Huntington poised to push for 4A  girls’ state title at LHSAA track & field meet

AIMING FOR THE TITLE:  Versatile Huntington competitor Catina Davenport will be a key contributor in the Lady Raiders’ push Saturday for a state championship. (File photo courtesy MileSplitLa)

By JERRY BYRD, Journal Sports

BATON ROUGE — Last year, it was the Mansfield Wolverines who made history by winning the school’s first state track and field championship in 35 years. This year, it’s the Huntington Lady Raiders who have some unfinished business as they make their way to LSU’s Bernie Moore Stadium on Saturday for the LHSAA Class 4A State Championships.

“Have your shirt already made.”

That was the message last month when Huntington track and field legend Teresa Foster, who was on Huntington’s state championship teams in 1987 and 1988, was asked if she had any advice for this year’s Lady Raiders.

And while Huntington coaches Joan Catanese and LeRonn Burris hope their team carries that type of swagger into the state outdoor meet, they will hold off on placing the T-shirt order. However, they are expecting their Lady Raiders to put the icing on the cake on what has already been a prolific season on Rasberry Lane.

“We are extremely excited about the opportunity to compete at such a high level versus so many talented Louisiana teams,” Catanese said. “Throughout the year, our team has been concentrated on the work at hand and our staff has reiterated to them to be confident yet remain humble.”

Huntington is favored in five events. Those No. 1 seeds include Rondisia Williams in the 100m (12.00), Serenity Palmer in the triple jump (36-0.5), Demetria Harris in the 100m hurdles (14.67), and the Lady Raiders relay foursomes in the 4×100 (47.63), and 4×200 (1:39.97).

In two other events – the girls’ long jump and 100m hurdles – Huntington has the No. 2 seed.

Harris, who won the LHSAA Outdoor Meet’s MVP Award a year ago, is seeded No. 2 in the 4A long jump (18-3.5). Senior Catina Davenport (15.32) is seeded No. 2 behind Harris in the girls’ 100m hurdles.

The only other Caddo-Bossier athlete who is favored to win Saturday at the LHSAA Class 5A is Devon Oliver of Parkway, who is the top seed with his winning regional mark of 164-5.

Today, Caddo Parish has two distance runners who look to make some noise in the LHSAA Class 2A Meet. Calvary sophomore Jackson Burney, who won his first state championship last year in the 800m at the LHSAA Class 1A Meet, is the No. 1 seed in both the 1600m (4:32.66) and 800m (1:57.14).

Burney will be very familiar with one of his main competitors in the 1600m. It will be Loyola junior Franklin Roemer, who is seeded No. 3 with a 4:38. Sullivan Hanna from Rosepine is the No. 2 seed with a 4:33.

Roemer, who is looking for his first state title, has the No. 1 seed in the 3200m with a 10:10.46.

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