John Curtis senior Devyn Keith was a lot of things when he stepped up for the 4x400 meter relay on Saturday night.He was excited about running the final event of the LHSAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, tired from running three races earlier that day and nervous about the fact only .5 points separated the Patriots from nine-time defending indoor champion Catholic High going into the final event of the evening.
But most of all, Keith was angry.
“The fact I had run three races, one of which I anchored and brought us back to first place and the other two I won, it just kind of made me mad they were still that close even after I did all of that,” Keith said. “I was just like, ‘I’m going to go out here and whatever else I have left, that’s what I’m going to show them.”
Keith did more than just show Catholic what he could do. He blew away the competition in the final event of the meet, anchoring John Curtis to a time of 3 minutes, 25.17 seconds and besting its next closest competition by almost seven seconds.
The win also secured the last few points John Curtis needed for its first Division I indoor state championship, defeating Catholic 78-71.5.
The final event was Keith’s fourth time to winner’s podium on Saturday, including wins in the 1,600 meters, 800 meters and 4x800 meter relay.
One of the few close races Keith ran was in the 800 meters, when he edged St. Paul’s runner Eric Coston by less than a quarter of a second.
Coston would have to wait until the 3,200-meter race to win his title, doing so with a Division I record time of 9:25.44.
In total, the John Curtis boys won six events.
“We knew we would be standing toe-to-toe with (Catholic) all night,” John Curtis coach Preston Curtis said. “We felt like if we had a shot to make it come down to the 4x400, we were confident in our training and we knew our guys were ready to go get it.”
Just before Keith clinched John Curtis’ win, the Lusher Charter girls hoisted the Division II trophy after going down to the wire against Episcopal.
The Lions entered the 4x400 relay with a one-point lead on the Knights, but their second-place time of 4:11.04 secured a 49-46 victory in the end.
Lusher’s only win was in the 4x200 relay, but placed in the top three in four other events.
The Lusher boys finished five points back of champion Episcopal, despite Ryan Theyard’s win in the triple jump.
“We put in a lot of work over the years,” Lusher coach Lorenza Winn said. “We pretty much have the same team, minus one girl, from last year, so this has been a long time coming.”
The Mandeville girls also had a chance to steal the championship from under Zachary, thanks in large part to Olivia Murphy’s win in the 3,200 meters with a time of 11:34.99.
The Skippers sat seven points behind the Broncos going into the 4x400 relay, but Zachary held on to its lead with a third place finish.
First Baptist’s Gabrielle Jennings put to rest her astonishing indoor track career with a win in the 3,200 meters for Division II, marking her 39th career state championship between indoor and outdoor.
“I was trying to go for the field house record, but obviously things don’t always turn out how they’re supposed to, but I’m still happy with my performance” Jennings said.