Catholic High and Baton Rouge High were the state’s top-ranked teams in the Louisiana Track and Field Coaches Association’s statewide polls all year long.
While their methods were different, the Baton Rouge teams ended the season right where everyone expected: winning Class 5A state titles to close the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s Outdoor Track and Field Meet on Saturday night at LSU’s Bernie Moore Track Stadium.
The Bears won their 13th boys outdoor title overall and fifth in the past six years with balance and depth. All 18 participants scored for Catholic, which won just two individual events and all three relays.
Catholic finished with 116 points to outdistance the field by 70 points. West Jefferson (46), Airline (45) and St. Paul’s (48) completed the top four.
Mikiah Brisco won three individual events, set a torrid pace for the Baton Rouge High girls and was voted Outstanding Performer. She was one of two girls record-setters. Brisco set a 5A mark by winning the 100 hurdles in 13.87 seconds, shattering a mark that stood for 16 years.
BRHS tallied 64 points to win the title ahead of Ruston (45), St. Scholastica (32) and Scotlandville (30). It was the fifth straight title for the Bulldogs.
“Everything that I had anxiety about fell into place,” coach Zachary Winfield said. “We got the sticks around in the 4x200 and 4x100, and Kayla (Thompson) got it done on the anchor (in the 4x200 and 4x100). The kids had to step up. I told them what people will remember is what happened in the state championship.”
Chalmette’s Albert Brock was voted Outstanding Performer for the boys. He won the 110 (14.17) and 300 hurdles (38.14). He edged Catholic’s DJ Woodard in the hurdles in a photo finish.
William Crosby (javelin) and Ross Quinlan (discus) were the individual winners for Catholic.
“Really, I’m ecstatic,” coach Pete Boudreaux said. “We got so many points in the field. Those guys were seeded fourth or fifth and really stepped it up. We got 50 points in the throws. We just had a great day. The relays have run well. Our guys have excelled on the track, too. They ran against some great competition and didn’t win.”
The BRHS girls leaned heavily on Brisco, and the junior delivered. She came back moments after the 100 hurdles to win the 100 meters in 11.55, just two-hundredths of a second off her personal best. Brisco anchored the 4x100 relay that won in 47.35 seconds, edging local rival Scotlandville (48.23).
A win in the 4x200 relay in 1:41.67 also helped push the Bulldogs ahead of the pack.
Brisco’s win in the 200 meters in 23.85 was just off the record and more importantly gave the Bulldogs a 10-point lead over Ruston with two events left. The BRHS team of Destiny Armstrong, Meri Hebert, Akosua Allen and Thompson won the 4x400 relay in 3:57.58.
“I’m really fighting for my team. … We’re trying to get a state championship,” Brisco said after winning the 100 meters. “I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do in my individual events to try and redeem myself from indoor season, when I fell in the hurdles.”
Westgate’s Aaliyah Walker set a 5A mark in the pole vault with a winning effort of 12 feet, 6 inches.
The Baton Rouge and New Orleans contingents enjoyed plenty of individual success.
Zachary’s Donald Gage provided a major field event highlight in the early afternoon when he jumped 24-1¾ to win the long jump, a mark that ranks nationally.
Catholic also got off to a fast start in the afternoon by taking the top two spots in the javelin, with Crosby posting the winning mark of 183-0. Matthew Venable was second. The duo was seeded fourth and fifth going in.
That finish was a sign of things to come for the Bears. Quinlan won the discus (157-4) and Nigel Despinasse took second, with both competitors placing above their seeding.
Catholic recorded four second-place finishes in individual events on the track. The Bears swept the relays, first winning the 4x200 in 1:26.63. By the time Boudreaux’s team won event No. 12, the 4x100 relay in 41.66, it had 94 points — 66 more than its next closest competitor. The CHS team of Phillip Rodman, Matthew Rhorer, Davis Richardson and Woodard closed the meet by winning the 4x400 relay in 3:18.60.
Covington-based St. Paul’s led the 5A New Orleans area boys group with strong performances in the distance and field.
Zachary Albright won the 1,600 meters in 4:16.43 and the 3,200 in 9:20.20. The Wolves’ Cameron Robichaux won the pole vault (15-6).
West Jefferson’s Devin Scott won the 200 (21.60), with teammate Darius Roy taking second. Scott was second in the 100 meters and third in the 400. Northshore’s Alex Holden won the 800 (1:55.20).
Dutchtown’s David Elias won the shot put at 56-10¼. Also notable was Steven Barze’s win in the high jump with a leap of 6-8 for Ponchatoula. Barze was second in the long jump and third in the triple jump.
The St. Scholastica girls got an early boost from MaryGrace Gitz, who won the high jump in 5-6 to help lead New Orleans area participants. Chalmette’s Alexis Gordon won the discus in 127-9. Dominican’s Mia Meydrich won the 1,600 meters in 5:07.85, while Slidell’s Destini Lemalle won the triple jump (38-6½).
Live Oak’s Ashley Davis was an early BR winner, taking top honors in the shot put in 38-3½, a quarter-inch better than New Iberia Moesha Kinard.
McKinley’s Sakinah Abdul-Aziz was another Baton Rouge field winner for the girls, winning the long jump in 18-8½.