PLOT LINES ABOUND IN BATON ROUGE:
Bernie Moore Stadium will provide the setting for two Baton Rouge area schools to showcase their talent on Saturday in the Class 5A portion of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association Track and Field Championships.
Dutchtown of Prairieville is favored to win the boys’ competition and Baton Rouge High, coached by former McMain mentor Zack Winfield, should rule the oval at LSU on the girls’ side.
According to its times and distances in the Region II meet last week, Dutchtown projects to score 76 points with 38 coming in field events. Baton Rouge is expected to double the points of its nearest rival in the girls’ competition.
Look for a Baton Rouge sweep in the boys’ team scoring with Catholic High and Zachary finishing second and third, respectively.
John Curtis, which has already won Class 2A championships in four sports, is among the top teams competing in boys’ events in its class. The Patriots project to score as many as 77 points.
And a surprise could occur in Class C where Holy Rosary’s boys might shock the field by winning with a team of just four key competitors.
The three-day meet begins on Thursday with Classes 1A and 2A competing. Classes B and C will be featured on Friday and the meet concludes on Saturday with boys and girls vying for top team and individual honors in Classes 5A, 4A and 3A.
Field events on Thursday and Saturday begin at 10:45 a.m., with the running events starting at 3:30 p.m. Friday’s field events start at 1:30 p.m. and the running begins at 5 p.m.
Greater New Orleans and its surrounding areas will feature several outstanding individuals who are set to achieve personal best performances and take home individual medals for their efforts. Based on their regional performances, the local athletes to watch include the following, by class.
CLASS 5A – Cyril Grayson of Archbishop Rummel, projects to finish third in the 400-dash and the 800-meter run, which he won last year, and qualified seventh in the 100-meter dash. But he has the ability to win one or all of these events if he’s not overtaxed.
Scott Brewster of St. Paul’s is favored in the 1,600-meter run with teammate Zach Albright just four seconds behind him in time.
Brother Martin hurdler Morgan Cormier could be a double winner regardless of his fourth-best time at 110 meters. He has turned in a 38.19 in the 300-meter event, which is the best among the competitors.
Jesuit’s Neal Fitzpatrick’s 9:21.82 time in the 3,200-meter run is the best by more than seven seconds over his nearest competitor.
Steven Barze (6-7) of Pontchatoula and Higgins’ Jonathan James (6-6) are top qualifiers in the high jump.
Sulphur’s Derek Foreman (15 feet) is favored in the pole vault, but St. Paul’s Cameron Robichaux just needs to make up four inches to beat him, which he is capable of.
West Jefferson’s Devin Scott (23-81/2) has the second best long jump and Covington’s Daniel LaRocca (53-41/4) looks to upset Dutchtown’s Terry Hughes (53-61/2) in the shotput.
CLASS 4A – Jeremy Hicks of Edna Karr is set to run the 100 and 200-meter dashes. His best shot of winning is the 200.
Karr’s Emerson Romero (4:30.70) is four seconds faster than his nearest foe in the 1,600. He will also try the 3,200-meter run with the third fastest time in that event.
Holy Cross’ Chris Hall, a third-year veteran of state competition, hopes to spring upsets in the 800 and 1,600-meter runs.
Lionel Ellison of Archbishop Shaw and Travin Dural of Breaux Bridge share the highest regional jump of 6-6 and should duel fore that title. Ellison also qualified in the hurdles.
CLASS 3A – Loranger’s Jeryl Brazil (21.65) has the fastest 200-meter dash time.
At 14feet, Jewel Sumner’s Devin King is one of the favorites to win the pole vault.
CLASS 2A – Lamont Massey of Cohen leads 400 meter competition with a 48.76. John Curtis’ Jacolby Cooper (49.31) is the No. 2 qualifier. Cooper will also compete on Curtis’ 8oo- and 1,600-meter relay teams, which should give the school a team championship.
Another Curtis athlete, Dylan Duvio, is unbeaten in the pole vault this year with a qualifying high of 14-6.
CLASS 1A – Country Day’s Conner Fagan (4:38.53) has the best 1,600 meters time.
CLASS C – Holy Rosary’s Dathennhile Parker has the best qualifying times in the 100 (11:32), 200 (22.86) and 400 (53.41) dashes. Teammate Michael Alphonse (2:08.78) is favored to win the 800-meter run (2:08.78) and finish second at 3,200 meters (5:10.47). Holy Rosary is also the pick in the 800-meter relay (3:53.62), which could provide the points to give the young school its first state championship.
Garret Hollingsworth of First Baptist could sweep the hurdles competition with clean runs.
CLASS 5A – Ponchatoula’s Dana Reno has a 2:22.30 in the 800-meter run, less than a second slower than the favorite.
Angelica Dickson of Mandeville (11:40.67) is the fastest 3,200-meter runner and could double by winning the 1,600 if she betters her time of 5:23.05.
Alicia Fortenberry of West Jefferson (15.21) has the second best time in the 100-meter hurdles.
Bonnabel’s Jemisha Frazier will attempt a triple by winning the shotput (38-81/2), discus (105-3) and javelin (135-05) competition. She qualified second in two and third in the discus.
CLASS 4A – This class’ premier runner is McDonogh 35’s Marcquita Stalbert, just a sophomore, who is expected to challenge for titles at 100 (12.13), 200 (25.15) and 400 meters (54.67). Teammate Nicole Henderson (25.75) will push her in the 200-meter dash. The Lady Roneagles also have the best times in the 400 and 800-meter relays, thanks to Stalbert and Henderson.
Caroline Knecht of Ursuline Academy is the top qualifier in the 1,6oo-meter run with a time of 5:28.85. She will be pressed by Karr’s Jeanee Romero (5:30.59). Romero is the second choice in the 3,200-meter run, an event Knecht will sit out.
Bryanna Richardson of Helen Cox (46.02) leads the 300-meter hurdles competition and will also look for points in the 100-meter event.
Another Ursuline athlete, Elissa Parker will take on Warren Easton’s in the long jump, in which the two have the top marks of 17-10.
CLASS 3A – For two years Kayla Quincy has starred for Xavier Prep in the sprints and middle distances and she will attempt to overcome the best time in the 400-meter dash of Marksville’s Mysherie Johnson (57.99) to repeat as champion. Quincy is also entered in the 200 and on two Xavier relay teams.
St. Mary’s Kittera Harris (59.59) could score an upset in the 400. She has run strong races throughout the season.
One athlete whose win wouldn’t be an upset is Aleia Hobbs of McMain, whose time of 25.58 is the fastest in the 200-meter dash. Her 12.47 in the 100 is just three-one hundredths of a second off the favorite’s time..
CLASS 2A –Newman’s Haley Johnson leads 3,200-meter qualifiers with a time of 11:59.64. Teammate Avery Rowan is among a four-athlete pack who have the second best high jump of 4-10, just two inches behind the leader.
Newman figures to score big points with Jada and Jamie Hawkins the top qualifiers in the triple jump. The question is which will win?
CLASS C – First Baptist has the best 1,600-meter relay time of 4:45.45. The Slidell school has a top qualifier in Sarah Petty, who leads all three throwing competitions and could be named the class MVP.