Seven locals collect gold at Region 1-5A track & field meet

By DOUG IRELAND, Journal Sports

NATCHITOCHES — No local teams challenged for the Region 1-5A track and field crowns Wednesday, but Captain Shreve’s Marquez Stevenson and Byrd’s Trent Wells were double winners and five other Caddo-Bossier competitors won event titles at Northwestern State’s Walter P. Ledet Track Complex.

Wells doubled in the 1600 (4:24.18) and 3200 (9:42.52), setting the pace and controlling both races.

“My strategy was to stay right on pace, then I ended up putting the hammer down at the end,” said Wells. “I was pleased with my performance today.”

Stevenson prevailed in an eagerly-anticipated showdown with two of the state’s top sprinters out of District 2-5A. The Captain Shreve senior had his district meet marred by cramps that derailed his plans to win four golds there, and he wasn’t confident at the start of the 100. Exactly 10.73 seconds later, concerns were allayed.

“I was kind of scared, because ever since my left leg cramped, it’s been real tight, but I stayed patient,” he said. “The leg recovered over time, and it was fun racing those guys today.”

He later outran the 400 field in 47.67.

Stevenson (21) and Wells (20) were 2-3 in boys individual scoring.

Three more local boys took gold: Southwood’s Travian Johnson in the 200 (21.55), Davis Sellers of Benton in the discus (146-0 ½) and Jeremiah Boudreaux of Airline in the high jump (6-4). Johnson was second (10.90) to Stevenson in the 100.

Highlighting local girls’ performances, Brianna Taylor scored 26 of Airline’s 40 points by winning the 100 (12.22) and running second in the 200 (24.99) and 400 (57.48). She was the second-highest scorer among all girls competing.

Benton’s Jamie Willis also qualified for next Saturday’s state meet in three events, winning the triple jump with a personal best 36-6 and taking third in the 100 meter hurdles (15.01) and the 300 hurdles (48.85), totaling 24 of Benton’s 38 points. Her triple jump mark was a highlight as her 24 points tied her for third in individual scoring.

“Everybody was yelling at me, so I went out there and did it,” she said about the win, before conceding that some technical adjustments helped. “They told me my steps in the second phase sucked, so I focused more on that, and I also focused on my ending, because I tend to flop into the pit. I decided maybe I ought to think a little more, and I did, and got a 36-6. I’ll take that.”

Ruston’s boys and girls ran away with team championships in both divisions.

The local athletes and relays that finished 1-2-3 Wednesday to become meet qualifiers, along with their teams’ scoring totals and places:

GIRLS

Parkway (41 points, 5th in team standings): Jayla James, shot put, 2nd, 35-9; Mikaylah Williams, discus, 2nd, 120-5 ½; 4×100 relay (Jillian Walton, Maya Jackson, Kyla Williams, Kaiden Taylor, 2nd, 48.11; 4×200 relay (Walton, Kenndi Lee, Williams, Taylor), 3rd, 1:42.61.

Airline (40 points, 6th): Brianna Taylor, 100 dash, 1st, 12.22; Taylor, 400 dash, 2nd, 57.48; Taylor, 200 dash, 2nd, 24.99; Arriana Hill, high jump, 3rd, 5-2; Jessie Frank, pole vault, 3rd, 9-0.

Benton (38 points, 7th): Jamie Willis, triple jump, 1st, 36-6; Willis, 100m hurdles, 3rd, 15.01; Willis, 300m hurdles, 3rd, 48.85.

Byrd (21 points, 8th): Jenna Key, 3200, 2nd, 11:49.22; 4×800 relay (Laila Wells, Hudson Roberts, Jenna Key, Arden Brainis), 3rd, 10:19.62.

Southwood (21 points, 8th): Rondisia Williams, 100 dash, 2nd, 12.28.

BOYS

Parkway (49 points, 3rd): 4×800 relay (Gabriel Falting, Adrian Orellana, Gary Smith, Noah Fox), 2nd, 8:19.54; 4×400 relay (Falting, Williams, Edward Moses, Will Achee), 2nd, 3:28.58; Jaylan White, 100 dash, 3rd, 10.92; 4×100 relay (White, Demontayvius Blackwell, Greg Chitman, Jayson Williams), 3rd, 42.46; Jake Morton, shot put, 3rd, 47-2 ½; Devon Oliver, discus, 3rd, 139-3.

Captain Shreve (34 points, 4th): Marquez Stevenson, 100 dash, 1st, 10.73; Stevenson, 400 dash, 1st, 47.67; Kaleb McHenry, shot put, 2nd, 47-11 1/2.

Byrd (32 points, 5th): Trent Wells, 1600, 1st, 4:24.18; Wells, 3200, 1st, 9:42.52.

Benton (31 points, 6th): Davis Sellers, discus, 1st, 146-0 ½; Mason Haley, 2nd, 4:25.09; Mark Perry, high jump, 3rd, 6-2.

Airline (28.5 points, 8th): Jeremiah Boudreaux, high jump, 1st, 6-4; 4×200 relay (Boudreaux, Cameron Jefferson, Daxton Chavez, Justin Washington), 3rd, 1:28.45.

Southwood (18 points, 12th): Travian Johnson, 200 dash, 1st, 21.55; Johnson, 100 dash, 2nd, 10.90.

Haughton (15 points, 14th): Kenneth Smith, 800, 3rd, 1:56.53; John Ecot, 200 dash, 3rd, 21.86.

PHOTO: by DOUG IRELAND