There were originally 10 entrants in the boys pole vault event at the LSU High School Classic indoor track meet.
Lafayette High’s Armand Duplantis didn’t even bother to attempt a run until eight of them were already eliminated.
Duplantis finally joined Westgate’s Cole Courtois once the bar was set at 16 feet, good enough for the fifth best jump in the country through the still brand new indoor season.
One jump later, Duplantis easily earned first place for the meet with a jump of 16-4. By his third jump, Duplantis had taken the nation’s top score, set the meet record and clinched the meet’s most outstanding in-state field athlete award at a height of 17-2 1/4.
He considered it an OK day.
“I think I can jump higher later on in the season, but it’s a good opener,” a nonchalant Duplantis said. “Not everybody has jumped yet, so I’m not really looking at it as the nation’s best jump. I think somebody is going to be able to beat it.”
While there were no team scores being kept on Saturday, John Curtis walked away with one of the more impressive outings at the Carl Maddox Field House.
The Patriots took home five individual titles and another pair of top-three finishes.
Senior runner Devyn Keith paved the way for the program’s big day, earning top honors in both the 1,600-meter and 800 meters with times of four minutes, 28.79 seconds (4:28.79) and 1:58.03, respectively. He was awarded most outstanding in-state track athlete for the boys.
John Curtis also narrowly edged Catholic High in the boys 4x200-meter relay with a time of 1:31.47. The Patriots and Bears would again come down to the home stretch in the 4x400-meter relay with John Curtis coming out on top again.
Devin Savwoir was the Patriots’ only field event winner with a throw of 53 feet, two inches (53-2) in the shot put.
“We’ve got a long way to go, but we’re happy with where how we started,” John Curtis coach Preston Curtis Jr. said. “We’ve got a big task ahead of us, but we’re excited about where we are right now.”
Despite competing in their hometown, only two Baton Rouge area schools stepped to the top of the podium Saturday.
Denham Springs’ Abigail O’Donoghue earned first place in the girls high jump with a height of 5-5. O’Donoghue continued her performance after clinching the victory, successfully completing an attempt at 5-8 1/4.
O’Donoghue was one of the few Louisiana athletes from the girls side to take home an event win as out-of-state programs won nine of 14 events. First Baptist Christian’s Gabrielle Jennings won most outstanding in-state track athlete for the girls with her win in the 800 meters.
The Louisiana boys fared slightly better than their female counterparts, winning 11 of 14 events, including two wins by Catholic High.
Jace Attuso claimed the Bears’ first win of the day with a long jump of 22-2 3/4, besting his next closest opponent by almost a foot.
But it was Catholic’s 4x800-meter relay team that coach Pete Boudreaux was most excited about.
The Bears finished with a time of 8:21.39 to beat out Baton Rouge Magnet by 1.34 seconds.
“That was a great run,” Boudreaux said. “We were way back there early and the guys just kept picking away each leg and started closing in before David Toups ran a great last leg and got us up there. I feel good about that.”