For the first time in the history of the Destrehan girls track and field program, the Wildcats took regional runner-up honors at the Region III track and field meet, continuing what’s been a banner season for the school on both the girls’ and boys’ sides.
DHS earned a championship sweep at the District 7-5A track and field meet, with both the boys and girls team sealing up first place honors, while several Wildcats and Hahnville Tigers parlayed their success there into even more at the regional meet to qualify for this week’s LHSAA state championship track and field meet at LSU.
Destrehan’s Phillip Wright and Marley Richard and Hahnville’s Mallory Whitaker each captured regional championship titles to lead several St. Charles Parish athletes who are headed to the LHSAA state track and field championship meet this weekend. Richard qualified for four events at state, while Wright and Whitaker are qualified for two events each.
Only a freshman, Richard has already proven she possesses rare talent.
“She’s the only freshman in the state to qualify for four events,” said Destrehan girls track and field head coach Lynette Matthews. “That’s an impressive feat … every week she’s improving. She’s like a little machine. We’ve been waiting for her for two years – we kind of knew what we were about to get, but we didn’t know we were going to get quite this much. She’s just one of those rare, rare athletes.”
Matthews said track and field is in Richards’ DNA.
“Her parents are track people, mom and dad ran track. She’s been training since she was very young. When you get started early like that, then when you get older you tend to be great at it, just like having a basketball in your hands or kicking a soccer ball when you’re young,” Matthews said.
The road to the high finish in regional competition was an exciting one as well.
“We’re adding up points all night, asking OK, what if this happens or what’s next now that we’ve done this?” Matthews said. “We’re trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together … we really wanted this. And I couldn’t be prouder, they’ve done everything we’ve asked them to do. They’ve made us all proud through all their hard work all year.”
The following are the top three finishers from each regional event. All top three finishers qualify for the state track and field meet.
In the boys’ events, Destrehan saw a number of high finishes. Phillip Wright took the regional championship in the 400-meter dash with a time of 49.87 and third place in the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.18; Skyler Gayten finished third in the 110 hurdles with a mark of 15:32; the boys 4×200 team took third place with a time of 1:27.67. Daniel Blood finished third in the triple jump (43-06).
Among the girls, Destrehan’s Marley Richard won the 100-meter dash, her mark of 12.05 cementing the regional crown. Ditto for the 4×200 relay squad, their mark of 1:44.73 topping the field. Richard added runner up honors with a second-place finish in the 200 (25.43), and then third place finishes in the long jump (18-06.75) and triple jump (37-08). Ivie Mashia took third in the 400 (1:00.94). Kaylee Keller was third in the 100 (16.79). The 4×100 relay team finished second (50.48).
For the Hahnville girls, Mallory Whitaker captured the high jump title with a field best mark of 5-00. She added a third-place mark in the pole vault (9-06), tied with teammate Kayla Lavin (9-06). Madison Bailey took second place (1:00.42); the 4×200 relay team captured third (1:48.74) and the 4×400 team finished third as well (4:15.68).
The Hahnville boys saw Cincere Simmons earn second place in the discus (139-09); Jarian Shelby earn second in the shot put (50-07); Micah Lamers take third in the 400-meter dash (51.46); Ryan Abadie placed third in the pole vault (12-06).
District 7-5A championship meet
Wright and Richard were each triple champions in District 7-5A, leading Destrehan to both team-wide titles, while Whitaker earned two championship finishes for the Tigers.
Hahnville boys district champions included: Jarian Shelby, shot put (48-08.50).
Destrehan boys district champions included: Phillip Wright, 100 (10.77) 200 (22.32) and 400 (50.24); Skyler Gayten, 110 hurdles (15.60); the 4×100 relay team (43.49); the 4×200 relay team (1:28.40).
Destrehan girls district champions included: Marley Richard, 100 (12.17), 200 (25.73) and the long jump (18-00); the 4×100 relay team (50.54); the 4×200 relay team (1:44.10); Anaya Kimble, shot put (32-09).
Hahnville girls district champions included: Mallory Whitaker, high jump (4-11) and pole vault (11-00); Madison Bailey, 400 (1:00.11).