The St. Joseph’s Academy track and field team made history on February 16, placing second to score its first trophy finish in an LHSAA state indoor or outdoor championship. The Allstate Sugar Bowl/Louisiana High School Athletic Association Indoor Championships, held in the Carl Maddox Field House at LSU, featured 33 teams in Division I.
On the strength of three state championship performances – Isabelle Brown in the 1,600 meter run; Lauren Hendry in the 3,200 meter run; and Brown, Maddie Kate Gardiner, Virginia Dirks and Taylor Winters in the 4x800 meter relay – SJA scored 55 points to finish behind John Curtis (64) and ahead of Zachary (38.5), Lafayette (32.5), Ruston (21) and Baton Rouge High (19).
“I feel very blessed and proud to be part of this program,” said head coach Charlie Daigle, who celebrated his birthday at the meet. “When something like this is accomplished, it takes the team members, parents, administration and coaches all supporting the culture of the program. It has been a goal of everyone associated with the program to finally finish in the top two and bring home a trophy.”
Scoring points towards the team’s total were the following.
1,600m Run: Isabelle Brown, 1st place, 5:23.04; Lauren Hendry, 2nd place, 5:27.18
800m Run: Taylor Winters, 3rd place, 2:24.38; Lydia Poche, 5th place, 2:27.55
4x800m Relay: Isabelle Brown, Maddie Kate Gardiner, Virginia Dirks and Taylor Winters, 1st place, 10:00.19
3,200m Run: Lauren Hendry, 1st place, 11:40.28; Sophie Martin, 2nd place, 11:41.82
Shot Put: Kayleigh Mims, 6th place, 36-09.00
Daigle said the team’s historic performance at the indoor championship will provide great momentum going into the outdoor season, which begins March 2. “Last night before we even left Carl Maddox Field House, the girls told us, ‘Now let’s go win the outdoor state championship,’” Daigle said.
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Photos courtesy of Tina LaHaye