Ascension Catholic made its presence felt last by winning a Class 1A state title in cross country. After winning a regional track title last week, the Donaldsonville-based Bulldogs now have another lofty goal in mind.
“The kids have been working very hard,” ACHS coach Rocky Capello said. “I don’t know how good of a chance we have to win it, but I believe we have a shot at finishing in the top three. And for us, that would be great.”
Ascension Catholic will be among the local teams to watch at the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s State Track Meet that begins on Thursday for teams in Class 2A and 1A at LSU’s Bernie Moore Track Stadium. Field events start at 1:30 p.m. with running events to follow at 5 p.m.
Defending boys champion John Curtis in 2A is also among the heavy favorites on the first day of the three-day event that continues through Saturday. Competition for Class B and C is Friday, followed by the meet for Class 3A, 4A and 5A Saturday.
“John Curtis has somebody in just about every single event,” Episcopal boys coach Claney Duplechin said. “That’s so impressive and gives them a big advantage. We’re happy to be in the mix and hope to have guys who score well. I know Calvary Baptist is another team that has some solid entries and of course there’s (Hammond’s) St. Thomas Aquinas out there, too.”
There is no shortage of top individuals scheduled to compete in 1A-2A. Matthew Rice of Runnels has the top entry marks in the the 800 and 1,600 among the 2A boys. Episcopal’s Christian Johnson is the No. 2 seed in both events and was less than a second behind Rice in both events at the regional meet.
The only other local competitor with multiple top marks is Christian Life’s Anna Katherine Devitt, who has the top times in the 1A girls 1,600 and 3,200.
Ascension Catholic’s strength is also based in distance racess. Zach Capello has the top mark in the 1A 3,200 and is second in the 1,600. His brother, Trey, and Jesse Hood also rank among the distance leaders.
Other local 2A competitors with top boys marks include The Dunham School’s Daniel Megison (discus) and Philip Moody (javelin), along with Redemptorist’s Donald Gage (long jump) and Episcopal’s Julian Darden (300 hurdles). Other boys competitors to note include Curtis pole vaulter Dylan Duvio, sprinter Chris Lewis of Lakeside and Winnfield’sAlonzo Moore (triple jump, long jump).
The list of local 1A boys to watch also includes Southern Lab’s Marquise Richard (triple jump), Christian Life’s Caleb Domingue (300 hurdles), Ascension Catholic’s Alex Olivier (400). Bo Harper (shot put, discus) is 1A field competitor to note.
Episcopal swept the team titles at last week’s 2A regional. While defending champion Curtis is the heavy favorite on the boys side, the race for the girls title is expected to be more balanced. Last year’s 2A girls champion, Donaldsonville, moved up to 3A.
“Up north you had both Calvary and Menard who did well,” Episcopal coach Eddie Cole said. “Then you also had Newman and St. Thomas Aquinas who did well in their regional. Hopefully, we’ll be in there fighting with the other teams who did well in our regional, University High and West St. Mary.”
U-High’s Katie Sands (300 hurdles) and Runnels’ Madelinn Fink (100 hurdles) are local girls with top 2A entry marks. Catholic-Pointe Coupee’s Kaylee Moore (100 meters) is another 1A competitor with a top mark. Lake Charles-based Hamilton Christian and Ouachita Christian will be among the 1A girls teams to watch again this year. OCHS won the title last year. Hamilton edged OCS to win the boys title in 2011.
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