Ailing sprinter Stalbert qualifies in three races

“It hurt that I can’t give it my all, and I know I can better. I’m just trying my hardest to get in state and do all my events.” Marcquita Stalbert,   McDonogh 35 sprinter

NEW ORLEANS — Midway through the Class 4A Regional 3 track and field meet at Joe Yenni Stadium on Thursday, McDonogh 35 sprinter Marcquita Stalbert started crying.

With her right thigh wrapped, she struggled through much of the meet.

“It hurt that I can’t give it my all, and I know I can do better,” Stalbert said. “I’m just trying my hardest to get in state and do all my events.”

Her fears proved unfounded. Stalbert, who had led McDonogh 35 to the state championship last year as a sophomore by winning three events, finished Thursday’s regional third in the 100 meters, second in the 200 and first in the 400.

Teammate Nicole Henderson took up the slack Thursday by winning the 100 and 200 to lead the Lady Roneagles, who also qualified their 4x100-, 4x200- and 4x400-meter relays for the LHSAA state championship meet on May 2-4 at LSU’s Bernie Moore Stadium.

Helen Cox’s Bryiana Richardson was chosen the girls MVP after scoring 28 points, winning the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles and finishing second in the 100 meters.

Cabrini led the scoring with 96 points, qualifying participants in the discus, high jump, 100 hurdles, 800 meters, 1600, 3200 meters and its 4x100- and 4x400-meter relay teams.

Karr, which finished with 90 points, had qualifiers in the long jump and 200 and two each in the 100 and 400 meters, and its 4x200- and 4x100-meter relay teams.

That set up showdowns with St. Augustine (57), with whom it has dueled all season. The Purple Knights qualified participants in the 110-meter hurdles, 100 meters, 200, 300-meter hurdles, the 4x100 and 4x200.

St. Aug’s Leonard Fournette won the 100 in 10.68 and the 200 in 21.57 and was the boys MVP. The Knights’ Felix Farinas won the 110-meter hurdles and was second in the 300 hurdles. Fournette and Farinas also were on the Knights’ winning 4x200 relay team and second-place 4x100 relay.

Fournette, a junior who will be one of the top football prospects in the nation next season, seemed particularly pleased with winning the 100 meters. He beat Karr’s Jeremy Hicks, who had been a nemesis all season. Hicks finished third, behind teammate Sharkeith Beverly.

“He had beaten me a couple of times this season,” Fournette said. “We last went against each other in the Sugar Bowl meet. I was really motivated because he’s very good. But we worked hard as a team and did well.”

Cabrini had just two first places — Tayla Celestine in the high jump and Courtney Schmitt in the 800. However, Celestine was second in the 300 hurdles and Schmitt second in the 3,200. And Janie Golden qualified by finishing third in the 1,600 and 3,200.