At the Class B and C outdoor track state championship, Samantha Withers ran past the competition.
Withers won individual state championships in the 800-meter, 1600-meter and 3200-meter and a relay championship in the 4×400 to help the Falcons finish second in Class B.
Withers had a hand in earning 40 of the 61 points the Episcopal School of Acadiana earned during the meet, and showed throughout the season that she was capable of dominating the competition.
Her efforts in the various track competitions earned Withers the Most Outstanding Track Performer in the small school girls category.
The eighth grader only competed in one individual event as a seventh-grader, the 800-meter, highlighting her improvement in her second year at the varsity level.
Yes, Withers won four state championships as an eighth grader.
Sarina Lapeyrouse was a big part of her improvement and has now coached the Falcons to two straight second-place finishes at the state meet.
The former Northwestern State softball player took over the program in 2008, and has mentored young athletes such as Withers and fellow ESA runner Breigh Rodriguez into quality performers earning her Coach of the Year honors.
Catholic High of New Iberia’s Reagann Leleux knew she had quite the name to live up to in the pole vaulting community.
Her sister, Morgan, holds the state’s composite record in pole vaulting a record she set in 2011.
But in the 2A state championships Leleux lived up to her sister’s name and claimed the individual title in pole vaulting, while setting a new class record and a personal record.
Her performance earned her All-American honors and now The Daily Advertiser’s Most Outstanding Field Performer.
“It was really great, I finally got a new personal record and got the All-American award,” Leleux said. “It was really exciting because my sister had always gotten it and I’ve been trying to live up to that.”
Perhaps most impressively, Leleux accomplished all of that as a mere freshman, and now has three more years to challenge her sister’s composite record.
Leleux said she couldn’t have accomplished what she did without her father, Shane, who has helped her throughout her career.
“I couldn’t have done it without my dad. He’s pushed me and helped me all along the way,” Leleux said. “He’s been great.”
Leleux said one of the best things her dad did for her career was bringing her to a large competition in Texas when she was an eighth-grader because competing in front of that big crowd helped prepare her for the state championship meet at LSU.
“That was my first time being in front of a really big crowd,” Leleux said. “So it kind of freaked me out a little bit. I was definitely more prepare for state because of that.”
Now Leleux will set her sights on her sister, and improving even more for the chance to maybe challenge that composite record.
“She’s always pushed me with her success,” Leleux said. “She’s always made me want to become a better pole vaulter.”