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ESJ’s Jackson leads way as ’Cats head to regional

THIBODAUX — East St. John earned strong representation at this week’s regional meet after a strong performance at the District 7-5A meet Thursday at Thibodaux.

The Wildcats girls finished third and the boys finished fourth overall. Thibodaux won the meet on both the boys and girls side.

“I was pleased with what we saw from our guys,” East St. John boys track and field coach Greg Gathers said. “We had a lot of our kids’ best efforts today. We had a little bad luck in the 4×100 relay, but these kids came out and represented East St. John and made us all proud.”

The top four finishers in each event qualify for today’s Region III meet, which will also be contested at Thibodaux.

Jarrod Jackson highlighted the day for the boys as he won the 400 with a time of 50.89.

Dontrell Allen took second in the 100 (10.74) and in the 200 (22.17), edged in each race by Destrehan’s Kirk Merritt.

Brian Cain finished fourth in the 1600 (4:57.82). Dequan Cross captured third in the 800 (2:06.22). The 4×400 relay team took second place (3:34.80).

The Wildcats did not finish the 4×100 — which has been perennially been one of the Wildcats’ best events — as LSU commitment Xavier Lewis pulled up after aggravating a hamstring injury.

“It’s disappointing because the same thing happened to us last year with Dontrell (Allen),” Gathers said.

“But I have to commend Xavier. That’s a kid who’s got great character and a ton of competitiveness.

“He’s already going to LSU.

“He didn’t have to come out, but he wanted to represent East St. John the best way he knew how. That’s a guy that puts it on the line for his school.”

In the field events, Demonte Coxie finished second in the triple jump (42-11).

On the girls side, Jirah Brown took second in the 100 hurdles (16.78) and in the 300 (49.91). Ryanesha Denet (12.76) and Troynisha Gerard (12.76) tied for second in the 100.

Denet was second in the 200 meters (26.33). The 4×100 relay team earned second place (50.93) and the 4×400 team took third (4:29.34).

Keilah Scott was fourth in the 400 (1:02.43).