Published 12:00 am Monday, May 11, 1998

Michael Kiral / L’Observateur / May 11, 1998

BATON ROUGE – Amanda Roussel and Melissa Martin captured state championships in the high jump and shot put, respectively, leading the Riverside Lady Rebels to a fifth-place finish at the Class 2A State Farm/LHSAA state track and field meet held at LSU’s Bernie Moore Track Stadium Thursday afternoon.

The Lady Rebels tied University High with 38 points. St. Thomas Aquinaswon the state team championship with 60 points, followed by Ouachita Christian (53), Academy of the Sacred Heart-Grand Coteau (50) and Delhi (40).

Episcopal captured the boys’ title with 92 points, out-distancing Jonesboro-Hodge which finished with 66 points. Welsh was third with 54,followed by Lake Arthur (34) and Newman (27). West St. John tied for 21stwith seven points and Riverside tied for 27th with four points.

Roussel’s and Martin’s championships were the first for the Lady Rebels since Jenny Zeringue won the high jump in 1993 and the first for the school since Travis Bourgeois placed first in the shot put in 1995.

Roussel, the school’s record holder in the high jump, won the event with a jump of five feet, four inches. She barely missed her third attempt at 5-7.Teammate Rachel Branton tied with Lakeview’s Shontae Harris by clearing the bar at 5-3, but Harris placed second based on fewer misses throughout the competition.

“It feels great,” Roussel said. “The first time I came here was as afreshman and I placed fifth. I always wanted to be a state champion. I amvery happy I got this far and hopefully I can do it again next year.

“Great coaching helped me a lot. Coach McMillan pulled me out of a holeand I owe it all to him.”Martin defeated Opelousas Catholic’s Kristen Anderson, 36-3 – 35-3 1/2, to win the shot put competition. West St. John’s Kenyatta Boudoin finishedfourth with a throw of 34-8 1/2.

“I came in third last year so I was pretty confident,” Martin said. “I hadbeen throwing 36 feet in practice. I had been coming here every year sincemy sophomore year and I was hoping to improve.”Riverside’s Mandy Roussel placed third in the discus with a throw of 103- 2, a personal best. Ouachita Christian’s Mandy Hayes won the competitionwith a throw of 119-4, followed by Opelousas Catholic’s Kristine Urban, who had a throw of 104-1 1/2.

Hannah Hobdy added a fifth place finish in the long jump with a jump of 16-6 1/2. Ouachita Christian’s Julia Barnhill was the state champion at18-0, with Sacred Heart’s Shameka Louis placing second with a jump of 17-9 3/4.

St. Charles Catholic’s Erin Shackelford gave the Lady Comets a fifth-placefinish in the javelin with a throw of 115-7. St. Martin’s Catherine Betzwon the state championship with a throw of 148-1, the second longest throw in the nation this year.

In the running events, Riverside’s 4×100 relay team of Jennifer Guidry, Melissa Martin, Marcy Remondet and Lori Smith set the school record with a time of 52.18 seconds, placing sixth. St. Charles Catholic was eighth,followed by West St. John. Delhi won the state championship with a timeof 49.41. Aime Graugnard, Amanda Roussel, Michelle Millet and Hannah Hobdy gave the Lady Rebels a seventh-place finish in the 4×400 meter relay with a time of 4:23.04. Delhi captured the title in a time of 4:11.82. Roussel alsoplaced sixth in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 17.62. Jackson’sSylvida Davis was first with a time of 15.60.”I am happy and the girls are happy,” Riverside coach John White said of the girls’ finish. “We had another great season. We had six team recordsbroken throughout the season, two state champions and we won the district and regional championships again.”In the boys’ competition, West St. John’s Rysean Brown closed strong downthe stretch to place fifth in the 400-meter dash, finishing a step out of fourth with a time of 51.57. The time was a personal best. Episcopal’sChandler Rice was first in a time of 50.02.”I started nervous but I kept a steady pace,” Brown, making an appearance in the state tournament in his first year running track, said. “I knew itwas going to be hard. I had to step it up and push myself. I knew somebodyhere would make me run. I was aiming for third and I gave it my all downthe stretch to see if I could place.”The Rams’ 4×200 relay team of Brown, Abram Johnson, Brent Poche and Arlando Comminie, placed fifth with a time of 1:32.45. Jonesboro-Hodgeplaced first with a time of 1:28.53. In the 4×400 relay, Riverside placedseventh and West St. Ninth behind state champion Episcopal.In the field events, Riverside’s Travis Bourgeois placed fourth in the shot put with a throw of 50-2 1/4. Newman’s Adam Biderman placed first witha throw of 53-2 3/4. Bourgeois also placed seventh in the discus with athrow of 134-10. Biderman won that title as well with a throw of 171-5.St. Charles Catholic’s Maurice St. Pierre tied for sixth in the high jumpwith a jump of 6-2, while West St. John’s Donavan Pierre was eighth at 5-10. West St. John’s Dehaven Duronslet placed sixth in the triple jump witha jump of 43-3 1/2. And Riverside’s Keith LeBlanc placed eighth in thejavelin with a throw of 141-7.

Sacred Heart’s Shameka Louis and Jonesboro-Hodge’s Thyron Anderson were selected as the female and male outstanding track and field performers, respectively.

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