Mandeville High School senior Chelsey Jones was determined her school’s 4x800 relay team would set a record Saturday at the High School Indoor Qualifier meet.
The meet, which has no team scoring, is designed to let athletes focus on qualifying for the state championship on Feb. 20. It also allowed Mandeville’s 4x800 team to zero in on its event.
Jones knew the split times each of her teammates needed to run in order to break a time of 9 minutes, 45 seconds. The time included a five-second cushion, which turned out to be just enough for the Skippers to run 9:50.22 setting a Carl Maddox Field House record in the process. The time edged the old mark of 9:50.98 set in 2004 by Baton Rouge High.
“Coming into this meet, it was the first time we’ve run (the 4x800) this year, and we said, ‘We have to break it’,” said Jones, who also won the 800 with a time of 2:20.46.
“We wanted to run 9:45 so (the split times) gave us room to slow down if we had to. When we were on the podium and it was announced, that’s when it really hit us. We really did it.”
Another record fell in the girls’ shot put where Zachary’s Kristian Jackson set a meet record with a throw of 42 feet, 8 ¾ inches. Doyline’s Shelby Wain had set the old mark in 2013 at 42-0¾.
Jackson, a sophomore who is the defending indoor and outdoor state champion from 2015, had only thrown longer than 42 feet once this season.
“Forty-two was the one I was trying to get back to,” she said. “I haven’t thrown it in a while, but I did last year. I wanted to get back to that, and maybe go another foot.
“I felt really happy to get (42 feet) after so long. I was excited.”
Other records also fell.
Devyn Keith of John Curtis, the 2015 indoor champion in the 800 and 1,600, set a meet record in the 1,600. His winning time of 4:16.98 bettered the 2014 mark of 4:18.31 by St. Paul’s Zachary Albright.
Albright holds the composite record with a time of 4:15.90.
“My training is going well,” Keith said. “Right now I want to keep the up volume and the quality of my reps. I was confident today. I hit some good times.”
With the state championship meet three weeks away, Keith said he feels his best times are still in front of him.
Franklin’s Hakim Ruffin proved to be the fastest sprinter taking first in the 60 with a meet record time of 6.91. Edna Karr’s Sharkeith Beverly ran 6.92 in 2014.
Catholic High picked up three individual wins. Nigel Despinasse, the two-time defending champion in the shot put, won his event with a throw of 55-0. Despinasse threw 56-5¾ to win the shot at the 2015 indoor championship.
In the long jump, the Bears’ Jace Attuso went 22-6 to take first. The leap was two inches farther than his 2015 mark that placed second at the state meet.
Also placing first was Catholic’s Kam Cummings in the 60 hurdles. The event’s defending indoor champion, Cummings ran 8.48 to hold off Barbe’s Korey London.
Zachary’s Janie O’Connor ran the second leg of the Broncos 4x200 relay, which won with a tie of 1:43.49. O’Connor also won the 60 (7.64).
Baton Rouge High’s 4x800 relay bested Catholic High and Jesuit to take first with a time of 8:28.22.