Is it possible to win without winning? For an answer to that poser all you had to do was be in Castor on Tuesday where the Class B Northwest Louisiana Regional Track Meet that was held.
It can’t be exemplified any better than the scenario that unfolded in the girls 1600-meter race. At the beginning, QHS senior Lillian Crawford immediately fell far behind the leaders. As the competitors rounded lap one and then lap two, it was obvious that she was not going to win the race.
On the backstretch of lap three, Crawford started making up distance. First, she passed one, then as she started the “bell lap” she passed another. Heading into the final curve two more went by the wayside. By the time she crossed the finish line there were only two others that had finished ahead of her.
Totally spent from her exertion to the point she was almost wobbling coming off the track, Crawford spotted her track coach Bradley Speir standing close by. With renewed energy she embraced him with an exuberant hug and with unbridled emotion cried out….
“I MADE IT TO STATE!”
That was what this meet was all about.
Finish first, second or third in an event and the competitor qualified for the Class B state track meet that will be held May 5-7 on the campus of LSU in Baton Rouge. By the way, Crawford shaved an incredible 20 seconds off her best time ever in the event and then followed that up by coming in third in the 3200 meters as well.
Oh yeah! You can definitely win without winning!
Crawford wasn’t alone to experience the thrill of turning in a career best that resulted in qualifying for state. Another of note, was Lexie Millien of Weston. Down to her last attempt in the long jump, it was do or die time. Miss the length needed and the season is over.
What made the pressure even greater was she had never leaped before what she needed to record. Down the runway she came, planted her foot on the board and soared into the air. By the time she landed, Millien had eclipsed her previous best this season by almost a foot. The result was a second-place finish and a trip to Baton Rouge.
In all there were 23 Jackson Parish athletes from Quitman and Weston High School that finished either in second or third place. Sure, each gave their all to win their event. Who wouldn’t like being able to say that they were a Regional Track Meet Champion? Yet by qualifying for the state meet each won something far more dear. They won an opportunity to compete for a state title.
A win without winning? You bet!
There were actually four from Quitman and one from Weston that did win their event and even more impressively the Quitman girls won the Regional Meet team title. With 13 representatives competing in 13 events the Lady Wolverines will be in prime position to bring home the Class B state team championship.
Class B Regional Track Meet Winners
Sebastian Guin (QHS) – Boys Shot Put
Brian “Peanut” Lay (QHS) – Boys Pole Vault
Ansley Folks (QHS) – Girls Pole Vault
Kaleigh King (QHS) – Girls 300 Hurdles
Jalexiah Claridy (WHS) – Girls Shot Put
State Track Meet Qualifiers
Bailey Keys (QHS) – Javelin (2nd), Shot Put (3rd)
Nathan Harvey (QHS) – 110 Hurdles (3rd)
Darin Allen (WHS) – Javelin (3rd)
4×200 Relay (WHS) – Eli McBride, Gage Albert, Daniel Albert, Daniel Watlington (2nd)
4×100 Relay (WHS) – Eli McBride, Kaden Shirley, Gage Albert, Daniel Albert (2nd)
Lajaesha Bailey (QHS) – Discus (3rd)
Emma Carter (QHS) – High Jump (2nd)
Summer Grillette (QHS) – Pole Vault (3rd)
Lillian Crawford (QHS) – 1600 Meters (3rd), 3200 Meters (3rd)
Madi Chaplin (QHS) – 100 Meters (3rd), 200 Meters (3rd)
Lily Kate Odom (QHS) – Triple Jump (3rd)
Maddie Grace Giddens (QHS) – 300 Hurdles (2nd)
4×100 Relay (QHS) – Bethany Leach, Emayshia Wiley, Kaleigh King, Chaplin, Giddens (2nd)
4×200 Relay (QHS) – Leach, Wiley, Chaplin, Giddens (2nd)
4×400 Relay (QHS) – Kinley Walker, Megan Kelley, Odom, Giddens (3rd)
Lexie Millien (WHS) – Long Jump
Neighboring Saline High had two qualify for the state meet in Georgia Robinson, who came in third in the 100 Hurdles and Titus Malone who finished second in the long jump.