By JERRY BYRD, Journal Sports
Getting in a car at 5 a.m. and driving four hours south after playing in a basketball game the night before isn’t an ideal situation to open your track and field season, but it didn’t seem to bother Airline’s Jeremiah Boudreaux, who competed at the McNeese Indoor No. 1 on Saturday.
Boudreaux won the high jump (6-0) and finished second in both the triple jump (42-0) and 55m hurdles (8.47).
“I’m proud of myself coming straight out of basketball and not really having much work in high jump to come out here and do my best,” Boudreaux said. “I have a lot to work on and I’m just ready for the competition.”
His coach was proud, too.
“He had a phenomenal day today,” Airline head coach Schirra Fields said. “Really, this is his first opportunity to get to compete. I told him to go out and do the best he can. We weren’t trying to set records or anything. The tough part for me is deciding what events to put him in. He is a great kid. Great athlete, and I’m super excited for his season.”
It was a great way for Boudreaux to start his season and get the bad taste out of his mouth from the way his sophomore season ended. He finished ninth with a jump of 5-10 at the 2022 LHSAA Class 5A Outdoor Championships just a week after qualifying for the meet with a personal record jump of 6-4 on his way to a win at the Region I-5A Meet in Natchitoches.
As far as getting up and traveling after a Friday night basketball game, Boudreaux said there are considerations he has to take into account.
“It’s a little tough,” Boudreaux said. “It’s a lot of fatigue, but you just have to rest and recover a lot and make sure my body is intact.”
One Caddo-Bossier track and field athlete who finished her sophomore season on a high note was Huntington junior Demetria Harris.
Harris was the MVP of the LHSAA Class 4A State Championships after picking up two golds and two bronze medals. She won the 100m (12.11) and the 100m hurdles (14.49) while finishing third in the long jump (16-11.5) and 200m (25.08).
The Raiders were in Lake Charles opening their 2023 season and Harris had a strong showing in the debut for her junior season. She finished second in the long jump (16-7.50) and third in the 55m hurdles with a time of 9.12 in the finals.
In the prelims, Harris ran a 9.08, a school record.
Harris wasn’t the only Raider making noise in Lake Charles. Fellow junior Preston Summage won the boys’ 400m with a time of 52.86.
Both 4x200m relay teams performed well for the Raiders. The boys’ team finished second with a 1:35.76 and the girls took third in 1:47.92.
Other Raiders coming away with T-shirts included Oshamar Hall, who finished second to Boudreaux with a 5-10 clearance, and Serenity Palmer, who finished second in the high jump with a 5-2.
This week, most area teams will be headed to Baton Rouge to compete in the LSU High School Qualifier. Athletes from across the state will be looking to improve their performances, hopeful for a qualifying bid to the LHSAA State Indoor Meet set for Feb. 18 at the Carl Maddox Fieldhouse on the campus of LSU.
Contact Jerry at email@example.com