Brian Lay and Emma Carter continued traditions while Bailey Keys did something believed to be never done before. All three also came home from the LHSAA Class B state meet held this past Wednesday at the Bernie Moore Track and Field complex on the campus of LSU in Baton Rouge as state champions.
Winning the Class B pole vault competition is old hat for Quitman who has had a boy or girl claim a state title in the event virtually every year over the last half decade. For Brian Lay though, the state title he won is his first. Lay continued the school tradition by being the only competitor to clear 12 feet to win by six inches over his nearest competitor.
Emma Carter has established a tradition all her own. For the second year in a row, the vivacious high jumper won the state championship after not winning the event in a single meet prior all year long. Talk about saving your best for last!
Then there is Bailey Keys. A relative unknown to the track and field circles at the beginning of the year, Keys climaxed his incredible spring by upsetting the defending state champion in the shot put with a toss of 43’2.25.” He then followed that up by throwing the Javelin 125’ 1” to come in third in that event as well. It is believed to be the first time in school history that a boys competitor has accomplished the feat in the two events.
Other area athletes who reached the podium were Jalexia Claridy of Weston and Titus Malone from Saline. Claridy threw the shot put 30’ 9.25” to win second place while Malone leaped 20’ 7.75” in the long jump to take third.
In team competition, the Quitman finished in the top ten in both boys and girls competition with the boys coming in 6th and the girls in 8th place. Weston finished 23rd and 18th respectively, while Saline ended up in 20th and 21st.
Simsboro scored 99 points to win the Class B boys state title by a whopping 29 points over second place Episcopal of Acadiana and 44 points better than third place Christ Episcopal of Covington. The same three schools claimed the top three spots in girls competition albeit by a much closer margin as Christ Episcopal scored 68 to best Episcopal of Acadiana by three and Simsboro, who finished with 56 points.
Photos by: Michael Odendahl/GeauxPreps, Billy Carter
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