Most teams would look at their season as a success after claiming a state champion on their track roster.
Brusly Lady Panthers Ta’La Spates won the 400m dash state championship last week, but the team still left the meet with a sour taste in their mouths.
“The season was a good season, not a great one, We had goals we wanted to reach that we didn’t accomplish, so it makes us hungrier for next year,” head coach Trent Ellis said. “We have high standards of excellence for our program, and when we fall short, we are all disappointed.”
Last outdoor season, Brusly left with multiple individual championships, as well as the team championship. Although the team didn’t fair as well this year, there were still some stellar performances according to Ellis.
“At the state meet, we were led by Ta’la Spates who ran in four events and scored 20 of the 32 points for the team. She has been a silent leader all season,” Coach Ellis said. “Hannah Pedigo did wonderfully, once again, as a freshman finishing as state runner-up. Both will return next year and be leaders for us.”
Spates competed in three individual events: 100m, 200m, and 400m, as well as anchoring the 4X200m relay team. She came in second in the 100m dash with her time of 12.03 seconds behind state champion Kennedy Brown of West Feliciana, who finished in 11.88 seconds. She took 6th place in the 200m dash.
Spates claimed the State Championship in the 400m dash, ahead of India Brown of West Feliciana and Destiny Mitchell of University Lab, with her time of 1:45.51.
The 4X200 team of Spates, Myla Edwards, Bran’Necia Williams, and Mackenzie Jenkins attempted to defend their state championship but fell just a bit short, instead of taking third place behind first-place North Webster and 2nd place Mentorship Academy.
Pedigo was the long Brusly field participant and was named state runner-up after her pole vault of 10-06.00.
Coach Ellis doesn’t look at the season as a failure and instead looks at it as something to push them next season.
“In some cases, we rested on what we did last year and in others, we just didn’t perform up to our capabilities. We did have some great performances throughout the year, and some did step up and defined their roles in events going into next season,” Ellis said. “We look forward to the ladies that will join us next year, along with the bad taste we have from this year. We will be working hard to get back on top.”