ESJ set for 8-5A meet

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, April 16, 2013

LAPLACE – Both the East St. John boys and girls track and field teams have had tremendous seasons so far, and each hopes to ride that momentum to a district championship this week.
The District 8-5A track and field meet is set to be held Thursday at Hahnville, where the ESJ boys will attempt to win their second consecutive district championship and the girls seek their first in over a decade.
“We’re going to try and take the district crown and, if we can, get all of our relay teams to state,” said ESJ boys coach Greg Gathers. “We’ve got a chance to do that and get a few individuals there as well.
“Up until this point, really, everything’s been practice. We’re going into the meets that really count.”
ESJ will compete with Hahnville, Destrehan, Higgins and Bonnabel at the event.
The Wildcat boys were set to run at West St. John last week, but that meet was cancelled due to weather.
Gathers said he would have liked to see his team compete, but that there are also benefits to taking the week off.
“It gives our guys a chance to rest their legs. We’ve got a couple of guys who are dealing with a hamstring, and some other things. You’d like to run and stay sharp, but at the same time, to be successful you have to limit injuries.”
The boys took first place at their last event, the Pelican Relays at Southern two weeks ago.
The 4×100 (Troy Gerard, Darius Lipps, Xavier Lewis and Leonard Davis), 4×200 (Lewis, Lipps, Davis and JeVaughn Albert) and 4×400 (Davis, Darren Darensburg, Donald Sturgis and albert) all captured first place at the event.
Sturgis (1600), Lipps (100) and Darren Williams (discus) all took first place finishes. Lipps  (200) and Albert (800) also took second place finishes.
Meanwhile, girls coach Mark Creecy feels like his team could be primed to do what the boys did a year ago: end a district championship drought at East St. John.
“I like where we stand right now,” said Creecy. “We’ve got a pretty good shot. We have no pole vaulters, but we’ve got two in pretty much every other event. Now, it’s a matter of going out, competing and executing.”
The Ladycats also did extremely well at the Southern meet, taking second place overall.
Raja-ne Morris (800), Leiah Turner (300 hurdles)and Joi Scioneaux (triple jump) each took second place finishes. Scioneaux added a third in the long jump.
“We’ve got a lot of pieces that have come together as a team,” said Creecy. “We’ve got depth and talent. We should have a good showing.”
The field events are scheduled to begin at 3:15 p.m., with the running events set for 5:15 p.m.