Plenty of work goes into competing in a state championship track and field event. Sometimes the meet before the championship event gets overlooked.
Not on Saturday. LSU’s high school last chance qualifier gives competitors one last chance to claim a spot in the LHSAA indoor state meet set for Feb. 20.
The chance to move up in the rankings in their respective events is another factor that attracts competitors. Field and track events begin at 11 a.m. at LSU’s Carl Maddox Field House, also the site of Feb. 20 championship meet.
Some top competitors have secured top times and are not scheduled to compete in the day-long meet. Distance runner Gabrielle Jennings of Slidell’s First Baptist Christian is set to run the 3,200 meters. The girls pole vault that includes recent signee Parish Kitto of Episcopal and Reagann Leleux of Catholic-NI are among the top entrants.
Lafayette High’s Armond “Mondo” Duplantis leads the list of boys pole vaulters. Catholic’s Nigel Despinasse is scheduled to compete in the shot put.
Expect all the competitors to be watching the times and marks.
The state meet allows for 20 competitors in each division in the 60-meter dash and 60 hurdles. The top 14 qualifiers earn spots in the other running events. Each field event will be limited to the top 16 qualifiers.
Class 5A/4A schools compete in Division I at the LHSAA state meet, while Class 3A and below are part of Division II.