Area athletes gunning for state track titles


Thibodaux's Joycelyn Daggs will compete in the long jump and triple jump at Saturday's Louisiana High School Athletic Association's Class 5A state track and field meet. (Photo by File)


The South Lafourche boys, Thibodaux girls and E.D. White Catholic girls track and field teams all have one thing in common.

They all have momentum on their side.

Two weeks ago, all three teams captured their respective district titles. Last week, they duplicated the feat at their respective regional meets.

All of that momentum will come in handy on Saturday, as the Louisiana High School Athletic Association will hold the Class 3A, 4A and 5A outdoor state track and field meets at LSU's Bernie Moore Stadium in Baton Rouge.

"Their confidence level is really skyrocketing right now," South Lafourche boys coach Joey Guidroz said. "They are on Cloud 9. They are going in feeling like they have a chance to place real high in state. Individually, they are ready to go."

E.D. White coach Donald Grabert said the Lady Cardinals are a young team, but they exceeded expectations and competed well against teams in Class 5A and 4A throughout the season.

"I knew we had the potential to be a good track team at the beginning of the year, but I didn't know how good," Grabert said. "We had a lot of girls coming back from last year, and we got better in the field, and we were pretty decent on the track."

The Thibodaux Lady Tigers are heading to Saturday's state championships as one of the hottest teams in the state, winning all of its meets during the season.

Thibodaux coach Doug Haydel said the Lady Tigers will have to bring their best at Saturday's Class 5A state meet.

"We've been fortunate to run well all year long, and it's going to be a very big challenge coming up this week because we are going to see the best of the best," he said. "In several events, we have some good seeds, and I like our chances. We just have to go out there and do our best to compete. We just need to continue to do what we've been doing and maybe do it a little better."

The Lady Tigers will send a strong contingent to state and will be competing in 10 events, including multiple competitors in several events.

Representing Thibodaux at the state meet are Joycelyn Daggs (long jump and triple jump), Joya Tardieff (100-meter and 300-meter hurdles), Samasia Coleman (shot put), Emily Lee (discus), Miannte' Guidry (long jump), Eris Stove (triple jump) and Kiarra Davis (800-meter run). The Lady Tigers are also sending their 400-meter, 800-meter and 1,600-meter relay teams to Saturday's meet.

Haydel said he likes his team's chance of posting showing at the state meet.

"The competition will be outstanding, and the team that wins it will be the one that does its best," Haydel said. "I'm looking for us to have a Top 5 finish."

South Lafouche's boys team has been solid throughout the season and have won numerous meets, including the Lafourche Parish and District 7-5A meets.

The Tarpons will be competing in six events at the state meet, headlined by Devin Blackwell in the 100-meter and 300-meter hurdles. Also scheduled to compete are Sean Bouzigard (discus), Dominick Fillinich (high jump) and the 400-meter and 800-meter relay teams.

Guidroz said he likes his team's chances of finishing in the Top 5 and bringing home some individual state titles on Saturday.

"When the performance list came out, they were really excited because of where we stood," Guidroz said. "I feel like we can go in there and compete real well and come back with some individual state titles."

Led by Xylynn Garnett in the javelin and high jump, the Lady Cardinals will be competing in seven events. Also scheduled to compete are Jordan Borne (long jump), Blair Boudreaux (pole vault), Emily Sauce (800-meter run), Hannah Babin (3,200-meter run) and the 1,600-meter relay team.

"Our strengths are definitely in the field events," Grabert said. "Xylynn Garnett has a chance to place very high in the javelin and high jump. We also have a long jumper and pole vaulter going to the state meet, so we have a chance to do very well in the field."

Grabert said if everyone performs to their capabilities, he said the Lady Cardinals have a chance to finish in the Top 5.

Here are other area athletes by school that have qualified for the state track meet.

CLASS 5A

CENTRAL LAFOURCHE

Kierranike Duncan will represent the Lady Trojans in the triple jump.

H.L. BOURGEOIS

The Braves will be represented by Marlin Bonvillain in the long jump.

Vanessa Williams will be competing in three events for the Lady Braves — the 400-meter dash, 100-meter hurdles and as a member of the 1,600-meter relay team. The girls' 400-meter relay team will also be at the state meet.

SOUTH LAFOURCHE

Marylaine Fillinich will represent the Lady Tarpons in the javelin.

TERREBONNE

Terrebonne's boys team will be represented by Jeremiah Thomas in the discus, George Jackson in the high jump and Julian Maze in the triple jump.

THIBODAUX

The boys team will be led by Donta Johnson in the javelin, Blade Martinez in the javelin, Dustin Becnel in the pole vault and the 400-meter relay team.

CLASS 4A

ASSUMPTION

Assumption will be sending three athletes to the state meet — Jacob Daigle (boys 1,600-meter run), Austin Bernard (boys 3,200-meter run) and Bailey Daigle (girls pole vault).

ELLENDER

The Patriots will be represented by Kevin Lucien in the long jump, Brian Verdin in the 400-meter dash and 1,600-meter relay.

Representing the Ellender girls are Kyler Trosclair in the javelin and Netike Johnson in the 400-meter dash.

SOUTH TERREBONNE

Adam Ziepke will lead the Gators in the shot put and discus.

The Lady Gators will be represented by Joanna Kreamer in the shot put, Julia LeBlanc in the javelin, Jaycie Jones in the triple jump, Amber Sawaski in the 100-meter hurdles and Dariane Dardar in the 1,600-meter run.

VANDEBILT CATHOLIC

Representing the Terriers are Duncan Prentice in the long jump and Patrick Watson in the pole vault.

Alexa Breaux will lead the Vandebilt girls in the 1,600-meter and 3,200-meter runs. Also competing are Sydney Lerille (javelin), Brooek Brunet (pole vault) and Jenna Cheramie (800-meter run).

CLASS 3A

E.D. WHITE CATHOLIC

The Cardinals will be represented by Luke Hagen in the javelin and Benton Arceneaux in the long jump.

ST. JAMES

Erwin Simmons will represent the Wildcats in the 100-meter hurdles.