Track stars share golden moments at state meet
A daylong downpour may have stolen one day of the LHSAA State Farm Track and Field Championship Track and Field Meet last weekend, but the sun shone brightly in the eyes and spirits of a contingent of teams and athletes from schools in the Archdiocese of New Orleans.
When the three-day meet in Baton Rouge was over the local medal tally was high: a team championship for St. Scholastica, 11 gold medal performances by individual athletes and two more victories for relay teams.
The event was truly a golden moment for local Catholic school athletes. It was also a bittersweet weekend, considering the lack of numbers and points for schools in the vaunted Catholic League.
➤ St. Scholastica sophomore Samantha Zelden set a girls’ Class 4A record of 146 feet in the javelin throw to start the day on a winning note for the Doves. Zelden also finished second in the discus throw.
➤ Dominican’s Mia Meydrich appeared to be beaten badly midway through the 5A girls’ 1,600-meter run, but put on a late burst of speed to catch and pass the leader, Kellie Webb of Barbe, just feet from the finish line. When she looked at the time, the senior was shocked to see that she shattered the 5A record in 5:04.06. Webb’s 5:04.47 also bettered the old mark.
➤ Running his final prep 1,600-meter race, Zachary Albright of St. Paul’s also set the standard higher with a Class 5A record time of 4:12.82. Albright also was runner-up to teammate DC Lipani in the 3,200-meter run. St. Paul’s finished fourth as a team behind those two runners and sophomore Eric Coston, who combined for 36 points in just two races.
➤ The medal count began on May 8 when Holy Rosary unveiled a sensational 14-year-old eighth grader, Accord Green, whose 11 feet, 6-inch throw of the discus won the event.
Behind second-place finishes by Reid Dimaggio in the 800-meter run and Alex Lewis at 3,200 meters, Holy Rosary scored 48 points, good enough for a fifth-place finish in Class C.
Dimaggio had a busy day. He ran a total of 5,710 meters, placing third in the 1,600 meters and fourth in the 3,200 and 110-meter hurdles.
➤ As a freshman in 2013, Academy of the Sacred Heart’s Ellie Sylvia won the Class 2A high jump competition. She repeated as the Class 3A champion this year with a winning height of 5-4.
Sacred Heart brought home the Class 3A runner-up trophy, behind outstanding efforts by Sylvia, Makaela Campbell, who won silver in the two hurdles competitions and a second-place finish in the 3,200-meter run by 13-year-old seventh-grader Madeline Kling. Kling was also third in the 1,600.
➤ One of the meet’s most outstanding efforts came from St. Mary’s Academy senior Keterra Harris, who ended her prep track career with victories in the 400-meter dash and the 800-meter run. A second-place finish in the 200-meter sprint gave Harris 28 points. She singlehandedly presented her school with an eighth-place finish in the Class 2A girls’ team standings and herself a plaque as the class’ Outstanding Female Performer.
➤ Other winning efforts were recorded by Cabrini’s Tayla Celestine in the 100-meter hurdles (14.74), Lauren Parker of Ursuline in the Class 4A girls’ high jump (5-4), Carley Boyce of St. Scholastica in the girls’ 4A 1,600-meter run (5:19.43) and her teammate, Madison McDaniel, in the 800-meter run (2:18.96).
Two relay teams were also victorious.
➤ St. Scholastica’s 1,600-meter team of Monica Guillot, Hailey Blaise, Lenore Davis and McDaniel put the finishing touch on the Doves’ 65 points. And St. Katharine Drexel Prep’s Marquita Cunningham, Jailla Thomas, Mykia Scott and Shannon Ray raced home first in the 3A girls’ 400-meter relay.
Ray also placed second in the 100- and 200-meter dashes. Her time of 23.89 was just .03 behind the winner, Aleia Hobbs of McMain.
Where the boys aren’t
The Catholic League has always had a proud tradition in track and field. But this spring the six boys’ schools had more than an off-season.
It started with St. Augustine’s conspicuous absence for most of the season. But if that wasn’t disappointing enough, the other five schools’ impact on the state meet was negligible.
Brother Martin finished fourth in two events and didn’t score in another event, to total eight points.
Archbishop Rummel managed to score three points in five events. Jesuit, which was once a force in distance races, scored one point. Holy Cross and Archbishop Shaw did not score. Six teams; 12 points!
What would the great coaches like Jack Schommer and Ronnie Doyle have thought of the sad state of track and field in this district?
We are the champions!
The St. Katharine Drexel Prep relay team of Shannon Ray, Mykia Scott, Jailla Thomas and Marquita Cunningham stand at the top of the awards podium after winning the girls’ Class 3A 400-meter relay.
5A 1,600 meters
5A 1,600 meters
5A 3,200 meters
4A 800 meters
4A 100-m. hurdles
4A high jump
Acad. Sacred Heart
3A high jump
C discus throw
Carley Boyce, left, added 10 points to St. Scholastica’s victory total by winning the girls’ Class 4A 1,600-meter run, while Keterra Harris of St. Mary’s Academy earned the Class 2A girls’ Outstanding Athlete award for her victories in the 400-meter dash and 800-meter run.
Harris also finished second in the 200- meter dash. Her 28 points gave St. Mary’s an eighth-place finish. The senior scored more points than 22 other teams in Class 2A.