Wildcats qualify six for nationals

Written by John Dupont on .



NEW ORLEANS — A group of athletes from the Port Allen Wildcat Track & Field team will soon visit the Land of the Great Lakes.

All six local entries qualified Saturday for national competition in the AAU Area 10 National Qualifier Meet at Tad Gormley Stadium.

The youngsters will compete July 26-Aug. 3 in the National Junior Olympics at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Mich.

“All the kids did their best,” Wildcats head coach Eddie Payne III said. “Even though we are a small team, we have a big heart and quality athletes.”

Christopher Murphy Jr., 11, led the pack for the Wildcats.

He placed second in the 100-meter dash with a timing of 13.52, barely behind Kayshon Boutte of New Iberia Youth (13.50).

Murphy shattered a six-year-old record in the long jump with a leap of 16-1.25. John Booney held the previous record on a jump of 15-8.50.

Murphy also notched a second-place finish in the 400-meter with a timing of 1:06.01.

Other qualifiers included:

— Tim Hardnett, 10, who got his ticket to the Nationals after a third place finish in the long jump with a leap of 13-4.

—Jaliah Hardnett, 14, on a second place finish in discus competition (60-8), third place finish in the shot put (24-4) and third in the javelin (43-8).

—Raven Murphy, 9, with a second place leap in the long jump (10-0) and fifth place spot in the shot put (17-1).

—Peyton Smith, 10, off a fifth place finish in the shot put (15-8.75).

—Lacourtney Williams, 13, on a fourth place finish in the shot put (20-4.25). 

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