Wednesday’s Class 5A Region I track and field championship meet at Lee Hedges was smooth sailing for the Airline boys team.
Eight individual Vikings, along with the 4X400-meter relay team, are headed to the state meet in Baton Rouge on May 4.
Along the way, Airline scored 122 points to open a wide lead on second-place Haughton (68) and claim the first regional championship in school history.
“Each week, they keep getting better,” Airline coach Scott Reeder said. “They are peaking at the right time. We have some great kids who will do anything you tell them. It makes it a pleasure to coach them. They don’t gripe or complain. And now, going to state, the pressure is off.”
Byrd’s girls team finished third, behind Lafayette and Ruston. Parkway’s girls were fourth, with Alison Ringle easily winning the 1,600- (5:19.82) and 3,200-meter (11:44.07) runs to claim the girls regional track MVP award for a second straight year.
“It’s awesome, and I’m definitely excited to be going down to state,” Ringle said. “The competition is going to be crazy, especially in the mile.”
Jack Wilkes gave the Vikings a win in the 1,600-meter run (a PR of 4:22.11), a second place finish in the 800-meter run (1:58.37) and anchored Airline’s 4X400-meter relay team that placed first in 3:26.2.
“We knew we could do it, because we were undefeated, but I am surprised at how well everyone did,” Wilkes said. “We knew we had this potential. On the 4X4, Jaquvis Hart ran a heck of a third leg to give me a lead. I just had to hold the lead for him.”
Hart battled Parkway’s Cory Hamilton in the 400-meter dash, finishing second in 47.92. Hamilton was first in 47.76.
Captain Shreve’s Jared Shepherd took home boys track MVP honors after sweeping the 110- and 300-meter hurdles and participating on the Gator’s third-place 4X400-meter relay team.
“It’s a blessing,” Shepherd said. “I’ve worked from freshman year all the way up to go out with a band as a senior.”
Airline jumpers Cameron Rice and Jasmyn Carswell won the field MVP awards.