John Curtis, Hamilton Christian dominate LHSAA Div. II indoor meet

John Curtis turned in a dominant performance at the Louisiana High School Athletic Association State Indoor Track and Field Meet at LSU’s Maddox Field House on Saturday, claiming the Division II boys title by a 91 points over St. Thomas Aquinas, 130-39.

Franklin, Brusly, and Episcopal tied for third place with 28 points.

Hamilton Christian was rarely challenged en route to winning the girls title, scoring 53 points to finish ahead of St. Thomas Aquinas (38), Donaldsonville (28) and Xavier Prep (26).

The Patriots of River Ridge made the podium their second home at the meet, with six event wins, five runner-up places, and three third places.

“I couldn’t be more pleased with the way the guys prepared and competed today,” Curtis coach Preston Curtis said. “I couldn’t ask for much more. One thing we’ve worked on over the last couple of years is trying to fill every single event and having quality in those events. The guys have really worked hard and done well.”

The Lady Warriors won five of the 14 event titles, returning to prominence after an exodus of players several years ago left the team depleted.

“They thought because we lost a lot of our kids we couldn’t come back and win,” said Hamilton Christian coach Mona Griffin. “That motivated our girls to go out there and give it all they’ve got, and I’m really proud of them.

Four Division II records fell at the meet, most notably the pole vault record when Devin King of Jewel Sumner set the highest score in the nation this year with a jump of 17-feet, one inch, outdueling Curtis’ Dylan Duvio, who jumped 16-9. Both marks broke meet, composite, and Field House composite records.

“I felt great,” said an elated King. “It was fun, it’s really indescribable.”

Both shot put records fell as Anthony Taylor of John Curtis threw 59-08 and Shelby Waln of Doyline hurled 40-10.75. Lakeside’s Enrique Soto ran 4:25.72 in the boys 1,600 meters to claim the meet’s fourth record.

Loranger’s Jeryl Brazil, the fastest high school sprinter in America, continued his dominant 2013 campaign with a win in the 55 meters, clocking 6.27 seconds to win by 0.03 seconds over Chris Lewis of Lakeside.

“I feel like if I can get out of the blocks strong and get out in front of everybody I feel like nobody can catch me,” said Brazil, who won despite being limited in training for the last two weeks due to illness.

Nique Griffin won the girls long jump and 400-meter titles for the Warriors, and teamed with high jump champion Frankie Griffin to power Hamilton Christian to a win in the 4x200.

Malachi Dupree won two titles for the Patriots, taking home the high and long jump crowns with leaps of 6-3 and 21-11.50, respectively.

Dupree also placed second in the triple jump behind winner Ricky Theyard of Lusher Charter.

It took a judge’s decision to decide the high jump title, where Griffin walked away with the title after needing fewer attempts to jump the same 5-0 height Iowa’s Katie Richard cleared. Jacoby Cooper of John Curtis edged Brusly’s Henry Woods to claim the boys 400-meter title in similarly close fashion, winning 49.83-49.97, while Christian Johnson of Episcopal outsprinted Curtis’s Devyn Keith over the final 50 meters to win the 3,200-meter title 9:49.62 to 9:50.92.

Notable performances included Ashley Wheeler of Brusly’s girls triple jump win with a leap of 36-00.75 and Ka’Lynn Jupiter of Donaldsonville’s girls 55-meter hurdles title in a time of 8.51. Jupiter also finished runner-up to Wheeler in the triple jump. Episcopal and University Lab went one-two in the boys 4x800, with the Knights winning in 8:33.93.