Local track teams turned their attention closer to the grand stage after the District 7-3A meet last week in West Feliciana.
Port Allen won the boys competition at the meet last week at West Feliciana High School, while the ladies took fifth.
“I think we have what it takes to be a frontrunner in the boys events,” Port Allen coach Leonard Parker said. “We have strong track and strong field, so overall we’re probably the strongest in the meet. If we do as we’re supposed to do, we should come out first.”
Franklin, Glen Oaks and Ville Platte pose the biggest threat, Parker said.
“I still think we have a little more depth than Franklin, but they’re a quality program,” he said. “This should be a good test for us going into state.
“We’d like to take between eight and twelve to state,” Parker said. “In a perfect world, we’d qualify in all events, but having between eight and twelve would give us a chance to compete at state. So for now, we’re just trying to stay focused.”
Brusly’s girls finished third in their events while the boys took seventh.
“We don’t have a big team, so I figured we’d finish third, just as I thought,” Brusly girls coach Marc Brown said.
Track standout Kaitlyn Williams missed the event due to a pulled hamstring. Going forward, Shedricka Pierson will fill her spot on the 4-by-1 and Nia LeJeune on the 4-by-2, Brown said.
“Even with Kaitlyn’s absence, confidence is good, even though I’m a little concerned about Taylor Shaw’s load – her plate is full,” he said. “We have to control what we can control, go out and compete and let chips fall where they may.”
Brown said that the regional meet will probably indicate how the team will fare.
“The confidence is high, so I’m excited to see where it takes us,” Brown said.
Top finishers from both schools were set to travel Wednesday to John H. Williams Middle School in Abbeville for regional competition.
The three highest finishes in each event lead to spots in the Class 3A meet May 10 at LSU’s Bernie More Track Stadium.
Port Allen racked up 140 points for first place, while longtime rival WFHS tallied 110 and Brusly 89 in the boys events.
Parvkiew Baptist led the pack in girls action with 113 points, nudging out WFHS (110). Brusly garnered 89 points for third place.
Nick Parker grabbed first place in the triple jump (43-11), while Marcus Keyes led the shot put (48-6) and Casper Williams topped the discus (145-6). Williams out-threw teammate Damon Garner (129-3) and Brusly’s Adam Morales (126-2).
Parker and Telson Allen each had a 6-4 leap on the high jump.
Parker also led the pack in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles for PAHS, with respective finishes of 15.56 and 40.91. James Jones led the 400-meter dash for Port Allen.
Taylor Shaw dominated running events for the Lady Panthers with wins in the 100 (12.42), 200 (25.77) and 400 (59.12). Rhea Lee took second for PAHS in the 100 (12.75) and sister Rhenell Lee was second in the 200 (26.61).
The Lady Panthers also led the pack in the 4-by-200 relay.
Rhea Lee soared to 5-0 in the high jump, just past Brusly’s Kennedy Cullen (4-10). Rhea Lee was also third in the long jump (15-9.5) and triple jump (32-2.5).
Janae Ovete placed second in the discus for Brusly (93-7), while Port Allen’s Destiny Washington was third (85-7).
Washington topped competition in the shot put (32-7.5).