Janie O’Connor wasn’t satisfied and she made that point clear after the Class 5A, Region 2 track and field meet ended Thursday night.
“I think all my events were OK,” O’Connor said. “I think I could have done better in all of them. My drive phase was pretty good in the 200, but in the 400 I could have pulled my knees up more on the straightway. I just want to be better.”
Could those be words of a three-event winner who just help her team place first? Actually, they were.
Though O’Connor wasn’t impressed, she made an impression on the large crowd at Catholic High. First, she won the 100-meter dash in 11.62 seconds.
Next came a sizzling time of 55.27 in the 400 and a win in the 200 in 24.05. The junior also helped the Broncos score 99 points to place first by running a leg on the 4x200-meter relay. St. Joseph’s Academy had 87.20 and Mandeville 80 to also lead the girls field.
O’Connor’s first-place finish in the 200 and a third-place finish by teammate Kiara Bethley helped Zachary put the meet away.
O’Connor was the Outstanding Track Performer for the girls, while Dutchtown’s Leah Scott, who won the long jump in 18 feet, 4 inches and placed second in the triple jump was the Outstanding Field Performer.
With double-winner Nigel Despinasse leading the way in the field, Catholic scored early and often to finish with 164 points and ahead of the boys pack. Scotlandville was second with 58, followed by Fontainebleau with 49. Despinasse provided a contrast to O’Connor.
“I had a great day … one of the best I’ve had in a long time,” Despinasse said. “I won two events and had my best throws this year. Really everybody performed well. The PRs are nice, but at this meet it’s about points and finishing in the top three.”
The top three finishers in all events advance to the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA State Outdoor Track meet May 7 at LSU. The Bears claimed both top performer honors.
Despinasse won the shot put in 57-8½ and then won the discus in 163-7 to get the Outstanding Field Performer honor. Sprinter Sethan Hollier, the 200 champion in 21.54 was the Outstanding Track Performer.
The first event offered a sign of things to come. Baton Rouge High’s Loren James won the girls shot put with a throw of 43-5¼ inches, just one and one-quarter inch ahead of Zachary’s Kristian Jackson. Three-time defending state champion Ashley Davis of Live Oak garnered the final qualifying spot by placing third.
Many of the competitions were close. Fontainebleau’s Matt Myrtue set the only stadium record of the day when he won the 800 meters in 1:55.31.
Mandeville’s Claire Crosby (1,600, 3,200) and Slidell’s Brentney Carroll (100, 300 hurdles) were double winners for the girls. St. Paul’s Eric Coston swept the 1,600 and 3,200 for the boys.
“A total team effort,” Zachary coach Chris Carrier noted. “Janie does what she does and so did everyone else.”
Catholic coach Pete Boudreaux added, “We’ve got nothing to complain about. We had a few surprises and qualified well.”