The majority of the participants in Saturday’s High School Indoor Track and Field Qualifying Meet were just hoping to punch their ticket to the State Meet two weeks away.
Jewel Sumner pole vaulter Devin King had higher expectations.
The Cowboys’ senior posted the nation’s best mark by clearing 17 feet, 4 inches, which also broke the Louisiana state indoor record.
“It felt great,” said King, who had the entire Carl Maddox Field House cheering him on. “We’ve been working at it for a month now, so it felt pretty good to accomplish what you’ve been practicing. I was pretty confident in the jump. It feels good to have everybody behind you. It made me want it more.”
King, who signed with Southeastern on Wednesday, nearly made it over 17-8 in three tries but still led the pack in the boys vault, ahead of Catholic-New Iberia’s Gavin Gautreau (16) and Catholic Baton Rouge’s Chadd Burns (15).
The Bears as a whole had a successful day, qualifying 25 athletes in the 10 boys events of the day.
“We got a lot of qualifiers, which is what we came here to do,” said Catholic High coach Pete Boudreaux. “Some of the guys stepped up. With all the weather we’ve been having, we’re kind of coming in with nothing but question marks. Overall, I’m real pleased with what we’ve done.”
Catholic High’s Chance Stephens was one of the top contributors of the day for the Bears, tying the meet record and setting the school record by clearing 6 feet, 8 inches in the high jump.
The meet also marked the inaugural for boys’ and girls’ 60-meter dash and hurdles, replacing the 55-meter events from years’ past.
Baton Rouge High’s Mikiah Brisco won both events for the girls, running an 8.76 in the hurdles and a 7.44 in the dash.
Dutchtown’s Tyler Hughes won the boys hurdles with a time of 8.09 seconds, while Edna Karr’s Sharkieth Beverly won the dash at 7.03.
The 20 events of the day began at 11 a.m. and ran until nearly 10 p.m. at LSU’s Carl Maddox Field House. The University had previously cancelled one meet and delayed another due to construction inside the facility, which will now host three meets on consecutive weekends.
The Last Chance Qualifier is set for Feb. 15, with the LHSAA State Indoor Meet scheduled to take place Feb. 22.
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