Allstate Sugar Bowl Track & Field Classic Begins Friday park
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.
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 4×100 and 4×200 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
Boys Shot Put, Long Jump & Javelin
4 x 800 Meter Relay (Final Against Time)
Girls' 100 Meter Hurdles Prelims – 18 qualify for final
Boys' 110 Meter Hurdles Prelims – 18 qualify for final
100 Meter Dash Prelims – 18 qualify for final
400 Meter Dash Prelims – 18 qualify for final
800 Meter Run – Timed Final (All But Fast Heat)
200 Meter Dash Prelims – 18 qualify for final
300 Meter Hurdles Prelims – 18 qualify for final
6:00 PM Girls' Triple Jump
Saturday, March 22nd
10 AM Boys' Discus, Pole Vault & High Jump
Girls' Long Jump, Shot Put, Javelin
1,600 Meter Run – Timed Final (All but fast heat)
11:30 AM 3,200 Meter Run – Timed Final (All but fast heat)
12:30 PM Boys' Triple Jump
1:00 PM 4 x 200 Relay (Final Against Time)
1,600 Meter Run (Fast Heat)
100 / 110 Hurdles Final (2 Heats)
100 Meter Dash Final (2 Heats)
800 Meter Run (Fast Heat)
4 x 100 Meter Relay (Final Against Time)
400 Meter Dash Final (2 Heats)
300 Meter Hurdles Final(2 Heats)
200 Meter Dash Final (2 Heats)
Girls' 3,200 Meter Run (Fast Heat)
Girls' 4 x 400 Meter Relay (Final Against Time)
Boys' 3,200 Meter Run (Fast Heat)
Boys' 4 x 400 Meter Relay (Final Against Time)
Ten meet records fell at the 2013 Allstate Sugar Bowl Track & Field Classic, including two of the meet's longest-standing records: the 4×100 boys' relay (40.84, Karr High School, breaking a 1993 record) and the long jump (24-11.5, Devin Scott, West Jefferson High School, breaking a 1994 record). The team winners were John Curtis Christian School on the boys' side and McDonogh #35 on the girls' side. Edna Karr took second place for the boys while UMS-Wright (Mobile, Ala.) was the girls' runner-up.
The Outstanding Track Performer honor on the girls' side was shared by two outstanding standouts, who each won three individual events and a relay. Stalbert took the sprint triple-crown, winning the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes, while also helping the Roneagles to the 4×200 title (and a meet-record). Stalbert, who also won the honor as a freshman in 2011, shared the recognition with senior Kathryn Lazarchic from UMS-Wright, who won the 800-, the 1,600- and the 3,200-meter runs, while helping her squad to the 4×800 relay crown.
The Boys' Outstanding Track Performer was Rock from St. Thomas Aquinas, who won the 110-meter hurdles and set a meet-record in the 300-meter hurdles. Collecting Girls' Outstanding Field Performer honors was senior Dominique Clegget from Cabrini High school, who won the long jump and the triple jump. The Boys' Outstanding Field Performer was King, who set a meet record in the pole vault with the top mark in the nation at the time.