In the final warmup before district meets next week, Airline’s boys proved they are the team to beat in District 1-5A with a dominant win at the Haughton Invitational.
The Vikings scored 124 points, well ahead of second-place Ruston (88.3 points) and third-place Haughton (82 points).
“It went about like we expected it to go,” said Haughton coach Jason Brotherton, whose Buccaneers will host the District 1-5A meet Thursday. “The rain stayed a little longer than we hoped, but in the end it was beautiful weather. The only event we had to cancel was the shot put. Everything went smoothly. Lots of people competed, and I think it went well.”
On the girls side, Ruston picked up a win with 153 points. Parkway’s girls team finished second with 99 points, and Natchitoches Central was third with 64 points.
“It was a good meet with lots of kids, lots of quality teams competing,” Brotherton said. “We got to see some new teams that we haven’t seen yet, and the kids like that.”
Haughton did pick up several key wins in front of its home crowd. Sprinter Micah Larkins was first in the 100-meter dash, Javonte Woodard won the 300-meter hurdles, and the Buccaneers took first in the boys 4X100-meter 4X200-meter boys relay.
“The most exciting race of the day, to me, was the 4X2 relay,” Brotherton said. “We were in lane seven, and Ty Shilling got the baton for us in the last leg, and we were in third and on the outside lane. He caught both teams and won. That was the race everyone was talking about.”
Parkway’s Cory Hamilton, who ran a 47.77 in the 400-meter dash last weeking in Mobile, Ala., won the Haughton Invitation 400 with a time of 51.13. Parkway’s Alison Ringle won the 1,600-meter run with a time of 5:30.97 and the 3,200-meter run in 11:36.3. Adrienne Rogers won the 300-meter hurdles for the Lady Panthers with a run of 47.36 seconds.
Airline’s Jack Wilkes won the 800-meter run with a time of 1:57.25. Wilkes’ teammate Matt Henry won the 1,600-meter run in 4:36:64. Airline’s boys also picked up wins in the 110-meter hurdles (Xavier Johnson) and 4X400-meter relay, discus and javelin, with Cameron Rice winning the high jump and triple jump.
“Airline’s boys team is head and shoulders above everyone else in our district and haven’t lost a meet all year,” Brotherton said. “Anything can happen, but they are a lot of points to make up for anyone to catch them. It might be a tight battle for second.”
Ruston’s girls team won the 100-meter, 200-meter, 400-meter and 800-meter runs, as well as the 100-meter hurdles, 4X200-meter relay, 4X400-meter relay, high jump and Javelin throw.
Homer’s girls squad took first in the 4X100-meter relay. Natchitoches Central’s Katie McCauslin won the pole vault with a 10-foot, 6-inch jump. Airline’s Jasmyn Carswell won the triple jump, and Lakeside’s Shanae Collins won the long jump. Lakeside also took first in the discus and finished in fourth place with 40 total points.
“Some teams ran a lighter load this week, but since we were rained out and haven’t run in two weeks, we did the opposite (Thursday),” Brotherton said. “We subjected our kids to a heavier workload. We had guys competing in several events, the first time we’ve gone all out, because that’s what we will have to do next week in district.
“This next week is really the first meet that counts all year. The kids know that you can win the 4X1 every week, but if you drop the baton next week, you’re done. So there’s an added pressure and excitement now. It’s like a playoff game coming up.”