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Allstate Sugar Bowl Track & Field Classic Begins Friday

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Allstate Sugar Bowl Track & Field Classic returns to Tad Gormley Stadium this Friday and Saturday, March 21 and 22, with over 2,000 entries slated to compete in the two-day event. Since 1993, this event has been the largest high school track and field invitational in Louisiana, featuring nearly 100 boys and girls teams from throughout the Southeast each year. Admission is $5 per day while children 12 and under may enter free of charge.

Heat Sheets - Boys

Heat Sheets - Girls

This year's event will once again feature one of the largest and most impressive fields for a high school track meet in the region with 87 schools (120 teams, boys and girl) and over 2,100 total entries. Five different states will be represented in the meet - Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas.

Among the elite participants will be Marcquita Stalbert from McDonogh 35 (New Orleans), Devin King from Jewel Sumner (Kentwood), Craig Rock from St. Thomas Aquinas (Hammond), Gabrielle Jennings from First Baptist (Slidell) and Zachary Albright from St. Paul's (Covington).

Stalbert is the three-time defending champion in both the 100- and 400-meter dashes; and she also won the 200 as a freshman in 2011 and as a junior last year. She has been named the Outstanding Track Performer twice at the Sugar Bowl event. She is entered in all three events again this year, as well as the 800-meter relay, an event in which she helped her squad to the meet record in each of the last two years.

The top challenger to Stalbert's supremacy in the sprints is McMain star Aleia Hobbs. Hobbs has won the last two state Class 3A titles in the 100- and 200-meter dashes and is the only athlete to defeat Stalbert in a Sugar Bowl sprint race as she topped the McDonogh 35 star in the 200-meter dash at the 2012 meet when both were sophomores. Janie O'Connor, a freshman from Zachary, is the biggest threat to upset Stalbert and Hobbs in the 200-meter dash as she has the top time in the state this year in that event.

SPRINT FINALS ARE SATURDAY AFTERNOON

King broke the national indoor high school record for the pole vault last week at a meet in New York when he jumped 17-10.25. He set the Sugar Bowl meet record last year at 17-2 and will attempt to break the national outdoor record of 18-3 this weekend. The senior, who was the Outstanding Field Performer at last year's Sugar Bowl meet, won the state title in the indoor pole vault earlier this year.

BOYS POLE VAULT IS SATURDAY MORNING

The Boys' Outstanding Track Performer last year was Rock, who returns for the 2014 event. After winning the 110-meter hurdles and setting a meet-record (38.08) in the 300-meter hurdles last year, he went on to win Class 2A titles in both events at the state outdoor championship. He is scheduled to compete in both hurdle events again this year.

BOYS HURDLES ARE SATURDAY AFTERNOON

Jennings, who is just a sophomore, has already captured over 20 state titles in her varsity career - she will compete in the 1,600-meter run on Saturday.

Albright is another standout distance runner - he set the boys' state record for the indoor mile earlier this year. He won the Sugar Bowl 800-meter run last year and also captured Class 5A state titles in the 800 and the 1600 (2013 outdoor and 2014 indoor). Albright will be challenged in the 1,600 by John Curtis star Devyn Keith, who was the runner-up in that event last year. Both runners have posted marks under 4:20 in 2014. Eric Coston, also from St. Paul's, but just a freshman, is the indoor state champion in the 3,200-meter run, and will look to challenge the meet record this weekend.

1,600 & 3,200 ARE SATURDAY MORNING

A pair of sprinters expected to make their marks this weekend are Darius Birden from Higgins and Edward Davis from Karr. Birden, a junior, was the state indoor champion in the 400, while Davis, also a junior, has the fastest 200-meter time (21.51) in the state this year. Davis took second last year in the 200 with a time of 21.57 and he was also part of Karr's record-setting 4x100 and 4x200 relays. Birden is slated to run in the 100, 200 and 400, while Davis is entered in the 100 and the 200.

SPRINT FINALS ARE SATURDAY AFTERNOON

The girls' javelin should be an interesting event on Friday evening as defending champion Samantha Zelden, a sophomore from St. Scholastica (Covington) will again battle Sarah Morris, also a sophomore, from UMS-Wright (Mobile, Ala.), who took second last year. Zelden's mark of 127-08 last year puts her in the company of Sugar Bowl record-holder Anna Lyons from Ruston High (128-06 in 2005). Morris threw 112-06 last year.

Shelly Spires, from St. Paul's of Alabama, is another defending champion as she won the high jump last year with a mark of 5-6 (the meet record is 5-8.25).

Schedule of Events:
Friday, March 21st

4:00 PM                  Girls Discus, High Jump & Pole Vault