The athletes at Catholic High’s Grizzly Relays were happy to finally run in the sunshine on Friday after weeks of damp, cold weather.
Catholic High’s track and field team used a familiar script to dominate its own meet, setting two new stadium records, getting another stellar performance from sprinter Derrius Guice, and rolling up enough points to lap the field in team scoring. The Bears jumped ahead early and piled it own throughout the meet to easily outdistance second-place Scotlandville 219-76.50.
Southern Lab scored 71 points for third place ahead of Episcopal with 51.
St. Joseph’s Academy was strong in the field events and scored 204.50 points to finish ahead of Baton Rouge High (118) and Episcopal (75.50) in girls competition.
The Redstickers swept first and second place in the javelin throw (Catherine Hodson and Shelby Mockler), the triple jump (Irene Brooksher and Elise Richard), the high jump (Mallory Mire and Alysse Wiggins) and the pole vault (Morgan Leger and Kaitlyn Flieg) to rack up 72 points in those events alone.
Mire and Wiggins both cleared 5-feet, with Mire taking first on the basis of fewer misses.
Leger and Flieg tied at 9-0 in the pole vault with Leger taking first place honors.
Brooksher also took third place in the long jump behind Bria Johnson of Episcopal and Jade Hayes of Parkview Baptist.
Emily Zeller of St. Joseph’s and Darnese Woods of Broadmoor both threw 32-11 in the shot put with Woods placing first by virtue of her other non-winning throws.
Baton Rouge High’s girls collected most of their points in sprints and relays. The Bulldogs were led by triple winner Mikiah Brisco, who swept the 100 meters, 200 meters, and 110m hurdles, and anchored the winning 4x100-meter relay.
Baton Rouge High won the 4x400 and 4x200 relays handily, and Kayla Thompson gave the Bulldogs a sprint sweep by winning the 400-meter dash in 58.80
Zeller came back later to take the discus throw with a toss of 96-10 to add another 10 points to the St. Joseph’s total.
“The girls really turn it up a notch when we get to April because it’s getting close to district,” SJA coach Charles Daigle said. “The field events, the hurdles, and anything from 400 (meters) on up is the strength of our team.
“The girls kind of want to set a tone going into district, build up their confidence and be at their best going up against Baton Rouge High and St. Amant, who has a strong team, too.”
Catholic High started the day with Matthew Venable and Collin Averitt sweeping the javelin throw, and they never trailed at any point in the meet.
The Bears had record-breaking performances from Matthew Rhorer in the 800 meters and DJ Woodard in the 300-meter hurdles.
Rhorer’s 1:56.59 broke the oldest meet record, 1:57.70 by Doug Arceneaux of Lafayette High in 1986.
“I absolutely went after the record today,” Rhorer said, “but I was still disappointed because I know I can run faster. The stadium record is 1:55.9, so I guess I’ll try to get that next week at district.”
Woodard knocked down the last hurdle in the 300 meters race but still became the second Catholic High hurdler to set a new stadium record this season, following Ken Ward’s mark of 13.50 in the 110 hurdles in the Catholic High Invitational.
“I’ve been after that record for four years, ever since I got here,” said Woodard, who was clocked in 37.40.
“I went home last night and said I was going to focus on doing well.”
Guice had two close races in the sprints, edging Marquilus Lewis of Southern Lab by .03 of a second in the 100m with a time of 11.14.
He also anchored two winning relays and finished his day with a close win over teammate Khalil Thomas in the 200, a race marred by four false starts caused by a malfunctioning starter’s pistol.