Louisiana Indoor Review Through Week #2
While the majority of teams haven’t competed yet for indoor, some programs have already run several meets since mid December, giving us some insight into who looks to be major players in the team battles coming up for the championship in 5 weeks.
First, looking at some outstanding individual marks, who better than Mondo Duplantis of Lafayette to start the discussion. Mondo set the world U20 indoor record with a jump of 19-1.25 at a pole vault meet in Reno, Nevada. He is well over 3 feet ahead of all in-state competition. Kam Jackson of West Feliciana is the first boy to break the 7 second barrier in the 60 meter dash this year in Louisiana, running a 6.98 at the LSU High School Classic last week. Claudisha Watson of Northside has also run a national class time with a 7.64 in the same meet.
Reagann Leleaux of Catholic-New Iberia is currently sitting second nationally in the pole vault after jumping 13-6.25 at the LSU Classic, joining her sister in the history books as one of the greatest pole vaulters from the state of Louisiana. Logan Lewis of Baton Rouge Magnet threw 43-1 in the shotput to earn a top 15 ranking currently in the country. Angelle Primeaux ran a new indoor PR of 2:17.85 to lead the state in the 800. Hunter Appleton moves to #4 on the all-time state list in the 3200 with a 9:33.38 at the LSU Classic.
Top newcomers include Halyn Senegal of Sam Houston who, as a freshman, opened up her in-state season with a 59.42 in the 400 at LSU after a 58.71 last month to open her season in Alabama. Orsciana Beard of Zachary is the current top triple jumper in the state as a freshman after jumping 37-5.25 at the LSU Classic.
The team race is not totally clear at this point as some teams haven’t competed yet and others have only raced a few of their top athletes, but we can infer who will be involved in the race for the podium in the large schools. In the girls competition, Lafayette currently looks far and away the favorite to win with a large chunk of scorers returning from last year’s championship team. In no particular order, three other teams who have a good claim to compete for a podium finish at the state meet include Zachary, John Curtis and St. Joseph’s. These three programs look to bring depth as well as several outstanding individuals to the state meet and be separated by who can put together the best relays.
On the boys side we have another situation where one team looks to be the clear favorite followed by a few teams fighting for the second spot. John Curtis returns so much firepower from last year’s runner up finish that no team should be able to match them over the course of the meet. They return previous state winners or medalists in the high jump, shotput, and 60 dash as well as being favorites for titles in the long jump with realistic chances of podium finishes in the 4×2, 4×4, 800 and 1600. Fighting for the runner-up spot currently are Zachary and Catholic High. In previous years Catholic would simply reload and be the class of the field but this year they seem to have their work cut out for them. Catholic should have realistic scoring chances in the 60, 60H, 800, 1600, 3200, 4×2, 4×4, 4×8 and shotput but look to be locks for a podium spot in less than half of those events. It’s a testament to the coaching at Catholic High than they can graduate so much talent year in and year out and still be in the conversation for the podium at the state meet. Meanwhile, the team who could clearly be the in the two-spot would be Zachary who has realistic scoring opportunities in the 400, 800, 60H, 4×2, High Jump and Triple Jump with all but one of those looking like a very good chance of a podium place.
The great thing about these match-ups is that they should all carry through to outdoor with the addition of a couple more quality programs (like C.E. Byrd on the girls side) so your indoor champion will not be able to rest on their laurels but rather will have to get right back to work in order to compete for the outdoor title as well. Generally by the next week, the LSU High School Opener, teams will have shown the majority of their cards and we will have a firmer idea of where teams stand in relation to each other.
High school runners, there is a vote coming up at the LHSAA convention to add the 4×8 outdoors so if you are interested in running this event at the state meet in May, talk to your coaches and athletic directors to lobby your principal to vote yes for items pertaining to track at the convention in a few weeks.
Photo Courtesy of John Nepolitan