ESJ boys track takes district crown
Published 11:45 pm Friday, April 20, 2012
By RYAN ARENA
RESERVE — The East St. John boys hadn’t been able to call themselves a district track and field champion in almost a decade. That is no longer the case.
The Wildcats took District 8-5A honors Wednesday on their home track at Joe Keller Memorial Stadium, besting second place Higgins, 145-142.
“It’s really satisfying,” said East St. John boys track and field coach Greg Gathers. “We’ve been trying to get more and more people out for track. It’s hard to convince someone to want to run on a hot day in Louisiana … But on a night like tonight, our guys see all of their hard work pay off. It’s a big step in bringing that pride in track and field back to East St. John.”
The Wildcat girls team finished third, behind Hahnville and champion John Ehret.
Four East St. John athletes took individual district championship honors. Donald Stirgus was first place in the 1600 meters (4:41.71); Jevaugn Albert netted first in the 300 meter hurdles (41.34); Fred Williams earned top honors in the discus (146-10) and Rashad Green finished first in the high jump (6-04).
Stirgus, said Gathers, was as important to his team for an events he didn’t win as for the one he did. By earning points in fourth place finishes in the 800 and 3200, he helped push ESJ to the narrow win.
The 3200, in particular, was an event Stirgus had never competed in. But when he was asked to run Wednesday, he answered the call.
“I didn’t really want to do it. Running back to back like that was very tiring,” he said. “But I did it for the team today.”
His winning time in the 1600 was a personal best this year.
Green also had his best day, improving from a previous high jump best of 6-0 to 6-4.
“I was just feeling great today,” Green said. “We won district in football and basketball, and it feels good to do it in track now. Next is regionals, and I hope that we can all go to state.”
Albert, who also notched a second place finish in the 800 and was named the track MVP, also said that it felt good to bring a district crown back to East St. John.
“Everyone’s just got a good attitude,” he said. “I can hear my teammates cheering for me when I run, to have the fans here behind me. It was a good night.”
Obediah Payne (pole vault), Elex Carter (triple jump), Kadeem Vance (110 hurdles), Leonard Davis (400)and Darius Lipps (100 and 200) all notched top three finishes for ESJ.
Destrehan also had a number of district champions, all on the track: Dillon Dent in the 100 (10.81); Keagan Joseph in the 200 (22.52); Tremayne Daniels in the 400 (49.07); Kyle Evans in the 800 (2:03.03); and Antonio Coleman in the 110 hurdles (15.22). The 4×200 and the 4×400 teams (Evans, Daniels, Ryan Evans and Corey Williams ran each) also took first place.
Hahnville’s Austin Paul took first in the pole vault (8-06), while the Tigers’ Beau Robinson finished tops in the 3200 (10:05.67).
Among ESJ girls, Dominique White took the district crown in the 200 (25.26). The 4×400 relay squad (Terrian Gauff, Darilynn Sampson, White and Brianna Pierre) ran a 4:08.19 time to take first place.
Gauff (the 800), Cecilia Woods (1600), Bishan Caston (3200), Kanitra Lee (discus and javelin) and Elizabeth Scioneaux (high jump and long jump) all took top three finishes for the Ladycats.
Destrehan’s Jemisha Frazier earned first place honors in three field events, setting marks of 38-04.25 in the shot put, 130-4 in the javelin and 130-4 in the discus.
Toryan Flot (48.33, 300 hurdles), Darrelyn Ingram (7-0, pole vault), Kaelyn Smith (17-0, long jump) and Breanne Bais (35-05.50, triple jump) all took first place honors for Hahnville.