The Benton boys could smell a Class 4A track and field title after Drake Heinz’s 3,200 meter championship along with Stephen Singleton’s third-place finish handed the Tigers a four-point lead with one event remaining.
But Opelousas placed third in the 4X400 relay, scoring six points and taking the Class 4A title with a 46-44 edge over the Tigers.
“A fourth-place finish (for Opelousas’ relay) would have beaten us and a fifth-place would have tied,” said Benton coach Scott Carroway, who added Opelousas’ 4X400 team had been solid all year. “Our program still had its highest finish ever, and it was nice to be in contention coming down to the final race.
“We’ve placed third a bunch of times. For us to finish this high, things like Ryder Miller scoring two points in the 800 when he wasn’t seeded to score have to happen.”
Heinz won the boys only individual title (10:09.17), but Benton’s deep squad picked up chunks of points in other areas.
Sophomore sprinter Dorsavian Williams placed third in both the 100 and 200 and Heinz added a second in the 1600 with Garrett Gipson finished third.
The Northwood boys placed fifth with 29 points while No. 6 North DeSoto scored 28.
Bossier capped the Class 3A boys meet with a win in the 4X400. Kelvin Brooks, Juwan Wells, John Langston and Cartavia Cook combined to run a 3:23.22.
The Evangel boys (64 points), fresh off the program’s first district and regional title, placed third in the Class 3A boys. North Webster (18 points) came in ninth.
The Natchitoches Central girls took home the 4X400 relay title as expected with a 3:56.09, run by Colby Carey, Hanna Nichols, Caitlyn McCauslin and DeKayta Alex.
The Byrd girls tied for third with 43 points with Barbe as Zachary (51 points) edged Baton Rouge High (50 points) for the Class 5A girls title.
In Class 5A boys, Haughton grabbed third with 38 points while No. 7 Airline (32), Natchitoches Central (30) and No. 9 Parkway (24) all finished in the top 10.
Airline’s Cameron Rice had a legitimate shot at the jumps triple crown, but he scored 22 points with second places in long and triple and a third-place in the high jump. Rice won the triple jump this past season.
Racking up titles
Several local athletes added to their title count this past weekend.
Calvary’s Hailey Hesterman won the 1600 this season increasing her outdoor total to seven.
Parkway’s Alison Ringle and Benton’s Drake Heinz won their second straight 3200 outdoor titles. Loyola’s Kaitlin Tanner was a near-miss to repeat as the 3200 champion, placing second one season after winning the 1600 and 3200.
Lakeside’s Chris Lewis pushed his outdoor total to six championships with the 100, 200 and being part of the 4X100 title. Lewis swept the 100 and 200 this past season with a 100 win in 2012.
Haughton’s Micah Larkins added his second straight 100 title.
North DeSoto’s Christian Boyd swept the 110 and 300 hurdles after winning the 110 this past season.
Haughton freshman Josh Lister was part of the winning 4X100 relay team, and he added a third-place finish in the 100. Lister has already developed into one of the best sprinters in the state.
Plain Dealing eigth grader Teunna Perry isn’t new to competitive track, and she placed second in the long jump and eigth in the triple jump.
Haynesville should have plenty more seasons with its runner up 4X400 girls relay. The team consisted of seventh-grader Erin Franklin, eighth grader Trinity Modisette, freshman Talibah Cornelious and junior Brittany Beene.