Even in the midst of the run toward the finish line for the season, Port Allen’s track teams have embraced virtually the same philosophy they put in play during Week 1.
“It’s another challenge and another step forward,” said Leonard Parker, who coaches the men’s track squad. “What we did last week may be one thing, but it’s all about improving every week.”
It’s the mindset that goes into play this week with the District 6-3A meet at West Feliciana, Wednesday, April 19, and next week when the Pelicans test their mettle at Jewel Sumner for the Region III Class 3A competition on Wednesday, April 26.
The philosophy has worked for both programs, which head into the district and regional meets with their eyes and hearts set on returning to the spot they once occupied a decade ago.
Parker and girls coach Brian Bizette have seen their teams go from top-five finishes to top-three and ultimately to the top of the heap.
“After three consecutive first-place showings, I’d have to say we have a pretty good team right now,” Bizette said
The importance of making the most of each event – and each competitor – has played a big role in the success.
The track team has gotten plenty of mileage off the showing of state title contenders Cameron Battley and Norisse Cumming in the hurdles.
But Parker has also found success with younger talent such as Jamon Ausbrook and Miles Hopkins – both freshmen – have racked up points with multiple placings in field events.
It’s necessary in a district which also includes defending state champ West Feliciana and contenders Parkview Baptist, Baker and Glen Oaks.
“If you can win in this district, you’ll rank in the top three – and it’s very possibly you’ll win it all,” Bizette said. “From top to bottom, this is the toughest district in Class 3A.”