Monae Lewis keeps goals simple for Sugar Bowl meet _lowres

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER McCLELLAND -- John Curtis' Monae Lewis takes first in the 60-meter hurdles at an LSU Indoor meet in January.

Monae Lewis has two simple goals for the Allstate Sugar Bowl Track and Field Classic that begins Friday.

First, the John Curtis senior hurdler would like to get a personal record in the 100 and 300 meter hurdles.

Second: “Try not to fall again like I did last year,” Lewis said.

Lewis would have been the only two-event winner last year, but took a nasty spill on the last hurdle of the 100-meter hurdles in a race she had a comfortable lead.

She got up and finished eighth in the race, and then came back and won the 300 hurdles in a time of 44.12 seconds.

Now she gets a chance at redemption in the two-day event at Tad Gormley Stadium.

She can laugh about last year’s Sugar Bowl Classic mishap now.

“I’m not ashamed of it,” she said. “I know I have to just come out there with a positive mind. I know I’m competing against some really good girls and just do my best.”

This year’s event will feature a large and impressive fields with more than 75 schools representing Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas.

Lewis will be looking to continue where she left off last outdoor season, when she captured the Class 3A state titles in both hurdles races.

In the recently completed indoor season, she won the state title in the 60-meter hurdles.

She began running hurdles in the sixth grade but didn’t focus solely on it until later in her career.

“She was pretty good sprinter,” Patriots coach Preston Curtis said. “We were getting a lot of third-place finishes, and we moved her to hurdles as a sophomore and it started turning into first (places). Some kids narrow themselves to the 100 and 200, but she was open- minded and found her niche. Plus, she trains year around and puts in the work.”

And she’s focused, even though it’s a tough week to focus. Curtis is having its prom Saturday night.

So Lewis spent Thursday taking care of pre-prom activities like getting her nails done.

“It’s very stressful,” she said. “But my track meet is more important than my prom. This meet will help me determine where I will go for the next four years. While I’m at the meet, I will focus on my race and worry about the prom after the meet. They will just have to take me at the prom as I come.”

In the fall, Lewis plans to attend either TCU, Ole Miss or Academy of Arts, a school in San Diego with a prominent track and field program.

She’ll decide by April.

She is thinking about that, as well as the LHSAA state track and field championships in May.

Curtis hasn’t won a girls state title, but she is hoping to help change that.

They came up four points short of a state indoor title.

“She is going to be one of the workhorses for us,” Curtis said. “In the big meets that count, she will run four events for us. We were four points away from winning a state title, and she was a big part of why.”

She plans to do her part in making sure the Patriots don’t come up short for the outdoor title.

“We are going to try to get it this year,” Lewis said. “This is my last year and I want to make a statement.”

Other local girls standouts participating in the Sugar Bowl Classic are: Karr’s Imani Mulmore (200); Mandeville’s Chelsey Jones (800); Lusher’s Aislinn Roberts (800); St. Scholastica’s Ellen Feringa (3,200); Cabrini’s Tayla Celestine (300 hurdles); Ursuline’s Lauren Parker (high jump); Dominican’s Andrea McDonald (high jump); and St. Schoalstica’s Samantha Zelden (javelin).

Among notable local boys in the field are: Destrehan’s Kirk Merritt (100); Warren Easton’s Devin Glenn (100); Curtis’ Devin Keith (800); Curtis’ Austin Brown (800); Hahnville’s Brandon Singleton (110 and 300 hurdles); Chalmette’s Dominic Curole (javelin) and Brother Martin’s Thomas Peters (javelin).

Allstate Sugar Bowl Track and Field Classic

Schedule of Events:

4 p.m. Friday start

Girls Discus, High Jump and Pole Vault

Boys Shot Put, Long Jump and Javelin

4 x 800 Meter Relay (Final Against Time)

Girls 100 Meter Hurdles Prelims - 18 qualify for final

Boys 110 Meter Hurdles Prelims - 18 qualify for final

100 Meter Dash Prelims - 18 qualify for final

400 Meter Dash Prelims - 18 qualify for final

800 Meter Run - Timed Final (All But Fast Heat)

200 Meter Dash Prelims - 18 qualify for final

300 Meter Hurdles Prelims - 18 qualify for final

Girls Triple Jump

10 a.m. Saturday start

Boys Discus, Pole Vault (Section 1) and High Jump

Girls Long Jump, Shot Put, Javelin

1,600 Meter Run - Timed Final (All but fast heat)

3,200 Meter Run - Timed Final (All but fast heat)

Boys Triple Jump

Boys Pole Vault (Section 2)

4 x 200 Relay (Final Against Time)

1,600 Meter Run (Fast Heat)

100/110 Hurdles Final (2 Heats)

100 Meter Dash Final (2 Heats)

800 Meter Run (Fast Heat)

4 x 100 Meter Relay (Final Against Time)

400 Meter Dash Final (2 Heats)

300 Meter Hurdles Final (2 Heats)

200 Meter Dash Final (2 Heats)

Girls 3,200 Meter Run (Fast Heat)

Girls 4 x 400 Meter Relay (Final Against Time)

Boys 3,200 Meter Run (Fast Heat)

Boys 4 x 400 Meter Relay (Final Against Time)