State championships can be won or lost based on how well a team qualifies at its regional track meet. That fact makes winning a regional title a lesser concern.
Dutchtown High and Baton Rouge Magnet High took care of both objectives at the Class 5A, Region 2 meet held Thursday at Catholic High. The Griffins scored 121 points to claim the boys title ahead of two other local teams, Catholic High (95) and Zachary (85). It is the first regional boys title on the 5A level for DHS boys.
Baton Rouge High scored the majority of its points on the track and tallied 86 points to win the girls crown. St. Joseph’s Academy (691/2), St. Amant (55) were next. SAHS edged Zachary by three points for third place. The top three competitors in each event advance to the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s State Track Meet at LSU.
“It was a really good day for us,” Dutchtown coach John Talley said. “There were a few things that didn’t go as well as we would have liked. There are also some cases where we got beat by better people. Our focus was on qualifying and getting as many people through to next week, and we feel like we’re in a good position for that.”
The regional finishes were role reversals from a week ago. Catholic edged Dutchtown to win the District 5-5A boys title. St. Joseph’s and St. Amant both finished ahead of BRHS in 5-5A. Zachary was the 4-5A champion for boys and girls.
“As each week goes by and competition gets tougher we move up,” BRHS coach Zach Winfield said. “As the competition stiffens we’re there. “Mikiah (Brisco) had an outstanding day. We had some other good performances, too. There were a couple of areas where I thought we could have done better, but that’s the way it goes. Not everybody can qualify.”
Each champion had a top individual competitor. Mikiah Brisco was the meet’s lone three-event winner and was voted the Outstanding Track Performer for the girls. Brisco keyed Baton Rouge High’s run to the title in the girls running events. Brisco won the 100-meter hurdles in 14.68 seconds and minutes later won the 100 (11.78). The sophomore later won the 200 in 24.39 seconds.
Dutchtown’s Cory McBride was the Outstanding Track Performer for the boys. McBride won the 100 meters (10.86) and 200 (21.53) and was part of two winning relays for the Griffins.
Ponchatoula’s Steven Barze and Woodlawn’s Lashae Blunt were the meet’s Outstanding Field Performers.
Barze won the boys long jump (23 feet, 3 inches) and high jump (6-7). He also was second in the triple jump. Blunt won the girls shot put (39-111/4) and was second in the discus (104-10). Dutchown’s Terry Hughes won the shot put (53-6½) and the discus (156-11), and was third in the javelin.
With Hughes winning the shot put with a throw of 53-6½, Dutchtown scored 43 points through seven events in the boys division. St. Paul’s (26), Zachary (23) and host Catholic (22) were next.
Local schools topped the girls standings through seven events. St. Joseph’s (34) held a slim lead over 5-5A rivals St. Amant (31) and Woodlawn (22). Catherine Hodson won the javelin (128-0) to lead SJA early.
The close race continued on the girls side. Baton Rouge raced into contention on the track and tied SJA at 44-44 along the way. By the time 10 events were complete, Baton Rouge High led St. Amant, 46-45, while St. Joseph’s was at 44.
Through 10 events on the boys side Dutchtown led with 64, while Zachary and Catholic were tied for second at 41. Both the Griffins and Bulldogs extended their point totals throughout the final half of the meet.
BRHS also got wins from Kayla Thompson (400, 58.29) and Meri Hebert (800, 2:21.52). The Bulldogs also won the 4x200 (1:43.67) and 4x400 (3:58.56) relays.
Shelby Christie (triple jump, 46-63/4) was Dutchtown’s other individual winner. The Griffins also won the 4x100 (42.00) and 4x200 (1:27.20).
Other local boys winners were Zachary’s Mason Pace (javelin, 194-7) and Jessie Cole (400, 49.19), Walker’s Landon Hazel (800, 1:59.22), Catholic’s Cole Stafford (3,200, 9:52.74) and Ken Ward (110 hurdles, 14.00) and Walker’s Shaun Lowe (300 hurdles, 38.72).
Local girls winners also included Zachary’s Kenyetta Franklin (300 hurdles, 45.34), Scotlandville’s D’Lacia McKinley (long jump, 17-91/4) and St. Amant’s Holly Lebeau (discus, 107-4).