After playing a key part in the Port Allen boys basketball team capturing its fourth straight state title in March, junior Aries Lewis had already cemented himself as one of the more decorated basketball players in the school’s history.
Despite his success on the hardwood, he opted for more in the basketball offseason and it paid off in the best way it possibly could.
Lewis joined the track team for the first time this season and his season ended with him standing on the podium as the top high jumper in Class 3A at the state meet last Friday.
Lewis cleared 6-01.50, edging Lake Charles Prep’s Cameron Hill who cleared 5-11.75.
“I didn’t expect much going into track,” Lewis said. “I thought maybe I’d get to district or maybe regionals, but standing on that podium at the state championship, it was a really humbling feeling. Just realizing the hard work paid off and especially in the time I had to do it.”
Even though there are teams in both basketball and track, Lewis said winning a championship felt very different between the two sports.
“It was really different. With basketball, my teammates, we surrounded each other pretty good,” he said. “We had EJ (Elliot McQuillan) who is one of the best players in Port Allen history, Isaiah (Howard) as well. We had Frank (Samuel) guarding and hitting threes. We had Ji’Siah (Fernandez) doing his thing. It was an exciting experience to play with them. With track, the moment I won, all I could do was look at my coach because they weren’t able to come in and be with me. I just looked at them and gave them a thumbs up.”
Track coach Don Gibson said he thought Lewis had a chance to be state champion early on.
“It is such a great accomplishment,” Gibson said. “When he first came out (for track team) we thought he had a really good chance of being a state champion. it couldn’t have happened to a better kid.”
There were two other Port Allen boys track athletes who competed in the state meet.
Brennan Gibson finished fifth in the 200-meter dash and Ryan Hebert seventh in the 300-hurdles.
For the Port Allen girls, Trinity Harrison, Hayleigh Jones, and Dedricanna Johnson finished fifth in the 100, the high jump and long jump respectively.
Johnson placed fourth in the 200 and the 4x100 relay team also came in fourth.
On Saturday, a few athletes represented Brusly in the Class 4A state meet.
Senior Lawryn Sampson made the podium with a third-place finish in the shot put.
Brusly’s girls 4x200 relay team came in third as well.
Senior Justein Whyte competed in two individual events. She finished sixth in the 200 and fourth in the 400.
Senior sprinter Taylor Gougisha finished seventh in the 100.
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