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 22 and 23, with a record number of 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 more than 100 boys and girls teams from throughout the Southeast.
This year’s event has set records with 124 teams (64 boys, 60 girls), 1,484 student-athletes and 2,463 total entries (many athletes compete in multiple events). Five different states will be represented in the meet – Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee.
While strong performers are featured throughout the schedule, the girls’ sprint events should be hotly-contested. Marcquita Stalbert, a junior from McDonogh 35, is the two-time defending champion in both the 100- and 400-meter dashes; and she also won the 200 as a freshman in 2011, the year she took home Outstanding Track Performer honors. 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 last year.
Stalbert won the sprint triple-crown at the Class 4A state championship last spring – capturing title in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes, while also adding a title in the 4×200-meter relay. She broke the 32-year old composite state mark in the 400. This weekend, she will be challenged by a very strong sprint field, including Aleia Hobbs (McMain), Nicole Henderson (McDonogh 35), Victoria Young (Chapelle), Alexia Fortenberry (West Jefferson), Bryianna Richardson (Helen Cox) and Shannon Ray (Xavier Prep). Hobbs was the Class 3A state champion in the 100 and 200 last year, while Young, just a freshman, is undefeated in all sprints this spring – she will also compete in the 100, 200 and 400.
The boys’ sprints will feature some star power from the football field as St. Augustine’s Leonard Fournette, the No. 1 ranked running back in the nation, is slated to run the 100- and 200-meter dashes as well as the 4×100 and 4×200 relays.
The boys’ event that may prove to be the highlight is the pole vault (Saturday, 10:30 a.m.), which will feature defending champion Dylan Duvio from John Curtis Christian School. Duvio has a career-best mark of 16-9.25 and will hope to upset Devin King, from Jewel Sumner (Kentwood, La.), who posted the best vault in the nation this winter at 17-1. The girls’ pole vault defending champ, Chanel Krause, from St. Paul’s Episcopal (Mobile, Ala.), also returns for 2013.
See below schedule for more highlights.
Schedule of Events:Friday, March 22nd
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
Girls’ Triple Jump
Saturday, March 23rd
Boys’ Discus, Pole Vault & High Jump
Girls’ Long Jump, Shot Put, Javelin
1,600 Meter Run – Timed Final (All but fast heat)
3,200 Meter Run – Timed Final (All but fast heat)
Boys’ Triple Jump
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’ 3200 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)
In the girls’ distance events, Fontainbleau’s Nicole Durham, the Class 5A state champ in the 3,200-meter run last year, and Dominican teammates Ellen Barkemeyer and Mia Meydrich, are expected to be the top standouts.
The boys’ distance events will be highlighted by a pair of state champions in Zack Capello (Ascension Catholic) and Christian Johnson (Episcopal), as well as standouts Kramer Jackson (St. Paul’s), Tommy Brocato (STA) and Leonel Moreno (Jewel Sumner). Capello, just a sophomore, already owns two Class 1A state titles in cross country, while Johnson is a state cross country champ (Class 2A) as well as a threat to school records in the 800, one-mile and two-mile records at the powerhouse running school.
Other featured performers on the girls’ side will be Dominique Clegget (Cabrini), one of the top combined jumpers in the state; Shelley Spires (Episcopal), another strong jumper and 400-meter sprinter, who also won the high jump title last year; and Samantha Zelden (St. Scholastica), the top javelin thrower in southeast Louisiana. Bryianna Richardson, who is expected to compete for the 100-title, will also be a top contender in the hurdles. Nanette Weitzman (Episcopal) is the defending Sugar Bowl champion in the discus, but she will be challenged by Alexis Gordon (Chalmette), who has the leading throw in the state this year.
The boys’ hurdles should feature a good battle as Chalmette senior Albert Brock, the state runner-up in the 55-meter hurdles last year, is undefeated this spring in both the 110-hurdles and the 300-hurdles. He will be challenged by Craig Rock (St. Thomas Aquinas), the 2012 state champion in both hurdle-races, as well as Duke Riley (John Curtis), Felix Farinas (St. Augustine) and George Morea (John Curtis).
Other boys to watch will be John Curtis shot putter Anthony Taylor, who set the state indoor record this winter; Ricky Theyard of Lusher, who is nationally-ranked in the triple jump; West Jeff’s Devin Scott, the state’s leading long jumper; and basketball/football standout Malachi Dupree (John Curtis), the defending champion in the high jump, who will compete in both the high jump and the long jump.
John Curtis Christian School, from River Ridge, La., captured the boys’ title in the Classic, tallying 63 points, primarily in the field events, while St. Paul’s Episcopal from Mobile, Ala., won the girl’s title with an impressive 105 points.
Curtis was followed by local rivals Brother Martin (46 points) and East Jefferson High (45) while St. Paul’s (42) of Covington, La., and West Jefferson High (38) rounded out the top five in the boys’ division. On the girls’ side, St. Paul’s edged Mobile-rival McGill-Toolen, which scored 96.5 points. McDonogh #35 from New Orleans was third with 50 points, while West Jefferson High and Picayune (Miss.) High each scored 29 to round out the top five.
Junior Carmen Carlos was the Outstanding Girls’ Track Performer of the Meet. Carlos set meet records in the 1,600-meter run (4:54.67) and the 3,200-meter run (10:51.54), while also winning the 800-meter run with a time of 2:17.67 and running a leg of the Yellow Jackets’ record-setting 4×800 relay squad (9:20.36). The Outstanding Boys’ Track Performer was senior Morgan Cormier from Brother Martin High School. Cormier posted wins in both the 110-meter hurdles (14.77) and the 300-meter hurdles (39.36).
Collecting Outstanding Girls’ Field Performer honors was Bonnabel senior standout Jemisha Frazier, who won the shot put (37-04.25) and the javelin (124-07), while taking third in the discus (95-07). Charles Collins, from McGill-Toolen, was the Outstanding Field Performer for Boys. The senior won the discus (139-04) and the javelin (161-00).
Metro New Orleans schools with student-athletes in action last year included: Academy of our Lady, Bonnabel, Brother Martin, Carver, Clark, Cohen, Country Day, Curtis, Dominican, East Jefferson, East St. John, Ehret, Franklin, Helen Cox, Higgins, Holy Cross, Jesuit, John McDonogh, Karr, Lusher, Mandeville, McDonogh 35, McGehee, Miller McCoy, Mt. Carmel, Newman, O.P. Walker, Rummel, Shaw, St. Augustine, St. Mary’s, Warren Easton, West Jefferson and Xavier Prep.