Mandeville’s Claire Crosby establishes 5A mark in 1,600 meters _lowres

Advocate staff photo by JOHN OUBRE -- Mandeville's Claire Crosby leads Parkway's Sara Funderburk to win the girls 5A 1600 run on Saturday at Bernie Moore stadium at LSU during the LHSAA/Allstate Sugarbowl track and field meet.

A possible contender for the Class 5A girls team state championship heading into the meet, the Mandeville High still took three state championships on Saturday at the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Class 5A track and field state championship meet on the LSU campus.

Finishing in fifth place with 35 team points, Claire Crosby got things started for Mandeville in the 1,600 meters. The Kentucky signee took home the crown in the 5:03.29, a new Class 5A record.

“I haven’t run this fast since the indoor meet,” Crosby said. “The 5A record was in the back of my mind, but it was never my focus. My biggest focus was just winning the race.”

In a battle with Parkway’s Sara Funderburk for nearly the entire race, Crosby said the pursuit of the runner-up helped push her to the win in 5A record time.

“I could hear here (Funderburk) behind me the entire time,” Crosby said. “I knew she had a really good kick, which is not surprising. I’m glad she pushed me, and that helped me get the record. It just made first place that much more sweet knowing all the hard work I had to put in to get it.”

Crosby completed the impressive double, winning the 3,200 meters.

“The plan was to try and pace myself,” she said of the 3,200. “The whole group went out kind of slow, so nobody really wanted to emerge and take the lead.”

Crosby’s teammate and Nebraska signee Chelsey Jones completed a three-peat in the 800 meters despite battling a virus all week leading up to the state meet.

“I was trying to break my state record (set in 2014),” Jones said. “That was my goal I was striving for heading into this meet. Unfortunately, this week I was under the weather with a virus. It was so bad, that for two days this week, I wasn’t sure I was going to run at all in the meet. Fortunately, I was able to run and did well enough to win.

“It is difficult to run well and how you are use to going when your body isn’t in the best physical shape. It was hard. The other big thing was the emotions of running in my last high school meet. I was thinking about a lot of stuff.”

John Ehret’s Ebony Hills also had a big day on Saturday, winning the 300 meter hurdles and finishing in second place in the 100-meter hurdles. West Jefferson’s Tahja Mitchell was equally impressive, finishing as the state runner-up in the 400 meters, and took home a pair of third-place finishes in the 100 and 200 meters.

Jala Richard finished in second in both the long jump and triple jump for Destrehan.

A pair of relay teams took home state runner-up spots. Lauren West, Chelsea Harrington, Kayla Wilson and Carroll finished the 4x200-meter relay in second place for Slidell and Dar’Jene Brown, Cameron Goodman, Raven Nunnery and Jane Wright were the runner-up for John Curtis in the 4x100-meter relay.