Lazard captures state title at indoor meet
Mon. February 20, 2012 at 9:55 a.m. | By Chris Singleton/Staff Writer
Central Lafourche's Abby Lazard (far right) poses with teammate Kierranika Duncan and coach Chris Arnold after receiving their medals at the LHSAA indoor track meet in Baton Rouge Saturday. (Photo by Submitted Photo)
BATON ROUGE — Central Lafourche senior track and field standout Abby Lazard arrived at the state indoor track and field meet at LSU late due to inclement weather on Saturday, causing her to miss competing in the first of her three scheduled events.
Although she couldn't compete in the long jump, Lazard made up for it later in the day during the triple jump and high jump events held at LSU's Carl Maddox Fieldhouse.
Lazard placed first in the triple jump with a mark of 37 feet, 5 2/4 inches, setting a personal best in the event. She also placed third in the high jump at 5-02.
Lazard, who entered the indoor meet with the best triple jump mark in the state at 37-1 3/4, said she was thrilled to win her first ever track state title at the meet.
"I did how I expected I was going to do," Lazard said. "It feels good to finally win state. After four years, I've finally got it. I'm also proud of how I did in the high jump."
In the triple jump, Lazard beat Central Lafourche teammate Kierranika Duncan, who placed second overall with a mark of 35-07 2/4.
"I was proud of her," Lazard said of Duncan's second place finish. "I'm happy that we got on the podium together. I think we did pretty good coming from the same school."
Central Lafourche coach Chris Arnold said it was special to see two of his athletes place in the Top 3 on Saturday, adding that their work ethic, technique and determination were contributing factors in their success.
"It was very exciting as a coach to have these girls go out there and perform like they do. You can't even describe the feeling of watching Abby get first and Kierranika finish second," he said. "It just make you proud of everything they accomplished."
With the indoor season behind her, Lazard said she wants to carry the momentum of winning a state title into the upcoming outdoor track and field season, which begins in March.
Lazard tied for third place in the high jump at last year's outdoor state meet.
"Since I have the (indoor) state title, I'm going to want to do it again for outdoor," Lazard said. "I have to do it for outdoor now. It's my last season, and I'm ready for it."
Aside from Central Lafourche's two participants, athletes from H.L. Bourgeois, Assumption, Ellender, Vandebilt Catholic and Thibodaux high schools also competed in Division I competition.
H.L. Bourgeois, with 12 athletes, had the largest contingent at the state meet.
The Lady Braves' relay team of Vanessa Williams, Rechelle LaFont, Marquisha Haynes and Jessica Coleman placed fourth in the 800-meter relay (1 minute, 46.28 seconds) and fifth in the 1,600-meter relay (4:11.91).
Williams placed seventh in the 55-meter dash (7.48), LaFont took sixth in the 400-meter run (1:01.43) and Haynes was 17th in the 55-meter dash.
For the Braves, DeQuincey Dunmiles took seventh in the 55-meter hurdles (8.10), Derian Moore finished sixth in the triple jump (41-4 1/4), Tevin Jackson was ninth in the high jump (5-10) and the 1,600-meter relay team placed 10th (3:43.44).
Thibodaux's Jarrell Gray led the Tigers with a third-place finish in the 800-meter run (1:59.81), while Shyheem Thompson placed 10th in the 55-meter dash, the Tigers' 800-meter relay took eighth (1:36.30) and the 3,200-meter relay placed ninth (8:51.01).
Thibodaux's girls team was led by Emily Lee, who placed sixth in the shot put (31-08). Other Lady Tigers participants were Tomi Rodrigue in the shot put (ninth, 9-01), Keiona Guidry in the high jump (tied 11th, 4-08) and the 1,600-meter relay team (4:26.28).
Ellender's Brian Verdin placed seventh in the boys' 400-meter dash (51.45), while Aaron Yarmush was 12th in the 1,600-meter run (5:03.11) and the Patriots' 1,600-meter relay team finished sixth (3:35.15).
Ellender's Netikie Johnson placed seventh in the 400-meter dash (1:01.56) and 18th in the girls' 55-meter dash (7.88).
Assumption's Bailey Daigle took fifth place honors in the pole vault (fifth, 9-09).
Vandebilt's girls pole vaulters Katie Watson finished tied for eighth (8-01) and Mary Buquet was 15th (7-01).
In the boys pole vault, Vandebilt's Nick Laurent finished ninth (13-01) and his teammate Patrick Watson was tenth (13-01).