BATON ROUGE –Leonard Parker should perhaps consider a career in fortune-telling.
The Port Allen High School boys track coach came out right on the money with predictions for his team’s showing in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association Class 3A Track and Field Championships Saturday at LSU’s Bernie More Track Stadium.
PAHS tallied 19 points for an eighth-place finish in the meet, which fell in place with his prognostication that the Pelicans would chalk a Top 10 finish.
“We hoped to finish a little higher, but we had a couple of nagging injuries,” Parker said. “Still, we had a great season and I’m very proud of the kids.”
He also came through on the top teams for the event. Class 3A newcomer John Curtis led the pack with 93 points, barely nudging longtime stronghold Jewel Sumner, which chalked 88.
It marked the second consecutive year Port Allen finished among the top 10 teams in the Class 3A state meet.
Evangel claimed third (64), longtime power Franklin took fourth (33) and New Orleans-based Lusher Christian fifth (25). St. Louis Catholic and Iowa claimed sixth and seventh, with 21 and 20 respectively.
North Webster (18) and Erath (17) rounded out the Top 10.
No. 6 seed Telson Allen edged out teammate Nicholas Parker, the No. 4 seed, with a leap of 6.06 feet for a third place finish in the high jump.
A leg injury on one attempt in the high jump hampered Parker for that event and the rest of the meet.
Parker placed third in the triple jump with a leap of 15-01 and sixth in the long jump (43.01).
Marcus Keyes grabbed fifth in the shot put competition with a throw of 47-11.75.
“I think we had a very positive season,” Parker said. “I had it on paper for John Curtis and Evangel to be up there, but I can’t knock our kids – they worked hard all season.”
“We do have a lot of guys returning next year – we’re only losing three kids,” he said. “We’ll have some big goals for next year, and we hope we can become stronger.”
In girls competition, Brusly place tied for 14th with Mansfield. Port Allen placed 25th.
Both teams had one entry – and both made solid showings.
Brusly’s Taylor Shaw finished runner up in the 400-meter dash with a clocking of 56.86. She barely fell short of the championship, won by Hannah Jackson of St. Louis (56.91).
“She did really good for a freshman,” Brusly girls coach Marc Brown said. “I really wish the relay team could’ve qualified to have the experience along with Taylor, which would’ve made things better.
“Still, it was a great year and I think Taylor did a tremendous job of handling the pressure,” he said. “She works hard, she’s very focused and I look for great things from her.”
Shaw also placed third in the 100-meter with a finish 12.20 for third. She also place seventh in the 200 (26.70) and
Destiny Washington, Port Allen’s sole entry from the girls team, placed third in the shot put event with a throw of 37-02.