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Don’t be surprised if you see a sign at the foot of the Champ Clark Bridge soon that says “Louisiana High School track teams forbidden to enter Illinois.”
With 13 first-place, four second-place and one third-place finish, the Louisiana High track teams dominated all-Illinois competition at the Tom Johnson Invitational held Wednesday, April 9 at Pittsfield High.
The Bulldogs took the first place trophy with 141 points, easily outdistancing runner-up Liberty with 80. The Lady Bulldogs came in fourth place, but were only three points away from tying for second.
“Both teams competed extremely well,” said Louisiana Head Coach Craig Pedersen in a classic understatement.
The boys were led by senior Daylon Greene, who took four first place medals.
They included the 100 meters in a time of 11.34 seconds, the 200 meters in 23.21 and the 400 meters in 51.52. Green also ran on the winning 4×200 meters relay team with freshman Abricion Ivey, senior Brycen Cropp and freshman Gabe Henderson, who ran a collective 1:36.08.
Henderson ran a 16.55 time in the 110 meter hurdles for first place, followed by Cropp in second place at 16.75.
Cropp ran a 42.72 in the 300 meter hurdles for first place and Henderson was third at 45.15.
They were also on the first-place 4×100 meters relay team with freshman R.J. Branham and sophomore Michael Davis.
Ivey was first in the long jump with a leap of 20-03.5. Cropp came in second jumping 20-02.
Senior Tristan Castiglia won the triple jump with a leap of 42-11.25. Freshman Jack Sencenbaugh was sixth in the event, jumping 35-06.5. Castiglia also took second in the high jump with a leap of 6-02.
Junior Cameron Lindsey came in fifth in the 800 meters at 2:25.17. Senior Zach Reever came in fourth in the 1600 meters at 5:15.34, with freshman Phillip Francis sixth at 5:21.46.
Reever came in sixth in the 3200 meters with a time of 11:27.
The 4×400 meters relay team of Castiglia, Francis, Cropp and junior Elijah Oblinger came in fifth with a time of 4:04.65. The 4×800 relay team of Reever, Lindsey, Sencenbaugh and Francis came in fourth at 9:35.45.
Davis was eighth in the shot put, throwing a 37-05. Freshman Emmett Deacon was 19th with a toss of 18-01.5.
Davis was eighth in the discus as well, hurling it 99-03. Junior Drake Detienne was 15th with a heave of 72-07.
The Blackwell sisters, Batrice and Denise, combined for five first-place finishes on the day to lead the girls team.
Both were on the 4×200 meters relay team which took first place with a time of 1:54.6 with sophomores Taylor Cunningham and Allison Lawson completing the squad.
Batrice Blackwell was first in the triple jump with a distance of 34-08.5 She took second in the 200 meters, running it in 27.71.
Junior Emily Love was 13th in that race, running a 32.26. Love was 14th in the 100 meters, running a 15.16.
Denise Blackwell was first in the 300 meter hurdles with a time of 50.14. Freshman Ciara Williams was fourth at 5.34. Williams also took tenth place in the 100 meter hurdles at 21.15.
Denise Blackwell also won the high jump, clearing 4-08.
The Lady Bulldogs took second place in the 4×400 meters relay with Lawson, Love, sophomore Bailey Wallace and senior Sydney Bronson running it in 4:39.63.
Louisiana took third place in the 4×100 relay with Lawson, Williams, Love and junior Samantha Pedersen running 57.53.
Pedersen was 11th in the 800 meters, running it in 3:13.81. Bronson was 14th in the 400 meters with a time of 1:26.27
Pedersen was sixth in the discus with a throw of 72-05. Freshman Katelyn Watts with ninth in the shotput with a toss of 24-07.5.
The track teams were scheduled for the Jerry Ball Invitational at Culver-Stockton College in Canton at 3:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 15 as the Press-Journal went to press.
They are also scheduled to compete in the Wright City Invitational at 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 17.