Haynesville’s boys, Hamilton Christian girls clinch 1A titles _lowres

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER McCLELLAND -- Ascension Catholic's Zach Capello, All-Metro Outstanding Track Performer

Haynesville’s boys held on to their first day lead while the Hamilton Christian Academy girls came from behind Saturday morning at the Louisiana High School Athletic Association‘s outdoor track and field meet. The end result was a team win for each squad in Class 1A.

Haynesville scored 38 points Friday night, and went on to total 63 after completing Saturday’s track events. The Golden Tornado was pushed by White Castle, which placed second with 61 points.

Defending champion Southern Lab was third with 57 points in the meet held at LSU’s Bernie Moore Stadium.

“I was confident we were going to win, but sometimes you fall a little short,” White Castle coach Kevin Jackson said. “You can’t put your head down though. We put in a lot of hard work, and we’ll be back.”

Haynesville won the 4x100-meter relay (42.82 seconds) and also got seven points from hurdler Cutter Nelson. White Castle’s 28-point Saturday was highlighted by Jacory Jones’ win in the 110-hurdles (15.03).

The 200 was pivotal when Haynesville countered a second-place finish by White Castle’s Robert Franklin with a fourth-place showing by Damarcian McCutcheon. Haynesville led 63-61, and neither team had any participants in the meet’s final two events.

Ascension Catholic junior Zach Capello successfully defended his wins in the 1,600 and 3,200, and added another in the 800 to become a triple champion. But it wasn’t easy. After running a personal best time of 1:59.34 to win the 800, Capello got sick and considered pulling out of the 3,200.

“I was tingling and almost passed out,” Capello said. “We were walking over to scratch me from the (3,200), and I threw up. Then I just said I’m going to do it.”

Capello won the 3,200 with a time of 10:23.57 to nearly match his winning mark of 10:23.38 in 2013.

“I’m not doing so good right now, but it feels great to have this (medal),” Capello said after his last race.

On the girls side, Hamilton Christian got a boost from outstanding female athlete Nique Griffin, who won the 200 (25.47). Griffin also won the long jump Friday.

“We won indoors, and it was one of our goals to win back-to-back titles with outdoors,” HCA coach Mona Griffin said. “The girls worked hard.”

White Castle’s Ariel Bell won the 100 (12.40), and then came back to run the third leg on the Bulldogs’ winning 4x100 relay (50.06). “Other times we’ve had difficulty with the exchanges, but we pulled together,” Bell said. “We were determined to get (the win) this year.”

In the 100, Bell had only the third best qualifying time, but she proved to be the best pulling away late in the race to take first.

“My start at the blocks wasn’t so well, but I was determined to push through and get first place” Bell said.