Brusly charted its strongest showing in recent years at the Class 3A Louisiana High School Athletic Association Outdoor Track & Field Championship at LSU’s Bernie Moore Track Stadium.
The boys finished eighth among 32 teams statewide. The girls finished 27th among 40 teams.
A lack of depth and experience hampered the girls, but it didn’t hamper junior Janae Ovete, who finished third (35-4) in the shot put competition.
Ovete finished eighth last year.
“I was surprised today,” she said. “I never expected to come that far. Since I’ll be back next year, I’ll aim to place even higher.”
For the boys, the meet played into the cliché “thrill of victory and agony of defeat”.
Senior Terrence West brought home a 3A state title in the 300-meter hurdles (40.59) and fourth (15.19) in the 110-meter hurdles. He finished just behind Port Allen’s Nic Parker (15.08) in the 110.
Brusly coach Brady Perry described West’s win as a ‘storybook ending’.
“Last year, he was seeded first in the district meet for the hurdles and fell on the last hurdles and missed regionals,” he said. “This year, he passed the first guy in the regional’s when that guy fell.
“The good Lord looked after him and things balanced out, even though you hate to see anyone fall in that kind of competition,” Perry said.
For senior Henry Woods, it was a tough day.
Woods hurt his ankle on the first relay but tried to continue in other events, which proved costly.
“We got third on the relay, but he was limping around and then he jumped the gun in the 100 and the four-by-one- in full speed,” Perry said. “He couldn’t run the 400 because he was hurt.
“Maybe we could’ve gotten more points, but that didn’t matter as much as the fact that I felt bad for Henry because he didn’t get to finish on a good note,” he said.
The Panther tandem of Donald Collins, Terrancez West, Elijah Edwards and Woods managed a third-place finish on the 4-by-200 meter relay.
The Panthers picked up a sixth place finish on the 4-by100 (43.89) with the same team.
Brusly drew a sixth place finish from Jeremy Jackson in the shot put (49-0 ½).
Perry believes the track program will have a strong crop of field performers next year, while the running events will go into rebuilding mode.
“We’re losing our sprinters, but we have a lot of field people coming back,” he said. “The relay team that placed third had three seniors, so young bucks will have to step forward in running events next year. We’ll have to find some new blood.”