Jesuit and Edna Karr can each double up at some state track and field championships on Saturday — but in very different ways.
For the Jesuit, distance runners Michael Vocke and Jack Desroaches can repeat as champions in the 1,600 and 3,200 meter races, respectively. Not only that, but each will likely have a teammate behind them for a pair of possible 1-2 finishes at the Class 5A Boys State Championships in Athletics at Bernie Moore Stadium in Baton Rouge.
Leland Crawford will run the 1600 and Lucas Sampedro the 3200. The 4×800 relay will include four other Jesuit runners who were part of the state championship cross-country program, showcasing the remarkable depth of Blue Jays runners competing in the State.
For Karr, sprinter Ra’hji Dennis will enter the Class 4A competition with the fastest qualifying time in the 100 and 200. Dennis placed ahead of returning 100 and 200 champion Leon Elloie of Warren Easton during a regional meeting last week in Marrero.
In addition to these open events, Dennis will race the 4×100 and 4×200 relays. Each had the No. 2 qualifying time behind relay teams from Westgate – which happened to be the school that ousted Karr from the semi-final football playoffs last fall.
“Different sport, same kids,” Karr’s track and field coach Errin Singleton said of those schools’ sprinters.
Markel Myles, qualified in both hurdles events, is also for Karr. His other important race will come at the end when he anchors the final event, the 4×400 relay.
The Class 5A, 4A and 3A state championships will take place on Saturday, with field events beginning at 10:45 a.m. and race events at 2:30 p.m.
In 5A, Jack Larriviere of the Jesuits achieved the best qualifying distance in the javelin, earning him an athletic scholarship to LSU.
John Curtis’ Justin Horne will compete in both hurdles – his 110 hurdles qualifying time was the best in the state – and will race the 4×200 and 4×400 relays. Holy Cross’ Krosse Johnson will be looking to win the 100 and 200 championships. John Ehret’s Armani Cargo had the fastest qualifying time in the 100.
In Girls 5A, Higgins’ Laila Jackson will be looking for another title in the 800m, an event she won last year when she attended Curtis.
Of the 4A girls, Renee Anderson had the best discus qualifying distance and placed No. 2 in the shot put.
In Girls 3A, Saige Christen of Patrick Taylor qualified for three events in the 400, 800 and 1600. Her qualifying time of 1600m ranked first in the state. De La Salle’s Tannar Simms had the second qualifying distance in the shot put and discus.