East Iberville Lady Tigers spark surprises at Class 1A state track meet
An eighth-place finish may not seem like a major surprise for East Iberville’s track team, which has had its share of success in recent years.
The performances from Kalacia Gray and Baylee Bryant sparked the Lady Tigers to an eighth place finish with 22 points at the Class 1A girls state track meet at LSU’s Bernie Moore Stadium.
Gray notched the runner-up spot in the shot put with a throw of 37-02.50.
“It was personal best, and it came on her last throw,” head coach Mark Temple said. “She’s a great athlete, and I knew she had it in her.”
The biggest surprise, however, came from Bailey Bryant, who placed second in the 300-meter hurdles, at a time of 50.29.
She pulled it off at 12 years old.
“It’s very unheard of,” Temple said. “I told her today she’d make a name of herself – and Kobe wouldn’t be the only famous Bryant.
“I don’t think she understood the magnitude, and I think it took a moment before she realized she came out second,” he said. “I told Bailey she had to have speed, endurance and skill for that – and they don’t have hurdles in middle school in our area.”
The spot almost happened by accident.
“Coach Jackie Callendar was looking for a hurdler, and I told her we needed to put her in the hurdles,” Temple said. “She reminded me of Destiny Riley, who graduated last year.”
Her defining moment was at the Donaldsonville meet, he said.
“Bailey fell, got back up and won the race,” Temple said. “They lined up the hurdles wrong and made her run it all over again. She won it again with a legitimate 12-minute rest.
“Bailey is special,” he said. “I told her LSU will keep tabs on her the next six years. That’s uncommon what she did.”