Pacesetters: Five standouts in local prep boys track & field

YELLOW JACKET FLIES: Byrd’s Trent Wells ranks among the state’s best in three distance races.

By JERRY BYRD JR., Journal Sports

The outdoor high school track and field season gets started Thursday with the Shamocus Patton Benton Tiger Relays. There are several local athletes who are among the best in Louisiana. Here are the top Caddo-Bossier boys to watch this spring:

Marquez Stevenson (Captain Shreve) – While MileSplit Louisiana ranks the Captain Shreve Gator as the No. 2 returning 400 meter runner in the state, the data base does not include Stevenson’s 46.85 from last summer. It wasn’t like that time was run in a local summer meet with questionable timing. He ran it at the AAU Junior Olympics in Humble, Texas. He surpassed Mansfield’s Jerry Wilson for the No. 1 all-time mark in northwest Louisiana. Stevenson is only a junior. With a 200 meter time of 21.93, he is 13th statewide in that event.

Trent Wells (C.E. Byrd) – The Yellow Jacket is ranked No. 3 among returning 1600 meter runners in Louisiana with a 4:18.71. He is No. 5 in the 3200 meters (9:40.73), and No. 14 in the 800 meters (1:59.89)

Jaylan White (Parkway) – The Panther speedster is the fastest junior in Louisiana. While he is ranked No. 7 overall with a time of 10.63, all six sprinters above White are 2022 seniors.

Oshamar Hall (Booker T. Washington) – Hall is one of the question marks going into the outdoor season. Among Louisiana returners, the high jumper is ranked No. 2 after jumping 6-8 a year ago. But Hall will be wearing a new uniform the next time he competes. Hall has transferred from Huntington, where he competed last year, to Booker T. Washington. Hall did not compete in the indoor season. It remains to be seen if he will compete this year or is forced to sit out due to LHSAA transfer rules.

Tristen Santora (Haughton) – Haughton is known for its speed and it shines in sprint relays. That won’t change in 2022 as junior John Ecot, who posted a 10.92 in the 100 meters last year, leads the sprint corps, but our Buccaneer to watch is discus thrower Tristen Santora. The big left tackle for football coach Jason Brotherton is ranked No. 8 among all returning discus throwers in the state. Santora had a best of 134-4.5. Six of the seven discus throwers ranked above Santora are seniors this year. Already one of the best in the state, if he continues to improve, Santora may find his name in the national rankings before his time in Haughton comes to a close.

Photo by KYLE VALDEZ, MileSplit Louisiana