The St. Joseph’s Academy track team typically begins to step up its performance as the season wears on, and Friday evening was proof that the Redstickers are on their game.
With a typically strong field showing, St. Joseph’s ran away with the girls’ team title at the 33rd Jostens/Episcopal Invitational track meet.
St. Joseph’s had four individual wins, and finished with 154 points to easily best second-place Zachary, which had 99. Episcopal was third (81), and West Feliciana placed fourth (62).
“Since I’ve been at St. Joseph’s, we’ve had a tradition where we call this month April Madness because it’s championship month,” SJA coach Charlie Daigle said. “Even though these aren’t championship meets, we start cranking it up a notch for meets like Jostens, and the Grizzly Relays.”
Catholic High turned in a bearish performance, winning six events on its way to a first-place total of 140 points to win the boys side. Dutchtown was second at 114, and was followed by West Feliciana (72) and Zachary (70).
“This is always a great meet,” Catholic coach Pete Boudreaux said. “We know if we can compete here it usually means we’re pretty good.”
SJA’s Laurie Lyons gave the Redstickers an early boost on the track winning the 1,600 meters. Lyons’ time of 5 minutes: 42.50 seconds was enough to edge Episcopal’s Katie Keller by three tenths of a second.
Victoria Gough followed up Lyons’ win with a first in the 100 hurdles (15.80 seconds) while teammate Emily Mitchell finished fifth.
In the field, a pair of 1-2 finishes highlighted the Redstickers efforts in the javelin and the high jump.
Catherine Hodson won the javelin (121 feet, 2 inches) and was followed by Shelly Mockler. In the high jump, Mallory Mire cleared 5-2 to take first, and Alysse Wiggins was second.
St. Joseph’s scored four more second places in the field from Emily Keller in the shot put, Hodson in the discus, Anne Marie Barfield in the long jump, and Morgan Leger in the pole vault.
Walker’s Mica Lowe was a dual winner taking the shot put (35-61/2) and discus (118-7) competitions.
Zachary won all three girls relays: the 800 relay in 1:44.40, the 400 relay in 50.00 and the 1600 relay in 4:11.60.
Catholic picked up three wins each on the track and in the field. Matthew Venable got things going with a throw of 169-4 to win the javelin.
Nigel Despinasse won the shot (49-81/4), and Chance Stephens was first in the high jump with a mark of 6-3.
Phillip Rodman won the 400 (50.00) and D.J. Woodard was fastest in the 200 (22.00). The Bears won the meet’s final event, the 1,600 relay as Trevell Johnson, Ralph Issa, Davis Richardson and Darius Leahman combined to claim that event.
The group hadn’t run together before, but pleased Boudreaux with a winning time of 3:26.80. Boudreaux also noted the Richardson’s effort in the 300 hurdles, where he barely placed second to Zachary’s Diyondre Henry.
Dutchtown’s Corey McBride won the 100 dash with a 10.70 and was followed by teammate Kajuan Coleman, who ran 10.90. Jewel Sumner’s Benjamin Jones was third at 11.00.
“This meet is always high quality,” said Episcopal boys coach Claney Duplechin. “We feel it’s one of the most competitive meets in the area if not the state because Catholic High is ranked No. 1 right now, and Dutchtown and Zachary are up there, too. It’s just awesome.”