Wildcats’ Sampson signs with Southeastern

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 21, 2011



RESERVE — East St. John’s track and field team has produced it’s fourth scholarship athlete this month as Wildcats’ senior Darichelle Sampson officially signed to join Southeastern University.

“I’m excited to be moving on to the next level,” said Sampson. “It’s a chance to get better and to see how high I can climb.”

Sampson was one of the most versatile competitors in the area, competing throughout her ‘Cats career in the 100, the 200, all three relay events and the long jump. This season, she was named All-District in the 100 and the long jump, the latter event she only took up at midseason. She would go on to qualify for state in the event.

She was a key member of the 4×100 relay team that finished as Class 5A state runner-up and recorded a school record time of 47.75, besting the previous mark of 48.00.

“She’s been the glue on that team,” said East St. John girls track coach Quinton Bradley. “She ran that third leg at state, and before she got the baton, we were probably hovering around fifth. When she was through, we were in second. She was a key, key part of our success.”

Sampson said she felt at home at the campus, where she had often visited before with her sister, Darielle.

“I really liked the campus and felt comfortable with the coaches. It felt natural,” said Sampson. “My sister went there on a track scholarship and I feel like I want to go and finish what she started there.”

Sampson’s emergence as a long jumper happened almost by random chance, as Bradley saw her jumping at practice “here and there” and asked her to give it a try. In her first competition in the long jump, she finished first Destrehan’s meet.

“Maybe we should have put her there earlier,” said Bradley. “But she turned it on and went all the way. She’s very versatile and was always willing to do whatever we asked her to do. She’s extremely team-oriented.”

Said Sampson, “At first, I didn’t like it. But I got better and better at it and made it all the way to state. So I was happy to take it up.”

But her running ability has been there all the while, and Bradley believes his pupil is destined to do great things.

“She’s a top-notch sprinter,” said Bradley. “Her turnover, her running style is second to none. If she continues progressing, she’ll probably be one of the top sprinters in the state, whether you’re talking about LSU or anyone else. I definitely believe that.”