The North DeSoto boys track team is not bashful about its goals for the 2013 outdoor season.
“They have told me from the start that their goal is to win state this year,” North DeSoto coach Robert Madison said.
The Griffins, who finished second at the Viking Relays in Benton last Thursday, were not far from bringing home the championship trophy from Baton Rouge last year. North DeSoto finished third at the Class 3A state championship meet behind Jewel Sumner and Donaldsonville.
“And most of our kids were juniors and sophomores last season,” Madison said.
The Griffins are experienced in the field events, and the runners are catching up.
Thursday in Benton, sophomore Christian Boyd showed his promise by winning the 110-meter hurdles in 15.45 seconds.
“Christian is a young one,” Madison said. “I was a little surprised by how he ran. We did indoor this year, and he had a decent indoor season. So I was expecting him to be around a 16 or high 15 time. But for him to run 15.45, he really opened my eyes to his potential. I will have to stay on him to keep him working hard and practicing.”
Hakim Gray is commited to play football at Louisiana Tech but missed most of his senior football season at North DeSoto because of a knee injury. Gray is back for track, however, and won the shot put Thursday with a 52-foot throw.
“Hakim is coming off that injury, so we are taking it really slow,” Madison said. “I expect by the end of the year he will be throwing it a lot better.”
Still, the Griffins have a long way to go before they can challenge for the state championship.
“Overall, we had a great performance (in the Viking Relays), but we still have some spots to fill,” Madison said. “We have to get better in the 400 and get better in the relays.”
In Benton North DeSoto finished fifth in the 4X200-meter relay and fourth in the 4X100-meter relay. Tamario Latin won the high jump for North DeSoto with a 6-foot-2 jump. The Griffins will be back in Benton Thursday to participate in the Bossier Relays.
“We are looking for consistency,” Madison said. “We aren’t really worried about where we finish. We are just hoping to keep getting better. I don’t want any downfalls in peoples times.”
Huntington Raider Relays
Captain Shreve swept the Huntington Raider Relays on Friday, with the boys and girls teams both placing first. The boys edged out second-place Huntington 121-91, with Northwood in third at 86. The Shreve girls won with 159 points, well ahead of second-place Northwood (66). Huntington was third with 63 points.
“Samantha Hilburn is our freshman distance runner, and she won the 3,200 and mile runs,” Shreve girls coach Marita Hunt said. “And our senior distance runner, Katherine Choquette, placed in both as well. We have a jumper, Rodnisha Terry, who is now a hurdler. She surprised me. She got first in the hurldes and was named MVP after getting second in the high jump and triple jump as well.
“And Mariah Hendricks, my other freshman who just learned long jumping, she got first in the long jump. That was a big surprise as well.”