won on Thursday to help open the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA State Outdoor Track & Field meet.
Like many others, I’ve wondered what would happen if Jennings had run in Class 5A. But that wasn’t her task to take on. Give Jennings, a Furman signee, credit for doing everything she could do and then some.
After six runner-up finishes, Class C Jehovah-Jireh broke through and won its first state title in boys track Thursday night. It was a great victory for the school and enhanced the Baton Rouge’s track and field power base in the lower classes.
On Friday, it was a BR sweep as many expected. The Southern Lab boys and Ascension Catholic girls won titles again in Class 1A and Episcopal swept the titles in 2A once again.
Going 5-for-6 on titles during the first day of the LHSAA meet was pretty impressive.
It also was nice to see Southern Lab hurdler Tenoa Alex sweep both his events Friday night despite competing with a stress fracture in one foot. Yes, there was a happy end for the guy who fell just short of winning one last state title for Redemptorist in the 300 hurdles last spring.
Softball metro meeting
Softball coaches in the Baton Rouge area will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday to select All-Metro teams. The meeting will be in the Brusly High cafeteria.
Send nominations to Brusly coach Beau Bouvier at Beau.Bouvier@wbrschools.net.
A Smart invite
Add another superlative for Scotlandville guard Ja’Vonte Smart. The sophomore guard received an invitation to Stephen Curry’s SC30 Select basketball camp.
Smart was one of only 20 guards from across the nation and received a personalized video invitation from the Golden State Warriors star. The four-day camp includes in-depth instruction for point guards and shooting guards.
Earlier this spring, Smart led Scotlandville to a Class 5A runner-up finish and earned All-Metro and Class 5A MVP honors along with Mr. Basketball honors.
McKinley hurdler Rakayla Robertson, who competed in the Class 5A hurdles races Saturday, signed with Texas Southern earlier in the week. At the state meet, Robertson finished second in the 300-meter hurdles and third in the 100 hurdles.
Another local girls hurdler, Tradayah Thompson, signed with Southern University. Also, Woodlawn boys basketball player Jordan London signed with Pfeiffer University.
Former Walker star and Major League Baseball pitcher Mike DeJean was one of 15 former athletes inducted into the Mississippi Community and Junior College Hall of Fame late last month.
DeJean was a standout for Mississippi Delta Community College in1989-90 as a shortstop and went on to pitch eight seasons in the MLB, including stints with the Colorado Rockies, Milwaukee Brewers, New York Mets and Baltimore Orioles.