Southern Lab boys score Class 1A track title

Advocate staff photo by APRIL BUFFINGTON -- Southern Lab's Maalik Marshall, center, wins the Class 1A 110-meter hurdles flanked by Ouachita Christian's Braden Bristo, left, and Christian Life's Caleb Domingue at the LHSAA State Outdoor Track Meet on Friday at LSU's Bernie Moore Track Stadium. Show caption
Advocate staff photo by APRIL BUFFINGTON -- Southern Lab's Maalik Marshall, center, wins the Class 1A 110-meter hurdles flanked by Ouachita Christian's Braden Bristo, left, and Christian Life's Caleb Domingue at the LHSAA State Outdoor Track Meet on Friday at LSU's Bernie Moore Track Stadium.

Southern Lab’s boys track team got big production from Maalik Marshall and Marquise Ricard on Friday night as the Kittens won the Class 1A state championship at the LHSAA Outdoor Track and Field Meet at LSU’s Bernie Moore Track Stadium.

Marshall and Ricard each won two individual events and also ran legs on Southern Lab’s winning 1,600-meter relay team. The latter event gave Lab 70 points, enough to edge Ascension Catholic (56) and defending champion Ouachita Christian (55).

“We had to overcome a lot of adversity,” coach Henry Combs said. “We wound up getting help from two eighth-graders, but the people that stood out were Marquise and Maalik. Maalik Marshall is the best hurdler in this area.”

Marshall repeated as champion in the 110 hurdles with a time of 14.66 seconds, bettering his 2012 winning mark of 15.28. He came back to win the 300 hurdles (39.32).

“I worked all year to get to this spot where I could win state again,” Marshall said after the 110 hurdles. “I knew I just had to work hard from December all the way up to (this meet),”

Ricard took firsts in the high jump (6-4) and the triple jump (47-6¾), then ran the opening leg of the 1,600 relay.

Marshall ran the third leg, and Lab went on to win the race with a time of 3:33.09.

In the Class 1A girls competition, Westminster Christian unseated two-time defending champion Ouachita Christian to win the school’s first championship in any sport.

Westminster Christian was led by girls outstanding performer Alexis Milton and finished with 69 points. Ouachita Christian tallied 60 to finish just ahead of Hamilton Christian (57).

“For these girls, this is very special,” Westminster Christian coach Tommy Badon said.

“We knew, if we executed, we had a legitimate chance. We only had nine events, so we had to take advantage of our quality, and that’s what we did.”

Milton was a double winner, taking first in the 100 (12.35) and 200 (25.45). The Crusaders also picked up wins in the field from Cortlyn Ventress in the shot put (36-7) and Emily Waguespack in the pole vault (10-6).

Ascension Catholic’s boys were led by Zach Capello, who won the 1,600 (4:45.79) and 3,200 (10:23.38) and was second in the 800.

“Our main goal was to come out today and win a state championship as a team,” Capello said.

Capello’s teammate Jesse Hood won the 800 and placed second to him in the 1,600.

“We knew going 1-2, 1-2 was going to be necessary to win as a team,” Hood said after winning the 800. “It was windy and my legs were burning the last lap, but I knew it was my last race of the season, so I tried to run with heart.”

Christian Life’s Joseph Moses won the 100 (10:86) and 200 (22.29). His time in the 100 was just enough to best senior teammate Caleb Domingue, who finished in second place.

“I’m speechless,” Moses said. “My teammate is about to graduate. I’m only a junior, so I was just trying to learn as much as I could.”

Elton’s Caleb Bertrand was named boys outstanding performer after winning the pole vault with a class record height of 16-1. A crowd favorite, Bertrand took a bow after missing his final attempt at a higher setting.

Christian Life’s Breanna Elliott won the girls 800 in 2:30.29. Rarely challenged during any previous meet, Elliott overtook defending champion Ashton Chowns of Ouachita Christian in the final 100 meters.

“I was expecting a challenge from (Chowns),” Elliot said. “I saw she had a real good time last year.”