Huntington girls score dominant LHSAA track & field triumph

STATE CHAMPS: Huntington’s Lady Raiders ran away with the state Class 4A track and field championship Saturday night at LSU’s Bernie Moore Track Stadium, winning by 35 points. (Photo by JERRY BYRD, Journal Sports)

By JERRY BYRD, Journal Sports

BATON ROUGE — For the first time in 30 years, an LHSAA Track & Field championship trophy will be sitting in the foyer at 6801 Rasberry Lane.

“We are tremendously proud of the young ladies,” Huntington head coach Joan Catanese said. “They worked tremendously hard. And we’re excited for our school.”

Huntington scored 87 points, 35 points more than runner-up West Feliciana, to claim the Class 4A girls’ crown on a stormy Saturday at LSU.  

Three Lady Raiders – junior Demetria Harris and seniors Serenity Palmer and Rondisia Williams – led Huntington, scoring 18 points each by winning one event and finishing as a runner-up in the other. 

As crazy as it sounds, Huntington’s outdoor championship started indoors at the Carl Maddox Fieldhouse where Palmer won the triple jump with a personal best of 36-3 and finished second in the high jump (5-1.75).

Those field events were held indoors because of rain and lightning, which caused a four-hour delay. Running in the classes 5A and 4A divisions didn’t start until shortly after 6 o’clock at LSU’s Bernie Moore Track Stadium and competition finally concluded at 11:15 Saturday night.

Before racing began, Huntington also picked up eight points in the girls’ long jump from Demetria Harris, who finished second in an effort of 17-9. West Feliciana’s Tristen Harris, who ended up winning the MVP Award, won the long jump with a jump of 18-0.25.

It didn’t take the Lady Raiders long to get things started on the track as Huntington’s Harris, Williams, Aniyah Jackson, and T’La Dewitt won the 4x200m by breaking their own school record with a 1:38.66. The Lady Raiders were in a tight battle with Ben Franklin up until the final exchange when Dewitt, the anchor leg, separated from the rest of the field. 

Huntington also captured the 4×100 relay (47.45).

From there, points came in bunches for the Lady Raiders, who scored 18 points in the 100m hurdles with a 1-2 finish by Harris (14.47) and senior Catina Davenport (15.00). Williams, who finished third in the 100m last year in Class 5A, came from behind in the 100m to edge out Tristen Harris with a time of 11.92. Class 4A’s best sprinters reversed the roles in the 200m as Williams finished as the runner-up with a 24.78 time.

Caddo-Bossier was represented well in throwing events on Saturday. Parkway sophomore Devon Oliver claimed the 5A boys’ discus championship on his last throw (162-3). 

In the 4A girls’ shot put, Woodlawn sophomore Shelunda Brooks won with a throw of 36-6.25. 

In the 5A boys’ javelin, Benton’s Jeffery King finished second with a throw of 173-10. In the 5A girls’ javelin, Parkway junior Chloe Larry finished as the runner-up (130-11). 

Other local athletes making the podium included Airline junior Jeremiah Boudreaux’s second place in the 5A boys’ high jump (6-7.5), Benton’s Jamie Willis, second in the 5A girls’ 100m hurdles (14.84), Airline’s Elena Heng, third in the 5A girls 800 (a school record 2:20.05), Captain Shreve’s Evan Johnson, third in the 5A boys’ 3200m (9:28.98), and Northwood’s Maurea Hudson, third in the 4A boys’ long jump (21-11).

Calvary’s Jackson Burney left Bernie Moore Stadium on Friday after the LHSAA Class 2A State Championships with three gold medals and the meet’s MVP trophy. He edged Loyola’s Tripp Roemer in an epic 1600m race with both runners coming through the line in 4:22. Burney also won the 800m (1:59.37) and ran a leg on Calvary’s winning 4x400m (3:26.27). Other members of the championship relay team were John Simon, Landon Sylivie and Kolby Thomas. 

Roemer bounced back to win his first state championship in the 3200m (9:57.96). 

“I knew it wasn’t going to be a PR (personal record),” Roemer said. “It was hot out there. Although I didn’t win the mile, I felt really good about it. That 4:22, I didn’t think that was in the books. I just wanted the win in the two mile. Being a state champion…I never thought I would be able to say that about myself.”

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