East St. John’s boys track coach Greg Gathers was a happy man following the Hornet Relays at Scotlandville High in Baton Rouge on Friday.
He probably happier than his brother, Rico, whose Baylor Bears made an unplanned early exit from the NCAA men’s basketball tournament on Thursday.
“I talked to him last night, and he’s in pretty good spirits,” Greg Gathers said. “They just found out why they call it March Madness.”
As for his team, that finished second to powerful Zachary in the Hornet Relays, Gathers had nothing but praise.
“Any time you can come up here against teams like Scotlandville and Zachary and Woodlawn that usually make some noise in the state and finish in the top five, or top two or three, it’s an accomplishment.
“It’s a credit to how hard the kids have worked.”
ESJ was led by junior Dontrelle Allen, who finished first in both the 100 and 200 meters, edging past Alabama football commitment Shyheim Carter of Kentwood in both races.
Allen ran 22.16 seconds in the 200 and 10.85 in the 100 and also ran a leg on the winning 4x100 relay team.
Zachary used a collection of personal bests in piling up 137 points, icing the win with a 1-2 finish in the 3,200 meters. East St. John finished with 107, followed by Scotlandville with 74 and Woodlawn with 58.
Zachary also won the girls event with 159 points, followed by Parkview Baptist with 98 and East St. John with 73.
Allen was the outstanding boys track performer of the meet, and Marqueon Minor of Northeast the outstanding boys field performer.
“Dontrelle is a hard worker. He has a lot of talent but doesn’t necessarily know how much talent he has,” Gathers said. “He’ll do whatever we ask him to to help his team.”
Janie O’Connor, who won the girls 100 and 200, was the outstanding girls track performer. Jade Hayes of Parkview won the long jump and triple jump to nab outstanding honors in the girls’ field events. Hayes also ran second behind Scotlandville’s Jaslyn Bowman in the 400 meters.