Port Allen endured both the sweetness of victory and bitter taste of defeat last week in the John Williams Relays at Guy Otwell Stadium.
The boys team finished second to McKinley, while the girls placed third behind Northeast and Catholic-Pointe Coupee.
PAHS fans watched Nelson Allen eclipse the record he set on the pole vault last season, while Rhea Lee achieved a personal best on the high jump.
Nic Parker was named Outstanding Track/Field Performer. Parker led in the 300-meter hurdles (41.57), finished second in the 110-meter hurdles (15.33), second in the long jump (20-01) and third in the triple jump (41.01.50).
Port Allen field standouts Delacia Wiley and Darian Claiborne took the awards for Outstanding Field Perfomers in the girls and boys events, respectively.
Wiley won in the discus throw (81-00.50), third in the shot put (30-09.50).
Claiborne finished first in the shot put (51-10), and second in the discus (125-02) and javelin (162-11).
Rhea Lee achieved a personal best of 4-10 on the high jump, while teammate J’myrrhea Douglas took second (4-04).
McKinley went into high gear in the last four events to top Port Allen boys team for the championship.
In boys action, McKinley scored 140 points to relegate PAHS to second place (133). Hahnville took third (118), Catholic-Pointe Coupee fourth (53), followed by Northeast (51), False River Academy (14) and Family Christian (10).
The team of Terrione Thomas, Kyle Moore, Nelson Allen and James Jones led the 4-by-200 meter relay (1:33.39). The tandem of Allen, Moore, Thomas and Juan Johnson placed second in the 4-by-100.
Marcus Keyes took third for PAHS in the discus (115-08).
Port Allen’s boys lost steam in the final five events – 400-meter dash, 300-meter hurdles, 200-meter dash, 3200-meter run and mile-relay.
It gave McKinley the opening to pull past the Pelicans, who held a six-point lead prior to those events.
“Had we had a veteran team, we could’ve responded and held them off,” coach Leonard Parker said.
Parker hopes the Pelicans use the experience from the loss to fuel a stronger showing in the upcoming district and regional meets.
“Sometimes you have to be put in tough situations like that, and usually the first time, you’ll have negative results,” he said. “But if you have strong kids who are learning, they’ll respond in a positive way in the future.”
He still sees plenty of improvement on the team.
“Our track is getting stronger and our field is really strong,” Parker said. “It’s a great situation to be in with two weeks to go in district.”
The girls placed third in a tightly contested battle in which Northeast edged Catholic-Pointe Coupee.
The Lady Pelicans tallied 95 points for third place. Northeast scored 109 points for first place, while Catholic-Pointe placed second (106). Lutcher finished fourth, Hahnville, took fifth (75), False River Academy seventh (14), McKinley seventh (26), Tara (12) and Family Christian (5).
Destiny Washington placed first in the shot put (33-09), while Wiley finished third (30-09.50). Garielle Thomas finished second to Wiley in the shot put (79-0).
De’maiya Claiborne finished second in the pole vault (7-0).
The absence of a few standouts due to illness and injury hampered the Lady Pelicans, but the team still should’ve performed better, girls coach Brian Bizette said.
“I don’t think we ran as well as we should have,” he said. “We dropped the stick on the four-by-one on the third exchange, and that knocked off points – Northeast just took over from there.”
The injuries often pose a greater obstacle than the opposing team as the season progresses, Bizette said.
“It’s the time of year when injuries can cost you,” he said. “At this point, you just have to keep moving on, put one foot over another and try to make it through the season.”
COMING UP …
The boys and girls travel Friday to Ascension Parish for the St. Amant Invitational. Other teams include District 7-3A rival Donaldsonville, 5A power Dutchtown, East Ascension, Parkview Baptist and Episcopal.