BATON ROUGE -- Nothing beats upward mobility.
The Port Allen’s boys track program made the steady climb back into the Top 10 and gradually into the Top 5.
They’ve now achieved another goal.
The efforts of some veteran competitors, coupled with strong showings from younger performers, vaulted PAHS to the No. 3 finish in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association Class 2A track meet last Friday at LSU’s Bernie Moore Track Stadium.
“It was a great feeling because we took a lot of inexperienced guys, and to accomplish what we did, starting with Traveon Scott in the field, and then Chris Murphy, who did a heck of a job,” Coach Don Gibson said. “We improved on our sprints, so we feel good about the direction of our program.”
The Pelicans tallied 42 points for third place. Episcopal maintained its stronghold with 94 points for the Class 2A championship, while Catholic-New Iberia took second (54). Riverside, Mansfield, Ferriday, Red River, Delhi Charter, Lakeside and Northeast rounded the top 10.
Senior Traveon Scott, in his final showing with the Pelicans, made the most of the last event for PAHS.
He captured two first-place spots for the Pelicans. Scott led the pack with a 50.05-50 toss in the shot put and took the top spot in the discus event (167-0).
Sophomore Chris Murphy also had an impressive showing on the grand stage. He took the second-place award in the long jump (22-08) and third in the triple jump (45-0).
Teammate Gerrod Franklin also made it to the finalist platform off his fifth-place showing in the high jump (6-00).
Julien Jarvis notched fourth for the Pels in the 110-meter hurdles (16.34), while Mekyle Franklin garnered sixth in the 200-meter dash (22.76).
The team of Murphy, Franklin, Ke’Shawn Henderson and Jeremiah Dehon combined for a sixth-place finish in the 4-by-400 (3:40.93).
Gibson hopes to move the Pelicans at least one notch higher next season, but it will bring a few challenges in the onset.
“We have to find a way to replace a guy like Traveon – and that’s hard – but we feel good about our sprints, jumps, and with Chris Murphy and Myles Hopkins on sprints, and they’re performances in field and running events, I feel good about where we’re headed,” he said. “The most important thing is that we still have a great chance to be competitive, so we’re already looking forward to next season.”