For the second straight year, the LHSAA’s Class 4A girls state track and field championship trophy is headed to the west bank.
Edna Karr won its second straight title Saturday at the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA state track and field championship at LSU’s Bernie Moore Stadium.
Junior Rikianne Patterson led the way for the Lady Cougars, winning the long jump and finishing second in the 100 meters.
“It feels great,” she said. “I’m happy more people got a chance to be a part of this victory this time. More people can get rings this year. Basically, our team is getting bigger and better.”
Karr had just five girls qualify for the state championship last season. This year, it had eight. It would have been nine, but senior Imani Mulmore injured her hamstring at the regional meet.
“I’m honored and happy for the girls,” Karr coach Tonya Allen. “We lost in the 4x100 in regionals, and at that point they thought we didn’t have a chance (at state). I tried to rally them and let them know that we were good. I just tried to keep their heads up and just go out there and do your race.”
The Cougars also got a first-place finish from sophomore Taylor Harris: She won the 800 meters in 2:19.11.
Patterson won the long jump with a leap of 18 feet, 4.75 inches. She also won the indoor title earlier this year.
“I’ve been dealing with a hamstring injury, but I just fought through that and try to stay humble,” Patterson said. “This summer, I am going to recover and come back even stronger.”
Patterson will be the only senior next season.
The Cougars are losing four seniors off this year’s team: Mulmore, Dimonquie Shannon, Diamond Emery and Tasia Wilson. Shannon finished third in the 300-meter hurdles.
“We have four seniors that I’m not going to be with anymore,” Patterson said. “I’ll be the only senior, so I’m just happy they got a chance to go out on top.”
Two other athletes from the greater New Orleans area won state titles in Class 4A.
St. Scholastica’s Samantha Zelden didn’t let an elbow injury stop her from claiming her third consecutive state title in the javelin.
“Winning never gets old,” she said. “It is a rush.”
Zelden won with a throw of 145 feet, 5 inches, short of her Class 4A record-setting throw of 150-4 last season.
But it was still satisfying for her to win despite the injury. She will undergo surgery Wednesday.
“It does make it more satisfying because of all the stuff you know you have had to overcome,” she said. “It is such an honor to be able to come out here and do this with all of these girls. Being able to overcome and finish my senior season with a win, I wouldn’t have wanted to have it any other way.”
Zelden will compete at Alabama next season.
“I feel like I have left my mark,” she said. “I look forward to watching the athletes in the years to come that will contest it. Now it’s on to Alabama. I’m ready to get healthy and blow it out the water.”
Ursuline Academy’s Alysia Terry won the 100-meter hurdles, finishing in 15.10.
Nic Mullen of Lakeshore was the only local champion in Class 4A. He won the pole vault, going 13-6.
Mullen missed his high school graduation Saturday to compete in the meet.
“I am happy that I was here and was able to be victorious, but I struggled a lot,” he said. “I was able to just put things together when I needed it the most.”
Cecilia won the boys team title with 74 points.