Just about any list of Class C boys track and field contenders includes Jehovah-Jireh.
The Warriors finally have their name etched on another list: the one with all of the LHSAA’s state champions.
The efforts of Outstanding Performer Randy Carter Jr. and a disqualification on the meet’s final event helped Jehovah-Jireh win the Class C boys title on the first day of the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA outdoor track & field meet.
JJCA won its first state track title, and the Episcopal School of Acadiana girls claimed their first crown since 2007 in Class B on Thursday at LSU’s Bernie Moore Stadium.
“Wow … how about that for an opening comment?” Jehovah-Jireh coach Dirk Ricks said. “Randy had a fantastic day. And I’m so proud of this whole group. They’re a young bunch of guys who believed in what we taught them. To be honest with you, I thought New Living Word was probably 20 points better than us based on the entry marks. But they believed and made it happen.”
The Warriors finished with 103 points, just ahead of defending champion New Living Word at 97. Hackberry scored 149 points to claim the Class C girls title.
Distances were a big theme Thursday. First Baptist Christian’s Gabrielle Jennings won four events — the 400, 800, 1,600 and 3,200 to close her career with 43 LHSAA titles in track and cross country.
Carter was a three-event champion, and so was ESA’s Samantha Withers, who swept the distance races for Class B champion ESA. The Falcons finished with 107 points, well ahead of Grace Christian at 77.50. Simsboro won the Class B boys title with 86 points.
Doyline’s Tyreck Wilson pulled off the quadruple cycle by winning every race from the 400 meters up.
“The state title was the goal, and they came in and did it,” ESA coach Samantha Lapeyrouse said. “It was a full team effort. The distances stood out, but so did the relays. We haven’t had a 4x100 relay in several years, and to win that was special.”
Jennings didn’t set any records in the final meet. She already had those. What Jennings did do was win three races in impressive fashion in less than two hours.
It started with the 1,600 meters, which she won in 5 minutes, 7.76 seconds, more than a minute faster than the second-place finisher. Next came the 800 meters and a time of 2:23.06, which was 26 seconds ahead of the field.
Perhaps the most impressive race was her 400 meters. Her winning time of 1:01.08 was just off her personal best. Jennings, who started winning cross country titles in 2008, won the night’s longest race, the 3,200 meters, in 11:34.23.
After passing Alex Lewis of Holy Rosary with 400 meters to go, Carter won the 1,600 meters in 4:34.56. Carter also won the 800 in 2:01.71 and the 3,200 in 10:17.19. He finished second to teammate Samuel Moore in the 400.
“To be able to do this with my team … it just means so much,” Carter said. “It’s not just about me.”
Withers of ESA didn’t try the 400, but she helped her Cade-based school to its biggest goal of winning a state title by winning the 1,600 (5:35.60), the 800 (2:28.51) and the 3,200 (12:17.78). The Falcons also won the 4x100 and 4x400.
Sprinter Jai Moulden of Grace Christian and Withers shared the Outstanding Performer honors for Class B girls, while Wilson was the obvious choice for the boys honor. Wilson and one other competitor helped Doyline place second to Simsboro with 56 points.