Following up on our recap of all the field events, we are here today to explore the top marks of the sprints from the first official meet of the Louisiana Indoor Track season. The competition from out of state made for an even more competitive environment with Louisiana being able to show off how talented we are.
Some may recall from the recap of the field events, Mateo Smith from Florida. He won the long jump as well as the 60m dash. He was the only individual that ran below seven seconds with his final time of 6.95. The next best contender was Krosse Johnson of Holy Cross. He finished behind Koen Beavers of Carencro during the preliminaries and surged to the front during the finals with his final time of 7.00. Beavers recorded his best mark of the day from the preliminaries with his 7.01.
Both Krosse Johnson and Keon Beavers find themselves in the US top 50 with Johnson coming in at #31 and Beavers following closely at #34.
Ariane Linton (5) winning the LSU High School Classic back in 2021
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The girls' side of the 60m dash put up an even more impressive race. Ariane Linton of Dutchtown left everyone else behind with a blazing time of 7.53, which stands as a US #10. She had a margin of victory of 0.2 seconds, which does not sound like much, but over the course of 60m, it is a world of difference.
Out-of-state competition filled out second through fourth place, but that does not take away the magnitude of Sade Gray's performance. This Scotlandville sprinter was the next-best local talent and she ran a US #40 with her time of 7.78.
Kicking up the ante in the 60-meter dash, let's talk hurdles. Makeriah Harris of Scotlandville dominated the preliminary and finals alongside recording a US #7 with her preliminary heat time of 8.71. Unfortunately, she was just 0.01 seconds away from tying the meet record.
On the guys' side, Justin Horne of John Curtis showed out with his incredibly impressive time of 8.09 which stands as US #8. Though it is early in the season, if compared with the 2021 indoor season, his time would stand as the 23rd fastest time in the nation. On top of that, his personal best from the 2021 season was 8.72, which speaks bounds of how much Horne has improved in just a year.
Coming second to Horne was Broderick Davis of Scotlandville. He crossed the line with a time of 8.22 which puts him at US #13. For those that do not know, this is an incredible improvement for Davis. Just last year, his best 60m hurdle was 8.83, which means he shaved off over half a second in the matter of one year!
Other notable finishes from the hurdles are from Cody Smith of Zachary and Brandon Green of Ruston. Smith currently sits at US #22 with his final time of 8.34 and Green squeezed in with a US #40 with his mark of 8.53.
Jada Williams winning the LSU High School Classic back in 2021
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In the 400m dash, Makeriah Harris returned to take home another win. The AAU Junior Olympic Champion put down a competitive race with the 5A state champion, Jada Williams of Ruston. These two elite athletes definitely put on a show with Makeriah Harris crossing the line in 56.78 and Jada Williams slightly behind at 57.41. These times put these two at US #10 and US #17, respectively. This race will surely only become more interesting when these two return for the state meet in February.
On the boys' side of the 400m, we almost saw a sub-50 second performance by Michael Thomas of Texas. He was the fastest finisher of the day with his time of 50.17, which stands as the US #25. However, St. Augustine's Gabriel Byrd was right on his heels with his final time of 50.39. This time lands Byrd at the US #39 spot.
Gabriel Byrd (4) at the 2021 LSU HS Qualifier
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Turning to the relays, we saw a girls' facility record for Carl Maddox Field House from the Fast Lane Track Club in the 4x200m. The Florida club team set the record by nearly a second with their time of 1:41.03. The old record stood at 1:42.09 and the team now stands in a highly coveted position of US #5.
Next up was Scotlandville, who neared the facility record, but were just shy with their 1:42.46. This is still a remarkable time that garners them the position of US #9. The next closest team to them was Ruston with their US #36 time of 1:46.35.
And during the much anticipated 4x400m, Scotlandville continued to demonstrate the depth of their sprints by winning the girls' race in a time of 4:02.34. This time lands them as US #8. Ruston came in third, trailing Scotlandville by almost five seconds, with their final time of 4:07.11. Ruston claims a US #20 with this time, and their boys' team fared similarly in the other race.
For the boys, Catholic High won with a fast final time of 3:28.89. This lands the Grizzlies as US #10 and set up for a successful season for the 4x400m. Ruston followed suit, coming in at 3:30.66. The Bearcats find themselves at US #18 with this mark, making Ruston and Scotlandville the only teams that have US top 50 marks in either sprint relay for both boys and girls.
The sprints side of competition was just as interesting to watch as the field competition and it really shows the depth that Louisiana has to offer in track and field.