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Tarpons fall short in Tiger Relays

South Lafourche's Brody Williams competes in the long jump at Friday's Tiger Relays in Thibodaux. (Photo by Addie Gibbons/Correspondent)

Jake Lee was seeing spots and could not feel his legs on Friday night, but nothing was going to take that beaming grin off his face.

South Lafourche's top 2-mile runner posted a personal best in the event (10 minutes, 43.04 seconds) at the Thibodaux Tiger Relays and placed third behind two Jesuit runners to put the Tarpons team ahead of Brother Martin by seven points heading into the night's final race — the 4x400 meter relay.

Unfortunately for Lee and the Tarpons, they did not bring a 4x400 relay team to meet, and Brother Martin posted the top time in the race to leave Thibodaux with the boys Tiger Relays title after edging the Tarpons, 112-109.

Still, Lee said he was happy with his and his team's overall performance despite the fact it was the first time this season the Tarpons did not win a meet in which they entered.

"The race was awesome," Lee said. "They have some awesome competitors out here. You know you run a good race when you are seeing spots and can hardly feel your legs. As a team we did really well and stacked up a lot of points. I have to give it all to my teammates."

One of those teammates in particular had a huge night for the Tarpons. Zaron Jenkins was the boys overall top performer of the meet after tallying 23.5 points and winning the 100 and 200-meter dashes.

"I shocked myself," Jenkins said. "I did not think I had it in me. I have been practicing hard. We are going to keep working on our technique and keep working hard."

Devin Blackwell also won 300-meter hurdle and placed third in the 100-meter hurdles for the Tarpons. His 39.1 in the 300 hurdles was a meet record.

"The guys who produce for us week in and week out produced for us again," Tarpons coach Joey Guidroz said. "We just have to get things together going into district. I knew not having a mile relay team would catch up with us and it did (Friday night). This is the hard part of the season. We have to keep the momentum going. We want district, regionals and state to hurry up and get here."

The Thibodaux boys placed third with 51 points followed by Ellender (43.5), Jesuit (41.5), South Terrebonne (34), Landry (33) and Assumption, which with 26 points rounded out the Top 8 boys' teams.

While the boys' team competition came down to the final event, there was hardly ever a doubt when it came to the girls.

Led by Joya Tardieff, who won the girls overall top performer with wins in the 4x200 relay, the 100-hurdles, the 300-hurdles and the 4x400 relay, the Lady Tigers protected their home turf and moved to 7-for-7 on the season by winning yet another meet with 152 points — 91 points better than second-place Ellender (61 points).

Also on the girls side, John Ehret was third (60), followed by Lusher Charter (49), Vandebilt Catholic (53), Central Lafourche and South Terrebonne (34 points each) and Terrebonne (33.5) rounded out the Top 8 girls teams.

"It's tradition to keep it up now," Tardieff, who set a meet record in the 300 hurdles for a second straight year, said. "We are so close. We are like a family now. We just motivate each other to do our best. We are working hard and having fun with it. We are ready for more competition."

Vandebilt Catholic's Alexa Breaux won the 1,600 and the 3,200 and Thibodaux swept all three relay events in girls' competition.

Boys field MVP went to South Terrebonne's Adam Ziepke, who won the discus and shot put, and boys' track MVP went to Dylan Yates of Brother Martin.

Girls field MVP was a tie between Joycelyn Daggs of Thibodaux (first in long jump and first in triple jump) and Alexis Gordon of Chalmette (first in discus, first in shot put), and girls track MVP went to Ellender's Netikie Johnson, whose night was highlighted by wins in the 100-meter dash and second places in the 400-meter dash and in relay competition.

Both South Lafourche and Thibodaux will now rest up a week before heading into district, regional and then state competition.

For complete results from Friday's Thibodaux Tiger Relays, check