John Curtis and Ouachita Parish Win Titles at Allstate Sugar Bowl Track & Field Classic
NEW ORLEANS (March 23, 2019) – The Allstate Sugar Bowl Track & Field Classic welcomed the largest field in its 25-year history to Tad Gormley Stadium this Friday and Saturday. The elite field did not disappoint as the meet featured highlight performances throughout its two days. Overall, 139 boys’ and girls’ teams and nearly 2,500 entries participated. Student-athletes from Alabama, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee will be competing.
Ouachita Parish High School (Monroe, La.) was the boys’ champion with 47 points, while its neighbor, Ruston High School, took second with 37.5 points. John Curtis Christian School (River Ridge, La.) recorded 66 points to win its first girls’ championship in the event. Last year’s girls’ champ, McGill-Toolen Catholic High School (Mobile, Ala.) took second place with 48 points.
East St. Louis (Ill.) High School was third for the boys with 30 points followed by Scotlandville High School (Baton Rouge, La.) and Edna Karr High School (New Orleans) with 28 points apiece. On the girls’ side, Edna Karr was third with 44 points, Pelham (Ala.) High School was fourth with 36 and Whitehaven High School (Memphis) rounded out the top five with 34.
The top individual performance came from St. Katherine Drexel (New Orleans) senior Alia Armstrong who not only shattered the meet record in the 100-meter hurdles, but she also posted the top high school time in the nation this year. Her mark of 13.37 seconds would have placed her eighth at last year’s NCAA Outdoor Track Championships. Armstrong, who also won the 400-meter dash with a time of 55.26 seconds, the sixth-best in Sugar Bowl history, was named the Outstanding Girls’ Track Performer for the meet.
Senior Hannah Daffin, from McGill-Toolen, was the Outstanding Girls’ Field Performer for the second year in a row. On Friday, Daffin won the discus with a throw of 119-11, the eighth-best in Sugar Bowl history. Then on Saturday, she crushed the 11-year old meet record in the shot put twice. Her first throw of 41-07.25 broke the record, and then her fourth throw of 42-06.50 broke it yet again. Her new mark is nearly three feet further than the mark (39-09.25) set by Zaquita McClanahan from Irving (Texas) in 2007.
The Boys’ Outstanding Track Performer was senior Emmanuel Bynum from Whitehaven High School in Memphis. Bynum broke the meet record in 400-meter dash with a time of 47.04 seconds, the second fastest in the United States this year. He also won the 200-meter dash with a mark of 21.42, fourth-best in Sugar Bowl history. The Outstanding Field Performer for boys was junior Johnny Mitchell from North DeSoto High School (Stonewall, La.). Mitchell was a double-winner in the discus (153-03) and the shot put (51-11.50) while also finishing in seventh place in the javelin.
Another memorable performance came from John Curtis junior Corey Wren who raced to a 10.41 second time in the 100-meter dash, the second-fastest in Sugar Bowl history and the second-fastest in the nation to date this year. Senior C.J. Hill from St. Thomas More (Lafayette, La.) posted the third-best distance in meet history to win the long jump at 23-11. Biloxi (Miss.) High School senior Landon Chalden notched a time of 38.60 to win the 300-meter hurdles with the eighth-fastest time in Sugar Bowl history. East St. Louis (Ill.) had the top boys’ relay effort of the event, posting a time of 3:19.51 in the 4×400, the third-best time in meet history.
Sophomore Diamond Smith from John Curtis won the long jump on Friday with a distance of 17-08 and then she followed that up by anchoring the Patriots’ 4×400 relay team which posted a mark of 3:55.13, second-fastest in meet history. Ariane Linton from Dutchtown High School (Geismar, La.) posted a winning time of 24.12 in the 200-meter dash, the sixth-fastest in meet history and the third-best for a girls’ freshman in the nation this year. Senior Katie Strozier from Pelham (Ala.) High School notched a 5:02.61 to win the 1,600-meter run with the fourth-fastest time in meet history. Sacred Heart (New Orleans) senior Mary Nusloch won the 3,200-meter run for the second year in a row, notching a time of 11:25.60 against a very talented field.
The Allstate Sugar Bowl has established itself as one of the premier college football bowl games, having hosted 28 national champions, 93 Hall of Fame players, 50 Hall of Fame coaches and 18 Heisman Trophy winners in its 85-year history. The 86th Allstate Sugar Bowl Football Classic, featuring top teams from the Big 12 and the SEC, will be played on January 1, 2020. In addition to football, the Sugar Bowl Committee annually invests over $1.6 million into the community through the hosting and sponsorship of sporting events, scholarships and clinics. Through these efforts, the organization supports and honors nearly 100,000 student-athletes each year and has injected over $2.5 billion into the local economy over the last decade.