Zachary High School's Christopher Hilton Jr. leaned over to catch his breath after winning the 200 meters to conclude his day at Episcopal’s Jostens Invitational.
The LSU football signee managed a smile when Zachary coach Chris Carrier noted, “You’re done for today.” Of course, at the time, Hilton had no idea what he had just done.
By winning the 200 in 21.33 seconds, he broke the meet record set by former teammate Sean Burrell, now a sprinter at LSU. The victory came after Hilton set a meet record by winning the high jump with a leap of 6 feet, 8 inches, but missed three tries at setting a stadium mark of 6-10½.
“I guess I was happiest today with the 100 meters because it was the first time I’ve run that,” Hilton said. “More than anything else, I didn’t want to get left behind in that one.”
Hilton’s reference to a second-place finish in the 100 was telling on a day when coaches were busy assessing more than just team scores through a series of ups and downs.
Catholic claimed the boys title with 145½ points, ahead of Zachary (135) and host Episcopal (85½). Zachary won the girls title with 161 points, followed by St. Joseph’s Academy (133) and E.D. White (74).
“We had some good things happen today,” Catholic coach Rodney Brown said. "We had big PRs in the shot put and 300 hurdles.
"This is a still a building process. We’re two weeks out from district and we’re putting things together.”
Zachary’s Carrier agreed.
“It's about putting all the pieces together and seeing everything fits so that we can score the most points and advance once we get to district, regional and then state," Carrier said.
The Broncos had another record-setter in Zoa Adams, who won the girls 400 in 55.83 seconds. E.D. White’s Braedon Methvin won the 1,600 meters in a meet record time of 4 minutes, 19.69 seconds.
There also were reminders of how delicate the balance between being the best and being on the sideline can be.
The Dutchtown girls celebrated wins in the 100 and 200 by sprinter Ariane Linton, who has slowly returned from a hamstring injury.
On the flip side, the Griffins’ Dylan Sampson won the 100 in 10.71 seconds, ahead of Hilton at 10.85. A duel in the 200 was expected. The unexpected happened when Sampson strained a quadriceps muscle on the 4x100 relay.
Hilton and Linton were the Outstanding Track Performers. Linton’s 12.10 time in the 100 meters was also impressive as Episcopal swept the Outstanding Field Performer honors.
Episcopal's Frances Oliver placed in three events and won the triple jump (36-9¼). The Knights’ Oliver Jack (56-1, shot put) and Clayton Braud (43-10, triple jump) each won one event and placed in another.
Other double winners included St. Joseph’s Academy’s distance specialist Sophie Martin (1,600, 3,200) and the Zachary girls duo of Orsciana Beard (100 hurdles, long jump) and Jayden Jackson (shot put, discus).
Catholic was led by Jackson Rimes, who won the javelin in 191-5. The Bears won the 4x800 and 4x400 relays.