Devin Keith successfully defended his state indoor titles in the 800 and 1,600 helping John Curtis Christian School win its fifth consecutive Division II boys championship at the Allstate/LHSAA Indoor Track Meet on Saturday afternoon at LSU.
The Patriots also got a boost from Austin Brown, who placed third behind Keith in both the 800 and 1,600. John Curtis piled up 68 points, well ahead of second-place Franklin at 42. Episcopal-Baton Rouge (33), St. Thomas Aquinas (31) and Southern Lab (31) rounded out the top five.
“We had a lot of young guys that had to step up and replace those seniors from last year, but they really did that,” JCCS coach Preston Curtis said. “It really feels good.”
In the Division II girls competition, Hamilton Christian Academy and Episcopal-Baton Rouge tied for the team title with 50 points each. St. Thomas Aquinas, which won the 1,600 meter relay to close the meet, was second with 49 points. John Curtis scored 46 to place fourth.
“I’m especially proud of our girls team,” Curtis said. “We went from being pretty much non-existent to losing the state meet by four points.”
Lusher Charter forced the girls tie when anchor Raven Riley passed HCA’s Frankie Griffin on the final lap of the 1,600 relay. The Warriors finished third, Episcopal was fourth, and the schools’ point totals were tied.
“We knew we were in the mix with Hamilton Christian and Curtis. Those were the schools we focused on,” Episcopal coach Eddie Cole said of the 1,600 relay. “We had our fastest girl anchoring.”
In Division I, Catholic High won their ninth consecutive boys’ title with 76 points. Edna Karr emerged from a crowded field of challengers to take second with 36 points.
Zachary High ran up 52 points to take the girls title. Chasing the Broncos were Baton Rouge Magnet (38), Lafayette (37) and Mandeville (35).
For JCCS’ Keith, the win was a return to the track of sorts after battling illness and injury in recent weeks.
“This is my first meet after three weeks, so I definitely didn’t come in cocky or thinking I’m going to win,” Keith said. “I just leave it out there on the track.
“You could say the injury (was minor), but it was detrimental to my training. When it stops you from training nothing is minor.”
Other wins for Curtis came from Devin Savwoir in the shot put, and its 3,200 relay team anchored by Keith. The Patriots were second in the 1,600 relay.
First Baptist Christian’s Gabrielle Jennings was a double winner in a big way. Jennings won the Division II 1,600 with a time of 5:03.82, a time good enough to set the composite championship meet record for all divisions.
Jennings also won the 800 with a time of 2:20.45, and narrowly missed setting the Division II record.
“I’ve been traning for this all season, and I’m so happy that my hard work paid off,” Jennings said of her win in the 1,600. “I was aiming to get both records: the division II and the composite. I wanted to get the record in the 800, too, but my legs were so tired. I’m happy with two.”
In Division I, Mandeville’s Chelsey Jones came through with thea record time in the 800. Her winning mark of 2:15.21 set the composite meet record as she won the race by more than six seconds.
The Mandeville girls also won the 3,200 relay. John Ehret’s Ebony Hills took the 60 hurdles (9.22); Karr’s boys 800 relay team posted a winning time of 1:30.66.