Crowley, Notre Dame primed for District 4-3A meet
CROWLEY – The 2012 track and field season is winding down and the homestretch begins Wednesday afternoon with district meets taking place across the state.
For Crowley High and Notre Dame, the journey to the state track meet begins at 3:15 p.m. when both teams compete in the 4-3A meet hosted by the Iowa Yellow Jackets.
“You know, this is what you work for the entire season,” said CHS coach Jeptha Wall of the district meet. “It’s almost like a playoff round where there top four advance and the rest go home. You just never know what you are going to get.”
On paper, Jennings is favored to win the meet on the boys’ side.
Jennings and Crowley recently competed in the Wolf Relays in Rayne where the Bulldogs took runnerup honors behind Erath with 103.5 points. Crowley was fourth with 80.5.
“We’re going to have to preform very well to beat Jennings,” said Wall. “But we’ll be close, hopefully, if everything goes right. We might give ourselves a chance at the end, you never know.
“Their (Jennings) field people are improving a lot and that’s a big concern.”
As compared to year’s past, the Gents have struggled in the field but they have shown signs of improvement in recent weeks.
In the Wolf Relays, senior Kaleb Cormier had a season best leap of 42-0 in the triple jump, but he has battled through injury for the better part of the season. Last week, he tweaked his ankle again and was pulled from the running events at the Bear Paw Relays in Church Point.
“We haven’t really knocked anything out of the ballpark where we can say we can count on this just yet,” said Wall of his team’s performance in the field events. “But the potential is there, especially with the long and the triple jump. I just don’t think we’ve hit on all cylinders just yet.”
Cormier and Andre Mills will lead the Gents in the field events in both the triple and the long jump.
“Kaleb seems to doing a little bit better,” said Wall. “I don’t think he’s made that big, big jump yet, but he’s probably right on pace to do what he’s done in years past.
“And Mills, it’s been a surprise to come on and get what we’ve gotten out of him. I still think he has a little bit more in him.”
Wall is also pleasantly surprised with his pole vaulters.
Freshman Eric LaCombe won the vault last week (10-6) while Brody Deshotel and Michael Stewart have competed well.
“Hopefully all that time and work has paid off and we can score some points in the vault,” said Wall. “Eric and Michael are jumping more consistently so that’s who we are going to jump.”
On the track, the Gents will be led by Rontrevius Foreman, who has been a consistent performer in the distance races. He has won the 1600-, 800- and the 300-meter hurdles in nearly every meet this spring with the exception of last week. Teammate Tyler Credeur ran a season best 43.84 in Church Point to win the event.
“Ron is going to get challenged in everything this week,” said Wall. “It’s just kind of hard to tell because we haven’t seen some of the teams in the district.”
The Gents will also be looking for points from all three of their relay teams as well as from senior Taylor Doughty in the 100 and the 400.
“Like I said, it’s just hard to tell because there are some teams in there that could chop us up,” said Wall. “We’re going to have to have one of our best performances to have a chance in the end.”
Notre Dame is favored in the dashes with Blake Miller entering with the fastest times in both events. This spring, he has posted best times of 10.68 in the 100 and 22.33 in the 200.
In the field events, Hunter Stelly leads the Pios in the javelin and the shot put. He has won the javelin five times this spring. His best throw has been 187-4 and he has placed in the top five in the shot put in all five of the Pios’ meets.
“Those two are the main two guys that have been doing well this year,” said ND coach James McCleary of Miller and Stelly. “They are being consistent in what they do. They do a very good job and they pay a lot of attention to detail.
“Blake has really been working on just relaxing a lot more and being able to be strong at the end and Hunter is doing the same thing actually. He’s learning to be more relaxed and trying to be a little bit more flexible so he can get a little bit longer distance.”
Joe Schmid has also performed well this year for the Pios in both the long and triple jumps.
“Joe has been working out really hard and he’s doing a really good job with it,” said McCleary. “His run-throughs are really consistent and that’s the biggest thing. He’s been consistent on the board and that’s the most important thing when you’re jumping.
“I think he’s even surprised himself this year. He’s been in 20-foot range in the long jump and close to 43-0 in the triple. That’s pretty good for us.”
On the girls’ side, South Beauregard and Westlake are expected to contend for the title.
“It will be hard to beat South Beauregard and Westlake ,” said Wall. “They are both very strong.”
Wall is expecting to make a little noise though.
His team will be lead by last week’s overall top performer, Mercedes Rogers. The junior won the long and triple jumps in Church Point as well as the 300-hurdles.
“Mercedes PR’ed in the long jump last week (17-6) and she’s pretty consistent in the triple right at 35-0,” said Wall. “She’s doing well in the hurdles and she can give us points in the high jump.”
Isis Broussard, who has been ill this week, is expected to score some points in the dashes and the relays and Kara Wilridge, who has missed the last two weeks with personal issues, will be competing in the triple jump.
For Notre Dame, freshman Aline Gossen is expected to contend for the title in the 1600- and 3200-meter runs. She has a personal best time of 5:48 in the 1600 and 12:56 in 3200.
“Aline is a very strong competitor,” said McCleary. “She really works hard and competes well. Last week in Kaplan, she held off a girl from Teurlings and just wouldn’t be denied. It was a good race and it was really fun to watch.”
McCleary is expecting a strong showing from his team that will have 30 girls competing, 10 of whom are seniors.
“I’ve just been very happy overall with this senior group,” said McCleary. “The four years that these girls have been here, it’s been really fun. That’s the biggest thing about this year, as opposed to other years, is how enjoyable it’s been. I don’t think there’s anything that’s on the track or in the field that anyone would say would be a state contender, but the way they compete and the way they work has been a real pleasure and a joy to be around.”
Field events for the meet will begin at 3:15 p.m. with the running events slated for 5:15.
Wednesday's District Track and Field Championships
Below are the list of district track meets that are slate for Wednesday afternoon.
District 4-3A @ Iowa
Teams: Crowley, Jennings, Iowa, Notre Dame, South Beauregard, Westlake
Field Events: 3:15 p.m.
Running Events: 5:15 p.m.
District 5-2A @ Iota
Teams: Bunkie, Iota, Mamou, Oakdale,
Pine Prairie, Ville Platte
Field Events: 2 p.m.
Running Events: 4 p.m.
District 7-B @ Welsh
Teams: Bell City, ESA, Grand Lake,
Hathaway, Lacassine, Midlland
Field Events: 1 p.m.
Running Events: 3 p.m.
District 5-3A @ Church Point
Teams: Church Point, Eunice, Livonia, Northwest, Port Barre, Rayne