DUTCHTOWN — Some teams take a symbolic victory lap after winning a track meet.
St. Joseph’s Academy had symbolism mixed with plenty of competitive realism.
The Redstickers won the final event of the District 5-5A to wrap up the girls team title on Thursday night. So instead of one victory lap, the Redstickers could count the four laps of the 4x400-meter relay as their glory run.
“This was probably the best job top to bottom as far as competing and scratching and clawing to get everything we could get to win district,” St. Joseph’s coach Charles Daigle said. “My first year here I think we won by a three- or four-point difference between us and Baton Rouge High. It was a lot like that today.
“This was a complete team effort. We had some really good times today and we also scored points when we needed to.”
SJA and Baton Rouge High battled through the meet. The Redstickers held a three and one-half point lead over the Bulldogs going into the 4x400 relay.
The two teams dueled early in the race before St. Joseph’s pulled away to win in 4 minutes, 5.68 seconds. As a result, the Redstickers tallied 147 points to take the title, just ahead of BRHS at 142½. Dutchtown (90) was third.
That close finish was a huge contrast to the boys division that Catholic High won going away. The Bears finished with 217 points and could have taken one of those symbolic victory laps. Coach Pete Boudreaux’s team was too busy piling up points, 104 of which came in the seven field events.
Catholic won 12 of the 18 boys events, including all but one field event. St. Amant (98) and Dutchtown (90) completed the top three.
“What a great day,” Boudreaux said. “We scored 104 points in the field events, which is crazy. From there, everything took off.
“I’m very pleased with how we competed, especially since this was a holiday week. They stayed focused and did some great things. Next week with regional is a different kind of meet. But we qualified well and you have to qualify to give yourself a chance.”
The top four finishers in each event advance to Thursday’s regional meet at Baton Rouge High.
Ross Quinlan, who won the discus with a toss of 176 feet, 1 each and was second in the shot put, was the boys Outstanding Field Performer. The Bears placed two competitors in the top three in four field events.
Double winner Deante Early of Woodlawn was the Outstanding Track Performer for the boys. Early won the 100 meters in 10.75 seconds and the 400 in 47.86 and was second in the 200.
However, Baton Rouge High’s Mikiah Brisco turned in the top performance in either division. The LSU signee won the 100 meters in 11.59 seconds, the 100 hurdles in 14.23 and the 200 in 24.08.
St. Joseph’s Academy’s was led by double winner Annie Hill, who won the 1,600 in 5:20.87 and the 3,200 in 12:04.67. It was a family affair because Hill’s brother Pierce won the 1,600 for Catholic in 4:34.79.
SJA’s Landry West and Dutchtown’s Taylor Bennett shared Outstanding Field Performers on the girls side. West won the triple jump in 34-6 ½ and placed second to teammate Jennifer Windham in the high jump at 5-0 based on total misses. DHS’ Bennett won the long jump in 16-7 and finished second to West in the triple jump.
The 800 meters in both divisions also provided terrific finishes. Catholic’s Michael Hubbell won the boys race in 1:59.87, racing to the outside to edge two other competitors by less than a second.
Baton Rouge High’s Kennedy Smith won the girls 800 in 2:19.58, edging SJA’s Anna Claire Maxwell by less than a second.