Episcopal boys, girls claim 2A titles _lowres

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER McCLELLAND -- Episcopal's Bryan Stamey takes first in the Class 2A 3,200-meter at the LHSAA state track meet Saturday at LSU's Bernie Moore Track Stadium.

Announcer Lynn Roberts asked members of the Episcopal girls track team one question as the boys team scores were announced.

“Did you bring a broom,” Roberts said. “When you sweep, you’re supposed to bring a broom.”

Roberts comments elicited a few smiles, but not as many as the two state championship trophies the Knights earned Saturday at the Louisiana High School Athletic Association/State Farm Outdoor Track and Field meet at LSU’s Bernie Moore Track Stadium.

The Knights overcame some early jitters to claim the team titles in the meet completed Saturday morning/afternoon after being postponed by rain after the completion of just two running events on Friday night.

“Somebody told me I looked calm,” Episcopal girls coach Eddie Cole said. “I may have looked calm on the outside, but I wasn’t on the inside. You just had waves of emotion with every event it seemed like.

“There was some uncertainty until they announced it (meet) was postponed last night. We met today before the meet, and the big thing we kept saying was whatever it takes to give ourselves chance to win. It was a great competition with St. Thomas Aquinas and Jonesboro-Hodge.”

The EHS girls finished with 85 points to win their 2A title after finishing as the runner-up a year ago. Hammond’s St. Thomas Aquinas (75) and Jonesboro-Hodge (58) were other top finishers.

Meanwhile, the Episcopal boys finished with 84 points to finish ahead of Lakeside (45), which edged STA (44½) by a half point for second. Calvary Baptist (40) was fourth. The Knights finished third in 2013.

“Last night we were a little concerned,” Episcopal boys coach Claney Duplechin said. “We had a rough start in a couple of events, and we had an injury that hurt us. We knew Lakeside and the others would be coming on strong.

“Today was just a totally different day. We started off being seeded third and sixth in the (110) hurdles and went second and fourth. Then it just blossomed from there. There were so many good things, a total team effort. A lot of credit goes to our seniors, they were great leaders in addition to contributing their talent. I’m so happy for them.”

The Episcopal girls held a two-point lead when the meet was suspended Friday night, while the EHS boys trailed by one point going into Saturday.

St. Mary’s-New Orleans’ Keterra Harris and Craig Rock of St. Thomas Aquinas were voted the Outstanding Performers. Harris won the 800 in 2 minutes, 16.23 seconds, the 400 in 56.66 seconds and finished second in the 200. Rock set a composite record by winning the 300 hurdles in 37.02 and also won the 110 hurdles in 14.26.

Sprinter Rachel Misher and distance runner Bryant Stamey helped set the tone for the Episcopal teams Saturday. Misher won the 100 meters in a record time of 11.73 seconds and later won the 200 in 24.64. She also was part of a 4x400 relay that clinched the title with a school-record time of 4:00.25.

Stamey won the 1,600 on Friday and was second in the 800 before winning the 3,200 in 9:59.92. Stamey’s sister, Alicia, also was a key performer, placing second in the 1,600, third in the 800 and fourth in the 3,200. The Knights’ Chuck Harlan was second in the 110 and 300 hurdles. Northeast’s LaChristopher Smith (100) and Dunham’s Quinton Thomas (200) also garnered second places. Courtney Dawsey, who won the 300 hurdles (46.98) helped lead a balanced effort for the STA girls.