Wildcats’relay takes second

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 12, 2010



BATON ROUGE – East St. John fell just short of the Class 5A 4×200 boys relay crown, finishing as state runner-up in the event on Saturday at LSU’s Bernie Moore Track.

The team of Quinton Johnson, DeChris Strong, Brandon Mitchell and Reynaldo Young posted a time of 1:28.21, bested only by champion Captain Shreve (Brandon Wilson, Marcus Clark, John Henry, Everett Payne) and its time of 1:28.02.

ESJ coach Eleno Rodriguez expressed disappointment that his relay team didn’t walk away with the state title, but he also took pride in the way his team performed.

“I don’t know that I could be any prouder of these guys if they had finished in first,” said Rodriguez. “I have a hard time finding the words to express how I feel about it.”

Rodriguez said that Captain Shreve’s surge to the finish was a surprise.

“I didn’t really see them coming,” said Rodriguez. “I thought Destrehan would be our toughest challenge. But Captain Shreve just dug a little deeper and found the energy to make it happen. I congratulate them fully.”

The Wildcat girls placed fifth in the 4×100 event. That team consisted of Deznee Wilson, Dynekia Sanders, Darichelle Sampson and Journae King and put up a time of 49.88.

Baton Rouge Magnet won the girls overall crown. Catholic-Baton Rouge topped the boys side.

Destrehan’s Henry Lenox finished third in the 200-meter dash (21.87)

Hahnville’s Jamare Joseph finished sixth overall in the boys 300-meter hurdles with a time of 39.99. The tigers’ Princetta Cummings took sixth in the 100-meter hurdles (16.18).

The Wildcat boys track teams fell short in the 4×100 and the 4×400 events. The 4×100 ended in disappointment when Quinton Johnson was injured on his run — the Wildcats did not finish as DeChris Strong went back to tend to his fallen teammate. Johnson’s presence was missed in the 4×4, Rodriguez said.

Nevertheless, the coach said that he hoped that the three relay events showed the potential his athletes have to go on to the next level, particularly Johnson, Mitchell and Alonzo Lewis, his seniors.

“I think these guys can potentially run at the next level,” said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez pointed that his team performed at a high level all year despite the lack of a home track.

That won’t be an issue next season as East St. John will unveil a brand new track — one Rodriguez believes will be broken in in grand fashion.

“We have a number of people committing to run next year,” said Rodriguez. “We had an excellent number of young people make it to the regional, and we should have a really deep team returning next season. Next year, I feel that we can and will finish as state-runner up or even state champion.”