A strong start in field events can give a team a margin for error on the track. Boosted by Jeremiah Mayes’ three wins in the jumping events, host Episcopal got that start Wednesday at the Class 2A, Region 2 track meet.

Coupled with very few missteps on the track, Episcopal cruised to the boys’ team title with 179 points. Northeast (50), Delcambre (47.5) and Kinder (44) battled for second place.

The top three finishers in all events advance to the Class 2A portion of the LHSAA State meet at LSU’s Bernie Moore Stadium on May 8.

“I kind of feel like its my duty to start the meet off strong so all my teammates can build on it,” Mayes said. “That’s an important thing.”

A senior, Mayes won the long jump (22 feet, ½ inch), triple jump (44-3 ½) and the high jump (6-6), an event in which he is the defending state champion. Mayes was voted Outstanding Boys Field Athlete.

The Episcopal girls made their move on the track and grabbed the team lead with a 1-2 finish in the 1,600-meter run. They led the rest of the way, and tallied 139.66 points to hold off Westminster Christian (96) for the title. Catholic-New Iberia (62.33), Delcambre (47) and Kinder (45) rounded out the top five.

Sophomore Alicia Stamey set the pace in the 1,600 with a winning time of 5 minutes, 29.35 seconds. Teammate Adele Broussard was second. Stamey went on to win the 800 (2:23.82) and the 3,200 (12:26.32), and was named Outstanding Girls Track Performer.

“We’re so close this year. Its great to win with the team,” Stamey said. “It means more than any individual win could possibly mean.”

Also picking up multiple wins for Episcopal was Rachel Misher, who earlier this year won state indoor Division II titles in the 60 and 400. Misher won the 100 (12.14) and 200 (25.27). She also ran the anchor legs for Episcopal’s winning 4x400 relay (4:17.60) and its second-place 4x100 relay.

Other Episcopal winners were Madison Underwood in the 100 hurdles (16.14), and Kaitlyn Walker in the high jump (5-4).

“We’ve got a good nucleus back, and we knew this meet would get us ready for the state meet,” EHS girls coach Eddie Cole said. “It sounds kind of mundane, but we took care of business.”

The Episcopal boys won seven of 11 track events after picking up a lead in the field. Caden Dickinson won the 110 hurdles (15.85), the 300 hurdles (40.29) and was the anchor leg of the Knights winning 4x400 relay (3:30.62).

A freshman, Dickinson scored 22.5 points to earn the Outstanding Boys Track Athlete award.

Alex Dunbar picked up a pair distance event wins with firsts in the 1600 (4:45.32) and 3200 (10:22.33). Other wins were from William D’Armond in the 800 (2:01.78), and a relay first in the 4x200 (1:32.70).

“I do want to talk about our seniors, especially Jeremiah. I thought he was a great senior leader today,” EHS boys coach Claney Duplechin said. “Some guys got in front of him, and he competed and got back in front. Long story short ... it’s just a great group of kids.”

The meet was virtually free of controversy except for the boys 4x100. Northeast originally qualified for the state meet with a third-place finish, but was disqualified because of an exchange zone violation.