The Lafayette Christian Academy boys track and field team finished in a tie for third place in Class 1A at the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Outdoor State Track and Field meet Friday at LSU’s Bernie Moore Track Stadium.
The Knights and Haynesville both scored 34 points, 151/2 points behind Class 1A runner-up Ouachita Christian and 59 points behind a dominant Southern Lab, which took the state title with 93 points.
Despite finishing far from the top, LCA coach Tommy Badon said he’s thrilled with the Knights’ performance Friday, saying it shows promise for the future of the young program.
“We started track last year about midway through the season, so for us this has been a very good learning experience,” Badon said. “I’m very proud of our kids. They did a fantastic job and they got to see what it’s like to run in the state meet and the level of competition.
Of LCA’s 11 athletes competing in Friday’s meet, only Jacob Ledoux and 3,200-meter runner Tyler Granger had competed at the state level before.
“I think this was an eye-opener for them. We won district and we won regionals, but this is a whole other level.”
Thirty of LCA’s 34 points came in the field events. The Knights received a big boost from junior twin brothers Jacob and Kaleb Ledoux, as they finished first and second in the high jump.
Jacob Ledoux took the Knights’ only first place, winning the high jump by clearing 6 feet to beat his brother by 2 inches.
“We told them when they started the season, that they could probably do that,” Badon said. “They did what they had to do. I was very excited for both of them.”
But while Jacob beat Kaleb in the high jump, Kaleb won the title of most points earned for the Knights, as he added six points to his team’s total with a third place in the triple jump with a leap for 42-71/2 inches, beating teammate senior Andrew Epps in a tiebreaker.
Epps proved to be a prime example of LCA’s rapid growth in the Class 1A track and field scene, as he only started competing a month ago.
“(Epps’) first track meet was district,” Badon said. “He asked me if we needed help about a month ago, and I told him to come on. He surpassed 42-7 in three weeks.”
Badon said as more athletes begin to grasp the significance of going to state, the more students will want to join the up-and-coming program and give the Knights the pieces they need to compete for their first state championship.
“The best days are ahead of us,” Badon said. “We’re telling these upperclassmen that they’re laying the groundwork. They might not know what it takes yet, and they may not grasp the concept of the significance of going to state and how awesome it is, but what they’re doing is allowing the people behind them to have something to shoot for.”
Westminster hurdler and sprinter Ivy Cains was named the Class 2A girls most valuable performer after winning three of the four events she participated in.
Cains finished first in the 100 meter hurdles and the 300 hurdles and ran a leg on winning the 4x100 relay. She also ran a leg on the second place on the 4x200 relay, which Westminster lost by less than four tenths of a second.
Catholic-New Iberia had three winners, most notably pole vaulter Reagann LeLeaux who broke the 2A meet record by clearing 12-7.
Panthers boys pole vaulter Damien Breaux also won the event with a height of 13-6, and Catholic-NI’s Chris White won the javelin with a throw of 175-6.
Other champions from the Acadiana region included Loreauville sprinter and Louisiana Tech football commitment Rhashid Bonnette who won the boys 2A 100 with a time of 10.86 seconds and Ascension Episcopal pole vaulter Kenny Odinet, who won the 1A title by clearing 13-6.