East Iberville girls finish runner-up in 1A state meet

Staff Report

Two months after East Iberville’s girls’ basketball team won the Class 1A state championship, the players decided they wanted to broaden their horizons.

Most of the 2021 East Iberville girls competed on the track program, and they worked their magic once more in the state meet.

East Iberville’s Genesis Jackson captured first place in the long jump at the Class 1A state track meet May 6 at LSU’s Bernie Moore Track Stadium. The Lady Tigers finished second in the state, the best showing in the history of the program.

“They told me after the basketball championship that they wanted to see if they could win one more trophy,” Temple said.

Kalacia Jackson of East Iberville won second place honors in the discus competition, as well as a third place in the shotput competition.

The Lady Tigers stunned the competition with a showing that landed them the second-place trophy in Class 1A competition at the Louisiana High School Track Meet Thursday, May 6 at LSU’s Bernie Moore Track Stadium.

East Iberville racked 56 points, trailing only Ouachita Christian, which tallied 80 points to win the championship.

The runner-up spot marked highest finish in the history of the East Iberville girls track program.

EIHS finished fifth in 2019. The Louisiana High School Athletic Association canceled the 2020 state track meet due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Junior Genesis Jackson captured the championships the long jump (17-9) and triple jump (33-05)

“For Genesis, her biggest thing was the state championship in basketball, but her focus is track, so she told me she also wanted to win a title in track,” head coach Mark Temple said. “She works extremely hard, plus she works with a private trainer and works out on her own … she’s very serious about her craft.”

Kalacia Gray finished second in the shot put in the discus (95-3). EIHS notched third place finishes from Taylor Gordon in the 200-meter dash (26.66)

The Lady Tigers also notched runner-up spots in the 4-by-100-meter relay (51.81) and the 4-by-200-meter relay (1:49.68).

“We had good balance on the field, and on the track, and on the field we had really good jumpers,” Temple said. “Kalcia was huge for us in the field, but the true story was that she couldn’t stand throwing the discus, so to come from nowhere to finishing third showed just how much she progressed during the season and got better and better by working every day.”

A motto that fueled the basketball success transcended well into the track program.

“All year long, I’ve told the girls that from now on, they should aim to come in extraordinary and leave legendary,” Temple said. “I’ve preached that all during the basketball season and all through the track season.”

While many championship track teams rely on veterans who graduate at the end of the season, the Lady Tigers will bring back their entire track squad next season.

“They’re still hungry,” Temple said. “The athletic program is growing in much the same way as our city. The culture is changing.”

Rounding out the Top 10 were Highland Baptist (45.5), Cedar Creed (44), Merryville (43), St. Frederick (38), Catholic-Pointe Coupee (26) Haynesville (25) and Covenant Christian (24).