Baton Rouge Magnet High and Dutchtown High claimed titles at perhaps the state’s most competitive Class 5A track and field regional a week ago.
Will that translate to success Saturday at the Louisiana High School Athletic Association/State Farm State Track and Field Meet? Count BRHS girls coach Zach Winfield and Dutchtown co-coach John Talley among those seeking answers.
The final day of the LHSAA’s annual track championships features competition for teams in Class 3A, 4A and 5A at LSU’s Bernie Moore Track Stadium. Field events start at 10:45 a.m. with running events to follow at 3:30 p.m.
“We’ve qualified with quality in several events,” said Talley, who shares coaching duties with Bill Jones. “It all comes down to how well we do on the final day of the season.
“You hope everybody is able to compete to the best of their abilities. And if we do that, whatever happens, happens.”
Dutchtown seeks its first 5A title in boys track. BRHS is looking for its fourth straight 5A crown. Possibilities for top individual and team titles in 3A and 4A as well.
Talley also sees defending champion Catholic and Zachary in the mix for a team title, along with Byrd-Shreveport.
Winfield compares the race for the 5A girls title to a popular entrée.
“What I see is a gumbo with a bunch of teams with the potential to win,” Winfield said. “We have the quality and potential to be right there. But I also see Captain Shreve, Mandeville, Lafayette, St. Joseph’s Academy and Zachary as being there, too. There are a lot of teams with the potential to do well.”
Plaquemine High (4A girls), West Feliciana (3A boys), Glen Oaks (3A boys), Port Allen (3A boys) and Donaldsonville (3A girls) are just some of the other local teams to watch.
Dutchtown’s 5A boys contingent is led by throws specialist Terry Hughes, who has the top entry marks in the shot put and discus and ranks third in the javelin.
Shelby Christie (triple jump) also has a top mark for the Griffins, who will rely on Alabama football signee Landon Collins and Cory McBride in the sprints and relays.
Catholic is led by Ken Ward, who has the top mark in the 110 hurdles. The Bears’ Cole Stafford is rated in the top three in the 1,600 and 3,200.
Zachary’s Mason Pace has the top mark in the javelin. Byrd’s Hanoj Carter tops the 100 and 200 entries.
Mikiah Brisco helps spearhead the BRHS entries. Brisco has the top entry marks in the 100 hurdles, 100 and 200. She also runs on one of three relays that will be crucial for the Bulldogs. Meri Hebert (800) also has top mark.
St. Joseph’s Academy’s Kassidy Noto (1,600 and 3,200) has top three marks in two highly competitive events. Woodlawn’s Lashae Blunt (shot put), Scotlandville’s D’Lacia McKinley (long jump) and St. Amant’s Holly Lebeau (discus) all have top 5A girls marks.
The list of notable local competitors in 3A includes two Donaldsonville athletes, girls hurdler Ka’lynn Jupiter and boys field specialist Devon Breaux. Jupiter has the top marks in the 100 and 300 hurdles. Breaux, a Tulane football signee, has the top marks in the long jump, triple jump and high jump.
Port Allen’s Darian Claiborne is tied for the top mark in the boys shot put, while West Feliciana’s Trey Cazabat (discus) and Loranger’s Devin King (pole vault) also are top-ranked.
Brusly’s Ashley Wheeler has the top entry in the 3A girls triple jump. Sprinter Tori Williams (100, 200) helps lead the Plaquemine girls in 4A.
It will also be a day to watch LSU football commitments/signees. Loranger’s Jeryl Brazil, a 2013 commitment, has the top marks in the 3A 100 and 200 meters.
LSU signees Kavarha Holmes (400) and Travin Dural (200, long jump) will help key Breaux Bridge’s run toward a 4A title.