Is there such a thing as a magic number for indoor track and field? Zachary High School coach Chris Carrier thinks so.
Carrier’s contention that it takes 50 points to win a state meet held true as three local teams claimed titles at the AllState Sugar Bowl/LHSAA State Indoor meet held Saturday at LSU’s Carl Maddox Field House.
“Remember what I said about 50 points,” Carrier said. “Even if you don’t win it, you’ll be close.”
Carrier’s ZHS girls and the Catholic High boys swept the Division I team titles. Carrier’s Broncos tallied 52 points to finish ahead of a line of contenders with Baton Rouge High ultimately taking second with 38.
Catholic scored 76 points — the most by any team — en route to its ninth straight Division I title, well ahead of Edna Karr at 36.
Thanks to standout Rachel Misher’s final leg on the 4x400-meter relay, Episcopal tallied 50 points in the Division II girls race. The Knights placed fourth in the race and tied with Lake Charles-based Hamilton Christian for the title, just one point ahead of Hammond’s St. Thomas Aquinas.
John Curtis was the other champion, scoring 68 points to win its fifth straight Division II boys title ahead of Franklin at 42 and Episcopal with 33.
“Every kid in the field events (hit personal records) and almost every kid on the track (hit personal records)” Catholic coach Pete Boudreaux said. “It was the right way to do it. When we won it back in 2007, we didn’t win a single event.
“I had no idea then it would be something like this — nine in a row. We had a little mishap early. After that the guys did the work.”
The Bears got off to a rocky start on the track when one of its 4x200-meter relay runners was caught up in a collision on an exchange. Catholic finished last in the event, but soared from there.
Sprinters Janie O’Connor of Zachary and Misher of Episcopal were the area’s only double winners. Both swept the 60- and 400 meters titles in their respective divisions.
O’Connor set a personal best while winning the 400 in 56.35 seconds and won the 60 in 7.66 after posting a 7.55 in the preliminary round.
“We knew every event was big,” O’Connor said. “We’ve got a group of seniors we wanted to send off the right way.”
Misher won her 400 in a Division II record time of 57.96 and won the 60 in 7.74. But it was her 59-second split on the 4x400 relay that helped push the Knights to the title. A runner-up finish by Parish Kitto in the pole vault and in the 4x800 relay also were pivotal.
“We came into the meet figuring we were about 10 points behind Hamilton Christian,” Episcopal coach Eddie Cole said. “We came in knowing we had to hit on just about everything and we started off by hitting on almost nothing.
“We outperformed where we were seeded in a couple of places. Really everybody contributed. That was Rachel’s sixth race of the day and she came through.”
There were four meet records, including Misher’s mark. First Baptist Christian’s Gabrielle Jennings set a composite/all divisions mark in the girls 1,600 meters by winning the Division II title in 5 minutes, 3.82 seconds. Mandeville’s Chelsey Jones set a composite mark in the Division I girls 800 by winning in 2:15.21.
Lafayette High pole vaulter Armand Duplantis set a Division I boys mark of 16 feet, 9½ inches.
The competition had just started when Catholic and Zachary made moves in Division I. Freshman Kristian Jackson won the shot put with a toss of 42 feet, 5 inches.
Jackson and Live Oak’s Ashley Davis traded the lead during the competition. Jackson won it on her final throw, while Davis, the 5A outdoor champion last spring, was second in 41-3½. Teammate Ashlyn Cole was third, giving the Broncos 16 points in the first girls event of the day.
Catholic’s Nigel Despinasse won the Division I boys shot put with a personal best of 56-5¾. Teammate Uriah Alexander placing fifth to give the Bears 12 points.
“Coach (Pete) Boudreaux always tells me I’m helping to start us off at meets,” Despinasse said. “And he tells to me go for a big number, and I got it.”
Catholic’s other individual winners were David Toups in the 1,600 (4:29.56), Kam Cummings in the 60 hurdles (8.27 seconds) and Jeffrey Kelley (9:39.32). The Bears also won the 4x800 relay. The Zachary girls added a win in the 4x200 relay.
St. Joseph’s Academy’s Annie Hill won the 1,600 (5:19.81) and Dutchtown’s Leah Scott took the long jump (17-5½) and Abigail O’Donoghue of Denham Springs won the high jump (5-5).
Episcopal’s Jeremiah Mayes won the Division II boys high jump in 6-5, while Ascension Catholic’s Zachary Capello won the 3,200 (9:51.14). Brady Becerra (60 hurdles, 8.56) and Cameron Dantzler (long jump, 22-7) led the STA boys.