Two dozen parish athletes notch berths in State Track Meet this week

Tryve Brackin
STACY SAYLOR…of White Castle High notched a berth in the Class A 400-meter dash at tomorrow (Friday) at the State Track Meet at LSU.

A tad over two dozen Iberville Parish athletes notched berths in the annual State Track Meet at LSU tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday. Boy and girl athletes from Plaquemine High, North Iberville, and White Castle are set to perform, while one athlete apiece will represent St. John and East Iberville High.

The top three event qualifiers at a trio of regional track meets last week gained berths at the state gathering at Bernie Moore Track Stadium on the LSU Baton Rouge campus. Four place regional event finishers are considered alternates to the meet, but as of article deadline only one parish athlete was expected a spot at state.

Here are the state qualifiers:

NIHS: The Bear boys and girls placed the most overall number of athletes in tomorrow’s Class A meet.

The NIHS boys qualified one-half dozen individuals to lead all of the parish teams in state qualification.

Two Bears claimed Class 1-A Region 3 event championships. Senior Darius Rowe won the shot put and senior Nathan Pryer claimed the discus. Both were District 9-A champs two weeks ago.

District 9-A 110-meter hurdle champ senior Nikita Woolfolk placed third in the event at regionals to qualify, while teammate Steven Williams, the 9-A winner of the 300-meter hurdles, also was third in his jump/run event and qualified.

The duo of Woolfolk and Williams will join with Decorey Brown and Casey Toussant to run in the 1600-meter relay event. They qualified in the 4 x 400 event with a third place at regionals. They were second to West St. John at district.

Tre’vion Hawkins was the only alternate Bear with a fourth place in the regional javelin.

Pryer is the only Bear to return to the state meet a second year in a row.

Joining Pryer as a repeat is D’ellionne Davenport. She will make her third-straight trip to LSU and state. She won the regional discus event and was third in the shot put and will compete in both at state. She was the district champ in both events.

The Lady Bears came up one member short of matching the boys’ total of qualifiers. The 4 X 400 or 1600-meter relay unit won the regional title after taking the district crown two weeks ago. Members of the state-bound baton crew are Shannon West, Audreanna Marshall, Lorisha Reese, and Shatara West.

West and Marshall will double up as they qualified in individual events as well. West was second in the Region 3 100-meter hurdles and the 9-A event. Marshall was second in the regional 300-meter hurdles, improving from a third-place finish at district.

The girls’ 4 x 200 or 800-meter relay unit was fourth at Region 3 and will serve as an alternate to state.

WCHS: Five Bulldog boys and two girls qualified for state at the Class 1-A Region 3 meet last week.

The boys’ 800-meter relay unit made up of Shaquille Armstead, Tyree Bracken, Jyruss Edwards, and Eric Collins was third at regionals, while two Bulldogs qualified in the field events.

Darrell Haynes, the 9-A champ in the triple jump, placed third at Region 3 to qualify, while Jonathan Roberts stepped up in the Region 3 javelin event to place third and earned a trip to LSU.

Two Bulldogs managed fourth-place finishes and will be alternates to state competition. Daniel Allen placed fourth in both the 3200-meter run and the 1600-meters, while Terrance Taylor was fourth in the high jump event with a leap of 5-10.

Only two WCHS girls qualified for this year’s state meet, a low number for recent years. The WCHS coaches were expecting Ronquel Gibson to qualify in both the 100 and 200 dash events as well as to anchor a couple of sprint relay units to qualification. However, the young Lady Bulldog talent suffered a hamstring pull between district and regional. Taking into consideration that she has future eligibility, it was decided not to risk more possible injury.

With Gibson unable to help the relay units and score high in the sprints, only teammates Stacy Saylor and Shelby Martin qualified for state.

Saylor, a senior, qualified with a second-place finish in the Region 3 400-meter dash. She was the 9-A champion two weeks ago.

Saylor also got a surprise qualification in the high jump event as well. She placed fourth in the regional event, but the number-three finisher from Ascension CHS reportedly declined the state meet invite due to senior prom night the same evening. That was expected to push Saylor into the state event.

Martin, who is another Lady Bulldog senior, qualified in the triple jump with a third-place finish at regional.

PHS: The Plaquemine High Green Devil boy and girl track qualifiers from district took part last week in the 3-A Region 3 meet at Port Allen High.

Only two boys and one girl qualified for state 3-A competition Saturday.

Lamarius Reese, a return transfer student recently made eligible, earned berths in two sprint events. He was second in the 3-A 200-meter dash with a time of 22.15 and second in the 400-meters with a time of 49.72. Reese was beaten by a pair of standout Port Allen sprinters, Jonathan Johnson in the 200 (21.75) and Antoine Hebert in the 400 (49.08). Johnson, the Region 3 Outstanding Trackman, won the 100 as well with a time of 10.56.

Joining Reese as a Green Devil boy competitor will be David Berry in the shot put event. Berry placed third in the regional event with a throw of 46-2. He was beaten by District 9-3A rivals from Lutcher and Port Allen.

While several Lady Green Devils qualified for Region 3 competition, only one made it to state. Candace Hastings, a standout PHS basketball player, claimed third place in the regional javelin with a throw of 91-9.

Still hoping for a shot at state as an alternate were the members of the PHS 4 x 1 or 400-meter relay unit, which claimed fourth place at regional. Making up the baton crew were Shanacei Anderson, Alicia Russ, and Brittany and Brianna Arnold. Anderson and Russ qualified in other Region 3 events, but did not finish high. Several other PHS girls made it to regionals, but not state.

SJHS: Kade Yarbrough was the sole qualifier for the state meet from St. John.

Yarbrough will be making his second trip to LSU to compete. He won the 2A Region 2 discus event with a throw of 141-1. He is the son of former White Castle High 1977 state discus champ Kenny Yarbrough. He has several male-female cousins in the Yarbrough-Ourso families who have been outstanding weight throwers on the state level. His uncles Danny and Brad Yarbrough were state competitors.

Members of two Eagle relay units failed to qualify for state as well as field weight thrower Dakota Richard.

Four girls from SJHS qualified for Region 2, but did not advance. They were Jaimie Yerrick, Kaylee Brown, Amber Medine, and Alexis Ledet.

EIHS: The Tigers had one qualifier for state in 800-meter runner Empra Speed. The 9-A district event champ qualified with a third place finish in the regional event.

East Iberville Lady Tiger Claudia Tasker just missed state qualification, but has an outstanding chance of going with a fourth-place finisher in the regional long jump event. She was the 9-A district runner-up in the jumping event. Teammate Edolia Davis, who qualified for regional with a third-place district finish, did not compete at the Region 3 meet.

HALF THE UNIT…The North Iberville High duo of Decorey Brown, left, and Casey Toussant, right, make up half of the 1600-meter relay team that notched a berth tomorrow (Friday) in the Class A State Track Meet at LSU.