Carter, Sampson capture wins at 6-5A meet

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 23, 2011



RESERVE — East St. John’s Elex Carter, Darichelle Sampson and the Wildcats girls’ 4×200 relay team each captured individual district titles at Wednesday’s District 6-5A track and field meet at Joe Keller Memorial Stadium.

The East St. John girls finished third in the district with 92 points, behind St. Amant and district champion Dutchtown. The Wildcats’ boys finished fourth — Dutchtown also captured the district title on that side.

Carter’s leap of 45-6.5 bested all challengers in the boys’ triple jump. Sampson, meanwhile, recorded a long jump of 17-2 to nail down the girls’ long jump title.

All three ESJ girls’ relay squads will qualify for the regional, including the 4×200 team which took the district crown. That team consists of Jenkins, Wilson, Dominique White and Sampson and recorded a time of 1:43,13. The 4×100 and 4×400 teams each finished as district runner-up.

“We did about as expected. We knew going in that we’d be physically outmatched in the field events,” said East St. John girls’ coach Quinton Bradley. “I thought we did well overall. Third is the highest we’ve placed in district in awhile.”

Said East St. John boys’ coach Eleno Rodriguez, “We didn’t finish the season with a full roster, considering injuries and things of that nature. I thought we did exceptionally well. They gave us all they had, and we had a good number of them advancing to the regional.”

The top four qualifiers in each event move on to regionals.

Sampson also took third in the 100.

ESJ’s Fred Williams finished second in the boys’ high jump and fourth in the discus. The Wildcats’ DeChris Strong finished second in the 200 while teammate Denzell Ridney took third in the 110 meter hurdles. East St. John’s 4×200 and 4×400 relay teams each captured third place as well.

On the girls side, Journae King took second place in the long jump. Deznee Wilson captured second place in the 200, while Anne Marie Jenkins finished second in the 400. Terrian Gauff placed third in the 400. Kristan Johnson was third in the 300-meter hurdles.

Jenkins and Johnson are freshman, and their performances this year and in district have been a boon to the team, said Bradley.

“You don’t go in expecting that from freshmen,” said Bradley. “They did a great job.”

Hahnville’s Desvon Joseph (15.37) was a double-winner, taking the 110 and 300 meter hurdle events (41.17) . The tigers’ Beau Robinson won the 3,200.

Toryan Flot also was a two-time winner, capturing the girls’ 100 meter hurdles (16.73) and the 300-meter hurdles (48.02).

ESJ’S RODRIGUEZ RETIRING: After 10 years at the school, East St. John boys’ track and field coach Eleno Rodriguez says he’s stepping down at the end of the school year, citing a need to “recharge”.

“It’s been 10 good years here,” said Rodriguez. “I just have to thank the community for their support for so many years. I think this program is definitely moving in the right direction and has a bright future.”

Rodriguez has spent his last six years at ESJ as head track and field coach. He originally had planned to retire a year ago, but returned for one final season.

He said the need to take care of some health issues as well as general fatigue necessitated the move.

“I’m tired when I come to work and I’m tired when I leave. I’m a person that’s always gotten up at 4 a.m. ready to get to it,” he said. “It just hasn’t been like that lately. I want to at least take a year off to rest and then see where it goes.”

He did not rule out a return to coaching track and in fact said that it’s likely that one day he will do just that.

“I’m grateful that East St. John gave me the opportunity, because this is something I love,” said Rodriguez. “It’s something that I feel like I can pursue and enjoy for the rest of my life.”