Both local track program move into high gear this week to qualify for events in the state track meet in May.
Port Allen and Brusly were set to travel Wednesday to Thibodeaux for action in the District 7-3A track meet at E.D. White High School.
The top four winners in each event advance to the regional meet, set for the following Wednesday at Jewel Sumner High School in Kentwood.
Port Allen enters the meet on the heels of wins in the boys and girls classifications Friday at the school’s annual Westside Relays.
Brusly led the pack in the boys competition earlier in the week at the Red & Gold Relays, while the Lady Panthers placed fifth in the same event.
Optimism runs high for the boys and girls teams from Port Allen as the head to the district meet.
“We had a good meet Friday and we’re getting better at the right time,” Port Allen boys coach Leonard Parker.
Parker says Port Allen will have to win the rally the old-fashioned way – earn it.
“There’s going to be some great competition there,” he said. “You have great distance runners, a great triple jumper pole vaulter at E.D. White.
“We’ve also got to watch for the endurance,” Parker said. “We faced St. James and Donaldsonville earlier in the season, and we did well against them, but they have guys we need to watch out for. But if we do everything we need to do, everything should take care of itself.”
The PAHS girls program also shows promise heading into the district meet, coach Brian Bizette said.
“We’re in the right direction, he said. “E.D. White has more athletes than we have, but in terms of quality I think we match up well.”
Brusly, meanwhile, could also make an impact, BHS coach Brady Perry said.
“I think we’re strong in the running events, the sprints and relays,” he said.
Running events should bring the Panthers their most points, but field events look solid as well, Perry said.
“We look good at hurdles, relays, 100, 400 and we should score a few points in the field with the shotput, discus and pole vault,” he said.
Perry sees Port Allen and E.D. White as the frontrunners.
“Port Allen is strong in everything, especially field events,” he said. “They’ll score so much in the field events alone that it will be hard to catch them. They’re the team to beat.
“I don’t know a lot about E.D. White, but I know they’re usually good in distance and field events,” Perry said.
Brusly girls coach Karen Wooley said a lack of depth could limit her team.
“We’ve been placing in meets here or there, but as for outstanding competitors, we don’t really have one, “she said. “Depth remains the issue.”