For a school with a rich athletics history such as Southern Lab, sometimes winning can be taken for granted. However, no one on Lab’s boys team took things for granted Friday at the LHSAA/Allstate Sugar Bowl Class 1A track meet at LSU’s Bernie Moore Stadium.
Southern Lab’s boys won five of 11 events on the track, and rolled up 93 points as they easily outdistanced the field to win the Class 1A team title.
Ouachita Christian was second with 491/2 points followed by Haynesville and Lafayette Christian at 34, and White Castle with 311/2.
On the girls side, Ascension Catholic relied on its middle distance and distance runners to edge Hamilton Christian for their team championship. The Bulldogs pulled ahead with a 1-2 finish in the 3,200-meter run, and left no room for Hamilton Christian when it won the 4x400 relay.
The ACHS girls tallied 75 points to hold off Hamilton Christian (60), Ouachita Christian (50), White Castle (39) and Oberlin (36).
“It means a lot to be back on top at Southern Lab,” Kittens coach Henry Combs said of Lab’s second team title in three years. “I know it sounds funny, but at Southern Lab, if you win a district title people don’t say much. You’ve got to win state.
“I’m just glad I (coach) a great group of guys working for a great organization like Southern Lab.”
It all started in the relays for Lab, which won the 4x200 (1 minute, 28.32 seconds) and 4x100 (43.18), and took second in the 4x400.
Xavier Bell ran on the 4x200 and 4x400 and repeated as individual state champion in the 400.
“It was even better than last year,” Bell said of his 400 time of 48.94. “I worked hard at practice and trained as hard as I could. I got the time that I wanted.”
Curtlan Williams was a double winner taking the 110 hurdles (15.76) and the 300 hurdles (39.91).
Ascension Catholic’s girls scored big with wins in the 1,600, the 800 and the 3,200. Knowing the team title was on the line, they brought it home with a win in the final event, the 4x400 relay.
“A couple of years ago we didn’t have much of a track team. Now here we are doing this and winning a state championship,” Ascension Catholic coach Rocky Capello said after the Bulldogs won their first girls track title.
“Its exciting for (the girls) and its exciting for me.”
Stephanie Breaux got the Bulldogs started with a win in the 1,600 (5:29.76) while teammate Sophie Daigle finished second. The Bulldogs also went 1-2 in the 800 with Maerys Joseph setting a Class 1A record (2:16.57) while Whitney Euer placed second.
“This year I started training early and practiced really hard” Joseph said. “Coach was telling me that I had a chance to break the record, and hopefully come in first and I did.”
In the 3,200, Breaux took first (12:05.23), while Daigle was third, but times weren’t what the pair had on their minds.
“I was really looking for the points for our team,” Breaux said. “I knew we needed more to win. Me and Sophie scored 16 points so I feel good about the race.”
Joseph came back to anchor the 4x400 relay and overtook three runners in the final 200 meters to secure the win.
Also of note, White Castle’s Ariel Bell successfully defended her title in the 100 with a winning time of 12.23.
On the boys side, Ascension Catholic’s Zach Capello won the 1,600 (4:25.53) and the 3,200 (9:59.70), both for the fourth consecutive year.
White Castle’s Jacory Jones led the 110-hurdles until the last hurdle, when he got out of rhythm. Hesitating while shuffling his steps to prevent tripping over the last hurdle, Jones was passed by three runners and finished fourth.
Madison Prep scored 16 points with most of its total coming from a win in the 4x400 (3:23.99).
Hamilton Christian’s Nique Griffin won the long jump (18 feet, 2¾ inches) and was named outstanding girls performer. Plain Dealing’s Keldrick Carper won the triple jump (44-4) and was the boys top athlete.