Edna Karr High ended a yearlong quest Saturday evening when the Cougars won the Class 4A boys title at the LHSAA state track and field championships at LSU’s Bernie Moore Track Stadium.
Karr scored 64 points to easily outdistance Huntington, which finished second with 37. St. Augustine (36), Breaux Bridge (32), and Benton (31) rounded out the top five.
Karr’s winning total provided redemption for the Cougars after a second-place finish last year.
“It’s been a yearlong goal,” coach Patrick Tubbins said. “Last year on Facebook, I held up a second-place trophy. Since that time, I’ve been determined to get our team ready to win the state championship. Its been a long road. The kids have worked hard, and we’ve got some seniors that I’m especially proud of.”
In the Class 4A girls competition, St. Louis Catholic totaled 90 points to run away with the team title. McDonogh 35 was second with 60 points and was followed by Plaquemine (52), St. Thomas More (36) and St. Michael (29).
Karr’s boys picked up their first win of the meet in the 4x200-meter relay. The team of Jeremy Hicks, Edward Davis, Renel Holmes and Sharkieth Beverly took top honors with a time of 1 minute, 25.95 seconds.
St. Augustine was on Karr’s heels throughout the race but lost ground on the second leg before placing second. The Purple Knights’ Leonard Fournette strained a hamstring and labored to finish his leg.
St. Augustine coach Darren Dixon said his squad had a chance at scoring 50 points coming into the meet, but those hopes were dashed when he held Fournette out of the 100 and 200.
“I just didn’t want to take a chance with (Fournette),” Dixon said. “It’s not about me its about the kids, and I didn’t want to hurt the kid. If he wants to run track next year, he can do it then.”
St. Augustine came back to win the 4x100 relay, without Fournette, posting a winning time of 41.38. Karr came into the event with the fastest qualifying time, but the Cougars dropped the baton on the second exchange and didn’t finish the race.
St. Augustine also got a win from Felix Farinas in the 110 hurdles. He set a personal best with his 14.88.
“I had little expectation of winning, but I knew I had to run my best in order to win,” Farinas said. “I was trying to get under 15, and for me to come in here and do it is a great accomplishment.”
Karr got a boost in the 100 as Beverly and Hicks finished 1-2. Beverly ran 10.65 to edge teammate Hicks at 10.67.
“I concentrated on getting out of the blocks well,” said Beverly, who was excited about the 1-2 finish. “That was amazing. Me and (Hicks) talked about going 1-2 so we did it.”
Hicks was a stalwart on Karr’s relay teams, and was named boys outstanding perfromer.
Huntington High’s third-place boys finish was highlighted by Chance Chambers’ win in the long jump (24-2¾). The Raiders also picked up points with a second in the 400 relay and a third in the 800 relay.
Individually, Huntington’s Aaron Roberson was second in the triple jump,
The Plaquemine girls efforts were led by Alissa Williams, who won the 100 (11.80) and was second in the 200. Alissa Williams beat defending champion Marcquita Stalbert of McDonogh 35, who finished second.
Stalbert later won the 400 with a time of 48.05, and was named the girls outstanding performer.
“I wasn’t really nervous because I’d run (the race) before and finished fourth (at state),” Williams said. “I just had to go out and get my best time. I did and I won a state title.”
Other top Green Devils finishes were a 2-3 placing in the discus by Jamira Russ and Asia Nelson; a third in the 800 relay; and a third from Tori Williams in the 100.
Warren Easton’s Jeremica Edwards was a dual winner with wins in the long jump (18-10) and high jump (5-2).