John Curtis’ Duvio breaks record in pole vault

Normally, the LSU High School Last Chance Qualifier showcases competitors who seek an elusive qualifying time for the Louisiana High School Athletic Association State Indoor Championships.

John Curtis’ Dylan Duvio didn’t need a qualifying mark. The senior still got more than he planned for by setting a
composite state indoor record by clearing 16 feet, 7 inches to win the pole vault Saturday at LSU’s Carl Maddox Field House.

“The first four meets I went 16 feet, 16 feet, 16 feet, 16 feet,” Duvio said. “I couldn’t get 16-6, no matter what I did. Today, I went through 15-6 and 16-0 easily. So I decided to go for 16-7 and made it on my first try.

“There have been a lot of great vaulters in the state, so this (record) means a lot.”

The mark represents a personal best, both indoor and outdoor, for Duvio, who is scheduled to sign with Stanford next week.

Duvio missed on three attempts at 17 feet but left the meet with a mark that ranks second nationally.

Duvio’s record helped highlight the meet that sets the stage for the LHSAA Championships on Feb. 23 also at LSU.

The day’s other record-setter was Doyline’s Shelby Waln, who won the girls shot put with a meet-record toss of 42-3/4.

McDonogh 35 sprinter Marcquita Stalbert was the lone double winner, taking top honors in the 400 meters in 58.08 seconds and the 55 in 7.17.

“It’s starting to come around for me,” Stalbert said. “Last time I thought my (400) time was bad, and I needed to bring it down.

“That was my best race today. To get where I need to be, I need to keep working at it.”

Duvio and Stalbert led the list of New Orleans finishers at the meet that featured top times for competitors from the Crescent City, Baton Rouge and the Acadiana area.

Baton Rouge runners swept the boys distance events. Episcopal’s Christian Johnson won the 1,600 meters in 4 minutes, 33.28 seconds; Catholic’s Joseph St. Cyr (9:45.09) won the 3,200. Catholic also won the 4x400 relay (3:27.98).

The Baton Rouge High girls also put their imprint on the meet by winning two relays, the 4x200 in 1:44.21 and the 4x400 in 4:10.54.

The Bulldogs’ Mikiah Brisco won the 55 hurdles in 8.25 seconds, just one one-hundreth of a second ahead of West Jefferson’s Alexia Fortenberry.

Lafayette High also made an impression in the girls division. The Lions won the 4x800 relay (10:05.38) and had an individual winner in Kaylei Esfeller (800, 2:19.82).

Richard Allen, who won the 55 in 6.49 seconds, was another individual winner for Curtis. L.B. Landry’s Tillman Sylve won the 55 hurdles (7.93), West Jefferson’s Devin Scott (long jump, 21-10½), Lusher Charter’s Ricky Theyard (triple jum, 47-9¾) and St. Paul’s Zachary Albright (800, 1:58.65) were other New Orleans boys winners. Karr also won the boys 4x200 relay (1:30.98).

Holden’s Clarissa Smith was the other Baton Rouge area winner, claiming the girls 3,200 in 11:55.86.

Ursuline Academy’s Lauren Parker (5-4) won the girls high jump, joining Stalbert as a New Orleans area girls winner.