Louisiana will play home to some of the best performances of the indoor season on Saturday at the McNeese Indoor High School Invitational at the McNeese Recreational Complex at Lake Charles.
From the girls to the boys, competition on the track and in the field should elicit national level performances.
In the girls 400m, Long Beach (MS) sophomore Destini Pickens enters as the top competitor and likely will get little challenge, while Beaumont Track Club (Tx.) senior Jalia Franklin will take center stage in the 55m hurdles with a US #23 seed time of 8.33.
Westminster Christian Academy (La.) senior Ivy Cains will also feature in the 55m hurdles (8.6), giving Franklin some top competition, but she will also try her hand at a competitive 55m field that includes teammate Ronnie Trahan (7.15), who enters as US #17 and Buckeye freshman Fallon Bolton (7.5).
In the girls 4x800, Lafayette enters with a US #24 time of 9:47.12 and follows in the 4x400m with a US #48 time of 4:07.50.
The boys entries could provide a remarkable amount of national performances. It starts first with Jackoby Pappillion of Lake Charles Barbe (La.), who leads the field in the 55m hurdles, while Antonio Dukes of Mansfield (La.) has a chance to take the field in the 55m. Dukes, however, will get top draws from teammate Gabriel Roberson and New Orleans St. Augustine's (La.) Donovan Roland.
In the boys 400m, Dequincy (La.) senior Patrick Rogers enters as the top seed while Edna Karr (La.) senior Tyler Hall will be close behind. Baton Rouge Jehovah-Jireh's Randy Carter will have a race on his hands in the 800m with Pineville (La.) senior Cameron Farris. Each runner has an indoor seed time of 1:56, which tops out at US #5.
In the boys relays, the 4x200 will be thrilling to watch starting first with Edna Karr (1:29) and Natchez (1:29.20), who enter with almost identical seed times. St. Augustine (1:30.16) isn't far behind.
The Lafayette boys arrive in the 4x800 as the leaders with a seed time of 8:58.86, though Dequincy (9:00.55) and St. Martin's (9:08.35) will provide challenges.
In the boys high jump, Stonewall North DeSoto (La.) senior Chase Walker could move up the national boards with a leap equaling or besting his seed jump of 6-4.
Barbe's Khalil Jones could do the same in the long jump with his 22-7.5, which gives him a top seed and US #15 mark. And Johnny Howell, of All American Track Club, will enter the shot put field with a top mark of 53-7.