ESJH closes out bounceback track run

Published 12:18 am Wednesday, May 16, 2018

RESERVE — At the conclusion of a track and field season full of ups and downs, seven East St. John High student athletes took home individual and team awards at a recent state meet.

Senior Jamayia Haynes cleared nine feet in the pole vault and tied for sixth in the LHSAA state meet. She’s a strong contender in track events and a seasoned competitor in the 800m, 1,600m and 3,200m runs.

Haynes, along with senior Wesley Patterson, are eyeing opportunities to bring their talents to the collegiate level, according to head coach Percy Williams.

Though he didn’t place in state, Patterson competes in the high jump , races in the 400m run and maxes out at two minutes in the 800m run, according to Williams.

Sophomore Iriel Crouch placed fifth in state in the 200 meters at 25.59 seconds. She also placed eighth in 100 meters, approximately half a second separating her 12.68-second time from first place.

Junior Sterling Davis cleared 42 feet in the triple jump, placing seventh, and the 4x400m relay team consisting of Chasity Williams, Emily Bartholomew, Roydell Nevers and Darryan Hortons came in ninth with a time of 4 minutes and 28 seconds.

Those on the first row, from left, include Keyson Knight, Dominic Paul, Terius Taranto, Sterling Davis, Wesley Patterson, Vince Bartholomew, back row, Tayzhan Hall, Connor Porter, Kyle Albert, Coy Vedol, Dominic Davis, Trequan Thomas and William Anderson at the Joe Keller relays.

With the girls placing 25th and the boys 30th overall, Williams said this year’s results didn’t measure up to previous years.

“In the past, we’ve finished in the top 5 or top 3 in state,” Williams said. “It’s my second year back out of retirement, and we’re trying to gain respect and build up the program to where it should be.”

He said the team’s performance peaked at the right time to qualify for regionals and state, and he’s proud of the effort his student athletes put in to persevere through challenges.

Several players who started practicing in the fall did not finish the season, Williams said, and injuries wreaked havoc on the team.

After sustaining a mid-season hamstring injury, Chasity Williams came around tremendously and gave it her all in state, he said.

The season wasn’t without its virtues, as the Wildcats developed a group of talented runners.

“The boys and girls were stronger on the track this year,” Williams said. “The field events were so-so, but we had a lot of young kids doing it for the first year. Overall, I was pleased with the kids’ effort.”

The Sugar Bowl meet in New Orleans and the East St. John Invitational were the high points, according to Williams.

“When we hosted our own track meet, the boys won first and the girls came out second,” Williams said. “That was a turning point of our season.”

With boys and girls combined, the East St. John track team boasts nearly 40 athletes.

Focusing on each individual was never a challenge with a team of skilled assistant coaches on hand for various events, Williams said.

Seven seniors are graduating, but Williams said the nucleus of the team is returning next season.

He expects big things from Crouch, Kendrick Brown and Ken Bolden in upcoming races.