Lakeside sprinter Chris Lewis darted to his typical early lead in the 100 meter dash, and he was gone.
In a matchup of arguably the two best sprinters in the state, Lewis ran away from Haughton’s Micah Larkins in Thursday’s Haughton Invitational to win with a 10.44. Larkins finished second with a 10.73.
Larkins still held on to his state-best mark this season of 10.31, but Larkins surprisingly lost another record Thursday – his 200 meter time.
Lewis, considered best in shorter distances (reigning Class 2A indoor champion in the 60 meter), smashed Louisiana’s best mark this season in the 200. He ran a 21.08, besting Larkins’ previous mark of 21.44 and holding off a feisty Corrieon Mosby (Natchitoches Central), who ran a 21.22.
“This is the second 200 meter race I’ve run this season, and even though the 100 is my baby, the 200 is becoming one of my favorite races,” said Lewis, who jumped up and down in disbelief when he learned of his state-best time. “I’ve been practicing the 200 hard recently, and the Lord came through for me today.
“It’s a blessing to run against the best like (Larkins). And Mosby ran great today, he pushed me.”
Larkins, who suffered a hamstring tweak last week, didn’t run his full slate of events, including the 200.
Lewis won the boys track MVP with wins in the 100, 200 and a third-place finish in the 4X100 relay.
The Lakeside boys finished eighth in the 13-team field while Haughton finished third in their home event.
Ruston boys, girls sweep
The Ruston boys and girls swept the team titles Thursday.
The Lady Bearcats more than doubled the competition with 153 points, besting Natchitoches Central (72), Parkway (69) and Benton (48) that led the 15-team field.
The Ruston and Airline boys traded leads throughout the meet, but the Bearcats (96.5) pulled ahead of the Vikings (79) at the end thanks in large part to pole vaulter Sam Haskins (14-feet, 8 inches), who concluded the meet with a near miss of a Haughton Invitational record vault of 15-feet, 1 inch.
“We love to start with the field events, where we got a great throw in javelin from Kristen Clark (141-feet, 2 inches),” said Ruston coach Allen Whittaker. “Sunni Mcallister is the heart of our team, and she pushed us forward with wins in the 100 and 200.
“On the boys side, Sam gave us a great effort, and I’m proud of the whole effort today.”
The Lady Bearcats won 10 of the 18 events.
Mcallister was the high point scorer and Hanna Siegmund was named track MVP. Mcallister’s 200 time of 24.98 was nearly two seconds faster than the field.
Aside from winning the 100 (12.31) and 200, Mcallister closed a large gap to aid in a 4X200 relay win and nearly passed Benton’s anchor leg in a second place 4X100 finish.
Airline takes field MVPs
Airline’s Cameron Rice and Jasmyn Carswell took the boys’ and girls’ field MVPs, respectively.
Rice won the long jump (23 feet), the triple jump (46 feet, 9 inches) and the high jump (6-foot-10), also earning the high-point earner in the meet.
Carswell won the triple jump (37-feet, 4 inches) by more than five feet, placed second in the long jump (16-feet, 3.5 inches) and tied the high jump mark of 5-foot-2, but finished fourth because of her number of misses.
Rice, the reigning Class 5A triple jump champion, participated in all three jumping events for the first time since injuring his hamstring in February.
“It feels good getting back to all three events … and it reminded me how tiring it was,” Rice said.
He drew an audience on the high jump event after clearing 6-foot-10 bar, and on his second attempt at 7 feet, he jumped over the bar but clipped it with his foot on the way down.
His 6-foot-10 jump ties the state’s best mark.
Several school records fall
Relay teams from Parkway and Benton and Haughton pole vaulter Cody Hinson all broke school records.
Parkway set its sights on its school record book Thursday by placing its best runners on the relay teams, and the Panthers 4X100 set a new record with a 42.32, edging out the old 42.60. Runners include C.J. Morgan, Robert McKnight, William McKnight and Corey Hamilton.
The Benton girls 4X100 ran a record 49.45 to win the event. Runners include Shelby Plunkett, Jill Anderson, Mikala Dillard and Brittany Black.
Hinson’s vault of 13 feet set Haughton’s record and he finished second behind Haskins.