Crowley High's Rogers, Notre Dame's Stelly shine at Class 3A track and field championships
BATON ROUGE – Crowley’s Mercedes Rogers had a good feeling going into the championship round of the long jump at the Class 3A track and field championships Saturday at Bernie Moore Stadium.
After all, she led the field heading into the championship round of jumps.
But when it was all said and done, Maya Tunwar of Westlake and Rona Hardy of Port Barre each posted better marks on their second to last jumps, pushing Rogers to third place.
The experience left Rogers disappointed, but also determined - not to let that happen again in the triple jump.
After falling behind in the first round of the triple jump, Rogers turned in a leap of 37-2 1/2, which was not only a personal best but also a leap that gave the CHS junior her first state championship.
“I knew I had to step it up in the final round,” said Rogers. “When I got passed in the long jump, I was a little disappointed; I wasn’t hitting my mark. And in the triple, I was taking off before the board so I made an adjustment and that really helped me out.”
Once Rogers adjusted, the competition was virtually over.
“I think she was excited to be on the podium (in the long jump) but she was a little frustrated with herself,” said CHS coach Jeptha Wall. “And then in the triple jump, she led after the first two attempts and the two girls behind her outjumped her.
“So when they positioned for the finals, she was actually in third. So on her next attempt, she blasted a 37. That was pretty darn impressive. She took the challenge and got the jump and it was over after that. Those other girls just kind of melted when they saw 37 on the board.”
Rogers also placed ninth in the high jump (4-8) and then came back later in the meet to finish sixth in the 300 hurdles (48.41) and lead the Ladies to a 12th place finish in the team standings with 18 points.
Kara Wilridge added a point in the triple jump as well with a sixth place finish (34-71/2).
In other track action involving Acadia Parish athletes at the Class AAA meet:
Notre Dame’s Hunter Stelly set a high standard from the start and captured his first state championship.
The sophomore, who placed third in the event a year ago, stepped up and unleashed a throw of 187-6 on his first throw to set the tone and record what turned out to be the winning throw.
“I was just real loose and I was trying to get a good throw out there,” said Stelly of his first throw. “I was just real relaxed and it came out better than all the other throws.”
Stelly didn’t quite match the opening mark in his last five throws, but no one else did either.
“I was trying to beat the mark on all my other throws,” said Stelly. “But I just wasn’t as loose for some reason.
“It was an honor just to even be there so I was pretty excited when I won it. It was just a great feeling.”
Stelly, whose first-place finish in the javelin accounted for all 10 of the Pios’ points on the day, also placed seventh in the shot put with a heave of 46-5.
Church Point also earned 10 points when the Bears 4x400 relay team won that event.
Desmond Bellard, Zack Meche, James Bellard and Tyler Veronie teamed to run a school record 3:21.42 and win the event ahead of Glen Oaks (3.22.04) and Jewel Sumner (3:25.77).
Crowley’s Thomas Cavell, Kirk Poullard, Taylor Doughty and Rontrevius Foreman placed sixth in the event with a time of 3:28.24).
Crowley finished the day with nine points.
Foreman added a fourth-place finish in the 300 hurdles (42.72) and a fifth in the 1600-meter run (4:46.09) for six points and Doughty added two points with a fifth-place showing in the 400-meter dash (51.02).
Rayne finished the day with six points. Jalen Williams scored four with a fourth-place showing in the 200-meter dash (22.29) and Lucas Daigle earned a point with a fifth-place finish in the pole vault (13-0).
Notre Dame’s Peyton Miller and Aline Gossen teamed to score three points on the day for the Lady Pios. Miller placed fifth in the javelin (109-11) and Gossen was sixth in the 3200-meter run (13:17.79).