On this day, the track and field athletes finishing up in Class 1A of Louisiana High School Athletic Association State Championship meet had an advantage their counterparts the previous evening did not.
They took advantage.
Though the 1A New Orleans-area contingent at the meet is historically low, it didn’t mean exemplary efforts were not on display.
Efforts like that of Metairie Country Day’s Carlos Rodriguez-Fierro.
Nearing the 200-meter curve of the second of two laps in the boys 800 meters, Rodriguez-Fierro found himself in third place, about 25 meters behind leader Zach Capello.
It was at that point, Rodriguez-Fierro could have merely held on to the third spot and the medal that comes with it — and focus on fending off those behind him. Instead, he made his move. Rodriguez-Fierro made his way past second-place Ben Avery of Hamilton Christian. The home stretch now a few meters off, he kicked it in. About 70 meters from the finish line, the crowd responded to the effort. Rodriguez-Fierro was about seven meters back and there was a real question as to the event’s outcome.
Alas, the exerted energy overcame him in those final meters.
But Rodriguez-Fierro had ended his season on a strong note and represented his team and school.
Efforts like his dotted the landscape Saturday at LSU’s Bernie Moore Stadium.
In the end, the day belonged to Haynesville. The team took state honors with wins in the 4x100 meter relay and high jump, while also picking up crucial points by placing in events such as the long jump (second), javelin (second), discus (third) and 110-meter hurdles (third).
It became evident beginning Friday night that the two frontrunners would likely be the Tornado and perennial power Southern Lab, with Ascension Catholic behind them.
The Kittens finished second with 47 points, Ascension Catholic third with 35.
In the girls, Hamilton Christian separated themselves from the field early with a large lead and actually built the lead from there, comfortably earning their trophy with 70 total points. Ouachita Christian was runner-up with 42 points, while White Castle placed third with 40.
The Warriors were buoyed by wins in the long jump, 4x200-meter relay and 200-meter dash.
They also placed in the high jump (third) and 400-meter dash (second).