PORT ALLEN — A birthday celebration isn’t always about cake and candles. Port Allen High School’s James Jones got just what he wanted for his 18th birthday — quality time at the finish line.
Jones won the 100 meters and 400 meters at the John Williams Relays on Friday night. His wins in 11.50 seconds in the 100 and 51.55 in the 400 were nice.
Being part of winning 4x200 and 4x400 relays was icing on the track-and-field version of the cake for the junior, who splits time between baseball and track.
“I was excited all day about coming out here,” Jones said. “It was just like I dreamed it. The 400 was definitely my best race. And I liked the 4x400 relay, too. This was a little extra present.”
Jones’ efforts, and those of sisters Rhea Lee and Rhenell Lee, helped the host Pelicans sweep the boys and girls team titles.
Port Allen rolled up 232 points to win the boys division and 192 to take top honors on the girls side. Livonia took second in the boys division with 94 points, while Catholic-Pointe Coupee was the girls runner-up with 115 points.
“It was a six-team track meet — a small track meet — but we’re proud of the kids,” Port Allen boys coach Leonard Parker said. “We continue to improve. We had some (personal records) with Telson (Allen, high jump) and Marcus Keyes in the shot put.
“We’re trying to get our kids to the point where they’re ready to compete in district next month.”
Jones claimed Outstanding Track Performer honors, while Livonia’s Keyvon Gaston was voted the Outstanding Field Performer after winning the long jump at 20 feet, 11 inches and the triple jump in 39-7½. Gaston also was second to PAHS’ Allen, who won the high jump in 6-4.
Port Allen’s Keyes had the top field performance in either division. The Oklahoma State football signee won the boys shot put in 53-10, a personal best by more than three feet.
Jehovah-Jireh’s Randy Carter Jr. was the Outstanding Overall Performer. The sophomore tied a personal best by winning the 800 meters in 2 minutes, 3 seconds. He also ran away from the field in the 1,600 meters and 3,200 meters.
“I really wanted to get a 4:30 in the 1,600,” Carter said. “When I didn’t, that pushed me to do better in the other two. I know I can reach my goals … I just have to keep working at it.”
Rhea Lee was the Outstanding Field Performer for the girls even though she didn’t win an event for Port Allen. Lee was second in the long jump and third in both the triple jump and high jump. Outstanding Overall Performer honors went to Livonia’s Gabby Guerin, who won the long jump and triple jump to go along with a second-place finish in the 100 meters.
Rhenell Lee won the 100, 200 and 400 to pace the Port Allen girls. She was happy to get Outstanding Track Performer honors, though she missed her goal of cracking the one-minute barrier in the 400. Her best race was the 200, which she won in 26.26 seconds.
“I did PR in the triple jump, so that was good,” Rhea Lee said. “We’re a young team, but I think this meet showed we’re capable of scoring points.”
“What this meet does is it puts us in the direction of winning,” PAHS girls coach Brian Bizette said. “They saw and learned what it takes to win (Friday).”
Redemptorist’s Tonea Alex, who won the boys 110 and 300 hurdles, was the other boys double winner.
Kristen Olinde led the CHSPC girls with wins in the 1,600 and 3,200.