Bush captures long jump state title

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 9, 2000

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / May 9, 2000

BATON ROUGE – East St. John’s Chris Bush picked the best time to comethrough with his best long jump of the year.

Bush, a senior, jumped 24 feet, two and a half inches to capture the long jump title at the LHSAA Class 5A state track and field meet Saturday afternoon at LSU’s Bernie Moore Track Stadium.

Bush went on to place second in the triple jump, helping East St. John to a tiefor 11th in the team competition. Both the Wildcats and Fontainebleau had19 points.

Opelousas, led by LSU football signee Devery Henderson, won the state title with 84 points. St. Augustine came on strong in the running events to placesecond with 52 points. Higgins was third with 34 points, followed by NewIberia with 28 and Ruston with 27. St. Amant (26), Acadiana (24), Broadmoor(21), Shaw (20) and West Monroe (19.5) completed the top 10.Bush, who had placed seventh in the state in the long jump as a sophomore, defeated Roland Bernard for the long jump title. Bernard jumped 23-7.25.Opelousas’ Carl White jumped 23-6.25 to place third while Destrehan’sDamien Richard was right behind with a jump of 23-1.25.”I definitely came here to compete,” Bush said. “I’ve been looking forward tothis since the beginning of the season. I took my time, got a good lift off theboard and my body just carried through the air.”Bush, who had placed third in the triple jump in 1999, moved up a place this year with a jump of 47-6.25. Opelousas’ White won the title with a jump of50-7.25. That set a new Class 5A record, beating the old mark of 50-1.50set by Destrehan’s Traun Smith last season.

The East St. John 4×200 meter relay team of Corey Bryant, Rynelle Joseph,Michael Ridley and Cornell Watkins took sixth with a time of one minute, 28.57 seconds. Barbe crossed the line first with a time of 1:27.25, edgingout Opelousas which came in at 1:27.76.That team was anchored by Henderson, who also won the 100 and 200 meters in being named the meet’s Outstanding Performer. He finished the200 in 21.69. Hahnville’s Skyler Boyle came in eighth.The Wildcats also competed in the 4×100 meter relay but were disqualified.

St. Augustine won the event in 42.33.In the girls’ competition, East St. John, behind a fourth-place finish in thetriple jump by Melissa Ledet, tied Dominican and West Monroe for 27th place with four points.

East Ascension held off Baton Rouge to capture the team total with 64 points. It was the first state title in school history. Baton Rouge had 54,followed by Mandeville and Warren Easton with 36 and John Ehret with 34.5.Natchitoches-Central placed sixth with Thibodaux, Comeaux and Baker tying for seventh with 22 points. Opelousas was 10th with 19.5.Ledet jumped 35-10.5 to place fourth in the triple jump. Natchitoches-Central’s Stephanie Sowell jumped 40-5.25 to establish a new class record.The old mark of 39-3 was set by Neville’s Tameyka Gayden in 1992. EastJefferson’s Theresa Samuels was second with a jump of 36-0.75 withBaker’s Vanessa Deggins third with her jump of 35-11.5.Ledet also placed ninth in the long jump with a jump of 15-7.50. Baker’sNatalie Sowell took home the state title with a jump of 19-7.25.East St. John’s Courtney Drayton placed seventh in the javelin with a throwof 106-0. Comeaux’s Amy Higginbotham came in first with a throw of 133-1.In the track events, the Lady Cats’ Natalie Hargrove was ninth in the 400 meters in a time of 1:02.04. Dominique Jones of Warren Easton was thestate champion, crossing the line in 56.62.East Ascension’s Sherri Andrews won the 100 and 200 and was named the Outstanding Performer for the second straight year.

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