There were elements of dominance and mystery as John Curtis and Alexandria’s Holy Savior Menard claimed Class 2A state titles at the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s State Outdoor Track and Field Meet.
Curtis led the way for New Orleans area schools by scoring early and often to win the boys title. But the girls title wasn’t decided until the final event Friday at LSU’s Bernie Moore Track Stadium.
While Curtis led seemingly from the opening event, the girls competition was a race to the finish. Menard used its strength in the distance events and select field events to build a lead.
The Patriots piled up 169 points to win the boys crown, ahead of Evangel Christian-Shreveport (62) and Episcopal-BR (58)
But the girls teams split points throughout the meet. By the time the meet came down to the final two events, Menard led Baton Rouge’s Episcopal by just five points at 52-47. Although Episcopal won the 4x400 relay in 4 minutes, 4.45 seconds, Menard wrapped up the title with a third-place finish.
Menard finished with 64 points. Episcopal (59) and Newman-New Orleans (44) completed the top three.
“We had 17 of 18 events we qualified for, and everybody competed well,” Curtis coach Preston Curtis Jr. said. “We had multiple guys in events, and we were excited to get that many guys in and we executed the plan well.”
Three-event winner Malachi Dupree of John Curtis was voted the Outstanding Performer for the boys. Dupree won the long jump in 23 feet, 5¾ inches and took first in the high jump (6-6). He closed his field effort by winning the triple jump in 44-2¼.
Dylan Duvio won the pole vault for JC in 16-8 and attempted a record mark of 17-3½.
“I started off with the high jump, and from there my confidence grew,” Dupree said.
Curtis started its move toward the 2A boys title with some dominant performances in the field. Anthony Taylor won the shot put with a toss of 60-4 inches, the state’s top outdoor mark.
Teammate Eric Thomas placed third in the shot put. Taylor came back to win the discus in 161-6 with teammate and LSU football signee Duke Riley placing second.
Curtis was anything but finished once the track events began. The Patriots won the 4x200 in 1:27.98 and the 4x100 in 42.13. Curtis’ Jacolby Cooper won the 400 in 49.87. JC also scored a series of second- and third-place finishes in the individual events. A win in the 4x400 relay in 3:25.23 completed the day for the Patriots.
Menard won its first state title in track, while Episcopal sprinter Rachel Misher claimed Outstanding Performer honors for the girls.
Misher won the 100 meters in 11.87 and the 200 in 24.68. She also was part of the Knights’ winning 4x100 relay (50.00) and the winning 4x400 relay.
“We’ve won 17 cross country trophies, and this is the first track title,” Menard coach Wally Smith said. “I owe this to our seniors — Jade Moreau, Hannah Deworth and Meg Morrison. There may be better runners, but tonight there wasn’t a better team.”
Deworth won the 800 (2:20.72) and was second in the 1,600 for HSM.
Episcopal’s Misher vowed to work even harder to help her team win a title next season.
“(The award) is nice, but I see ways I can work to get better,” she said.
“Class 2A girls is always a dogfight,” Episcopal coach Eddie Cole said. “It always seems like you have three or four of us in there fighting for it. We’re pleased and know this is something we can build on for the future.”
Episcopal’s Christian Johnson was another three-event winner on the boys side. Johnson swept the distance events, winning the 1,600 in 4:25.26, the 800 in 1:59.95 and the 3,200 in 9:34.81.
“I wanted to finish my last high school meet with no regrets,” EHS’ Johnson said. “(The 3,200) was tough, but overall I’m happy with how I did.”
St. Thomas Aquinas’ Craig Rock and Lakeside’s Chris Lewis were double winners. Rock swept the hurdles, winning the 110 in 14.16 seconds and the 300 in 38.44. Lewis ran away with the sprints, winning the 100 (10.46) and the 200 (21.45).
Curtis also picked up a girls victory with Monae taking the 300 hurdles (46.33). Ellie Silva of Sacred Heart-New Orleans won the high jump in 5-4. A BR runner, Runnels’ Madelinn Fink, claimed the 100 hurdles (15.16).
Another girls double winner was West St. Mary’s Gerianna Lyons, who won the discus (110-5) and the shot put (39-3¾). Calvary Baptist’s Hailey Hesterman also won two events: the 1,600 (5:14) and 3,200 (11:44.74).