BATON ROUGE – Airline High posted its highest point total in recent years, and ran up 45 points to place third in the Class 5A boys competition Saturday evening at the LHSAA state track and field championships.
The Vikings surpassed their pre-meet goal of 40 points, and also bettered last year’s total of 29 in the meet held annually at LSU’s Bernie Moore Stadium.
Catholic High of Baton Rouge was the Class 5A winner with 116 points, West Jefferson was second with 46, and Airline followed in third.
In the Class 4A boys meet, Huntington gave champion Karr a run for first before a runner-up finish. Karr won the 1,600-meter relay, the meet’s final event, and posted a winning total of 64 points.
Huntington was second with 37, edging St. Augustine (36) and Breaux Bridge (32).
“We knew it was going to be hard, but we lost to a great team (in Karr),” Huntington coach LeRonn Burris said. “Every event we had here we scored points.
“As a first-year coach, I’m very satisfied. I couldn’t ask for a better group of kids. They never miss practice, and I’m proud to be their coach.”
Chance Chambers highlighted Huntington’s finish with a win in the long jump (24-2 ¾). The Raiders also picked up points with a second in the 400 relay and a third in the 800 relay. Individually, Huntington’s Aaron Roberson was second in the triple jump.
Airline’s day was highlighted by wins from Cameron Rice in the triple jump, and Jaquvis Hart in the 400.
Rice came in with the best qualifying jump, but has battled a bruised heel and an injured thigh in recent weeks. Still, Rice was the only competitor to break 47 feet (47 feet, 4 ¼ inches).
“I’ve been suffering through some pain, but I just concentrated real hard,” said Rice, whose personal best is 47-7.
“I’m excited for the mark that I hit on a hurt leg, but it wasn’t my best mark. I really wish I could have done better, but I’m satisfied with the place I got.”
Hart and Parkway’s Corey Hamilton battled each other in the 400 all season. Hamilton bested Hart at last week’s regional meet, but Hart came back to win the most important race.
Hart’s winning time of 47.62 was a school record, and good enough to outpace Hamilton’s second-place time of 48.50.
“I just tried to get out as fast as I could, and win the race in the last 100 meters,” said Hart, who did just that as he overtook Hamilton. “I was able to kick, got into the lead, and just kept the lead.
“It still hasn’t hit me yet.”
Parkway’s Alison Ringle lost the lead in the 5A girls 1,600 on the final lap and finished fourth. Ringle came back to win the 3,200 with a time of 11:23.34.
Loyola’s Kaitlin Tanner was a double winner with firsts in the Class 3A girls 1,600 and 3,200 competitions. Tanner edged Baker’s Dynasty Williams in both races, and posted winning times of 5:24.08 in the 1,600, and 11:48.52 in the 3,200.
“I felt really good. I just went for it,” Tanner said after her win in the 1,600.
“Dynasty was right behind me. I was worried she might catch me, but it worked out pretty good.”