Ending a season with the best mark in the nation is one of the best things ever for a track athlete. Zachary High's Chris Hilton did that Saturday.
Hilton wowed the crowd by winning the Division I boys high jump with a leap of 7 feet near the end of the day.
The Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Indoor Championships also provided a local version of four to score — and score big. Catholic High of Division I and Episcopal in Division II won boys team titles during the daylong meet held at LSU’s Carl Maddox Field House.
St. Joseph’s Academy and Scotlandville swept the runner-up finishes in Division I with precedent-setting performances.
“My goal coming in was to clear 7 feet,” Hilton said. “It took having enough speed coming into the curve. I felt it was a good one going around the curve.”
The sophomore cleared each height on his first attempt, including his meet-record/national best 7-0. He missed three attempts at 7-2, which would have set a facility record.
Some performers set records and climbed in and around the national top 20 rankings. But team finishes stood out.
Catholic won its second Division I outdoor title in three years with 65 points, finishing ahead of Scotlandville at 34, which posted its best finish ever. It was the fourth straight Division II indoor title for Episcopal, which scored 82 points. Bogalusa and Northwest tied for second at 26.
“Boy, it was a great day. We knew coming in that no one was going to score a lot of points,” Catholic coach Pete Boudreaux said. “We figured the team that got closest to 50 would win it. Honestly, coming from where we were a month ago, this is amazing.”
D.J. Butler won the 400 meters in 49.29 seconds. The Bears also won two of the three relays and used a series of third through sixth places. Collin Hedges ran on the winning 4x800 relay and was third in the 1,600 and 800.
Second-year Scotlandville coach Johnny Duncan hugged Catholic’s Boudreaux before his team accepted its trophy.
“Scotlandville has always had athletes and support of the alumni,” Duncan said. “They just needed somebody to put it together. I feel beyond blessed to be where I am with this group.”
Going the distance was the theme for Episcopal and St. Joseph’s Academy. The Knights won the 4x800 and 4x400 relays and also got a victory from Trevor Babcock in the 800 (2:01.85) and had second-place finishes in the 1,600 and 3,200.
“I can’t say enough about how these guys prepare themselves to perform at state meets,” Episcopal coach Claney Duplechin said. “Tradition is part of it. But the way they perform with personal best after personal best, you can’t teach. It’s inside them.”
St. Joseph’s scored its first trophy finish at an LHSAA outdoor or indoor meet with its runner-up finish in Division I. The Redstickers got within one point of champion John Curtis when Lauren Hendry won the 3,200 meters and Sophie Martin placed second. But Curtis then finished second in the 4x400 relay and tallied 64 points, with SJA at 55. Two other New Orleans teams, St. Katharine Drexel and Academy of Sacred Heart, tied for the Division II team title with 50 points each.
Isabelle Brown won the 1,600. Taylor Winters was third in the 800 and ran on two relays for SJA called it a “team effort and so much fun.”
It was also SJA assistant coach Charlie Daigle's birthday. He was pleased with the team "gift."
“They made history,” Daigle said. “Hopefully we can carry the momentum over to outdoor season.