It’s fair to say supporters of Catholic High and Zachary High have been celebrating their state football titles since December.
Before the football championships, the schools shared another bond that was renewed for the third straight year at the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA outdoor track and field meet.
The Bears and Broncos swept the Class 5A state track titles to close the meet Saturday night at Bernie Moore Stadium.
“I think Janie O’Connor had a very good day. … Anytime you tie or break a state record, it’s a good day,” Zachary coach Chris Carrier said. “I’ve got to give a shout out to Dakota Williams. She’s our senior who really has meant a lot to us as won titles the last three years. They didn’t let anything bother them. We just did what we do.”
The Broncos won their third consecutive girls title in 5A with 69 points. Lafayette High at 45 and Baton Rouge High with 42 were next.
It was the fourth straight boys title for Catholic. It also was the eighth outdoor title in nine years for the Bears.
Catholic scored 96 points, finishing well ahead of Archbishop Rummel with 42. Haughton and John Curtis each had 38.
“It was one those days where we were up and down,” Catholic coach Pete Boudreaux said. “Something wouldn’t go the way we thought it would, but then somebody else we didn’t expect would step up and do something great.”
Zachary used heavy doses of O’Connor and its relays to build a big lead. O’Connor won all three sprints and was voted Outstanding Performer for the girls. She tied the 5A record in the 400 meters with a time of 53.73 seconds that ranks eighth nationally.
The junior also won the 100 in 11.69 seconds and 200 in 23.82. The Broncos won the 4x200 and 4x100 relays.
“I ran the curve in that 400 a lot harder than I usually do,” O’Connor said. “I think that made the difference.”
Haughton’s Antonio Woodfork was the Outstanding Performer for the boys. Woodfork won the high jump, the 110 hurdles and was second in the 300 hurdles. The top performer for Catholic was Jace Attuso, who won the long jump and triple jump.
Attuso closed his career by winning the triple jump with a leap of 48 feet, 5 inches.
Two local competitors set 5A records in early field events. Baton Rouge High’s Loren James started it off by winning the shot put with a toss of 45-7. Then Denham Springs’ Abigail O’Donoghue won the high jump for the third straight year with a record of 5-91/4. Lafayette’s Stephanie Self set a 5A mark while winning the discus in 132-8.
And the record pace continued. Mandeville’s Claire Crosby won the girls 1,600 meters in a record time of 5:03.29. Lafayette’s Armand “Mondo” Duplantis set 5A and composite marks in the pole vault with a 17-9 finish. Duplantis, a sophomore, came into the competition at 16-10, after the other competitors were done.
There was some adversity for Catholic. Local rival Scotlandville edged the Bears for first in the 4x200-meter relay. Pre-meet favorite Nigel Despinasse didn’t place in the shot put and was third in the discus.
Sprinter Sethan Hollier seized an important opportunity in the 100 meters when the top qualifier, Haughton’s Josh Lister, was disqualified by false start. Hollier won the 100 meters in 10.67 seconds and picked up a third-place finish in the 200.
Attuso won the boys long jump in 24-6¾ — 2 inches shorter than his personal best.
Dutchtown’s Leah Scott was another double winner in the jumps, taking first in the long jump with an 18-3¾ on her final attempt. The younger sister of Zachary High quarterback Lindsey Scott Jr. later won the triple jump in 37-8¼. Catholic closed out the meet with a win in the 4x400 relay.
“Just a great day for Baton Rouge,” Boudreaux said.