Led by dominant efforts, Catholic, Baton Rouge High win Division I track and field titles
“Baton Rouge Catholic had a really strong team. At the end of the day they were stronger. We are happy with how this sets us up for Class 4A for the outdoor season.” PATRICK TUBBINS, Karr coach
There are days when everything falls into place.
For Catholic High and Baton Rouge High, it happened within a span of about 30 minutes at the Louisiana High School Athletic Association State Indoor track and field meet held Saturday at LSU’s Carl Maddox Field House.
A series of victories during that short span helped push both teams to Division I state titles.
Baton Rouge High’s Mikiah Brisco recorded the nation’s best time of 7.31 seconds while winning the 60-meter dash. She ran that race just minutes after winning the 60 hurdles in 7.45, a mark that ranks third nationally.
The two victories gave the Bulldogs the lead for good en route to a winning total of 47 points, just ahead of 2013 champion Lafayette High (44). Zachary was third with 35.
Catholic, by comparison, scored points early and often to win its eighth straight indoor crown, giving coach Pete Boudreaux the 40th state title combined for track and cross country during his illustrious career.
The Bears finished with 92 points, well ahead of second-place finishers Edna Karr and St. Paul’s, both of whom tallied 33 points.
Catholic’s signature moments happened just before Brisco won her races. Chadd Burns won the pole vault with a height of 14-10. The cheers for that win barely died down before Chance Stephens won the high jump with a career-best leap of 6-11¼, another mark that ranks third nationally.
For good measure, the Bears pulled an upset, edging St. Paul’s to win the 4x800 relay in 8 minutes, 15.08 seconds just as Stephens reached the awards stand to collect his medal with Pierce Hill running the pivotal anchor leg.
“I never imagined we’d win eight in a row,” Boudreaux said. “We had a great meet, we started off by going 1-2 in the shot and it snowballed from there. Then we hit that period where we won the pole vault, high and 4x800. Things were just crazy there for a while.”
Baton Rouge High’s Brisco was crazy good. In addition to winning the sprints/hurdles, she also won the long jump in 18-4¼.
As nice as the marks were, the recent LSU signee had just one thing on her mind, a team title. BRHS also finished second in the 4x200 relay.
“The 60 was the better race, because I did hit a hurdle,” Brisco said. “Putting the team in the lead was the most important thing for me. We wanted to win a state title.”
“(Brisco) performed today like she’s No. 1,” BRHS coach Zach Winfield said. “To win, you have to have quality points, places where you can score 10, and then you get the rest where you can get them.”
Brisco also exorcised any demons from a year earlier when she fell in the 60 hurdles as Lafayette claimed the state title.
This time around, Lafayette’s Ky’Reon McBride was bumped and fell in the 800 meters, an event she was projected to win, costing the Lions key points.
“The 4x800 was huge for us,” Lafayette coach Ron Baillargeon said. “That’s the seventh year in a row we’ve won it. Where we lost the meet was the 800, she (McBride) got knocked down and it cost us 10 points. That’s the race of luck, last year Mikiah fell. She was like a one-woman team (today).”
Zachary started the running events with a sizzling winning time of 1:43.94 in the girls 4x200 relay.
The Broncos also won the 4x400 girls relay in 4:06.14. ZHS’ Janie O’Connor closed fast on the final straight away to win the 400 in 57.03.
Lafayette made its move into the lead in the girls team race when the Rebekah Markel won the triple jump in 35-9¼ after placing second in the pole vault. Lafayette then extended its lead with a win in the 4x800 relay. The Lions recorded an impressive 9:59.62.
Live Oak’s Ashley Davis, who won the shot put with a 38-9 ¼ toss, was the area’s other girls winner. Woodlawn’s Deante’ Early won the boys 400 (49.53) and Dutchtown’s Tyler Hughes won the 60 hurdles (8.06) also posted boys victories.
Catholic took the top two spots in the boys shot put. Nigel Despinasse won the event with a toss with 53-4 with teammate Ross Quinlan taking second. The Bears also got second-place finishes in the 4x200 relay, Jace Attuso (triple jump) and Arthur Price (60 hurdles).
“The team is everything to me,” Stephens said. “I try to contribute as much as I can. Today I had a really good day.”
And so did the Bears.