Destrehan, Hahnville regional standouts prepare for 5A state championship meet

Destrehan’s Marley Richard

For the first time in the history of Destrehan’s girls’ track and field program, the Wildcats finished as region runners-up at the Region III track and field meet, continuing a successful season for the school for both girls’ and boys’ sides.

DHS won the championship at the District 7-5A track and field meet, with both the boys and girls teams taking first place, while several Wildcats and Hahnville Tigers built on their success there at the regional meet to qualify LHSAA State Championship Track and Field Meet of the Week at LSU.

Destrehan’s Phillip Wright and Marley Richard and Hahnville’s Mallory Whitaker each captured regional championship titles and led several athletes from the St. Charles community heading into this weekend’s LHSAA State Athletics Championships. Richard qualified for four events in the state, while Wright and Whitaker are each qualified for two events.

Just a newbie, Richard has already proven she has rare talent.

“She’s the only freshman in the state to have qualified for four events,” said Destrehan girls’ track and field head coach Lynette Matthews. “It’s an impressive achievement…it’s improving every week. She’s like a little machine. We’ve been waiting for her for two years – we knew roughly what we were going to get, but we didn’t know we were going to get that much. She’s just one of those rare, rare athletes.”

Matthews said athletics is in Richard’s DNA.

“Her parents are track people, mom and dad ran track. She has been training since she was very young. If you start that early, then as you get older you usually get great at it, just like holding a basketball or kicking a football when you’re young,” Matthews said.

The way to the top place in the regional competition was also exciting.

“We add up points all night, wondering what happens when that happens, or what’s next after we do that?” Matthew said. “We’re trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together… we really wanted to do that. And I couldn’t be prouder, they did everything we asked them to do. They have all made us proud with their hard work throughout the year.”

The following are the top three finishers from each regional event. All top three finishers qualify for the state track and field meeting.

In the boys’ events, Destrehan saw a number of high finishes. Phillip Wright won the regional championship in the 400 meter dash with a time of 49.87 and third place in the 200 meter dash with a time of 22.18; Skyler Gayten was third in the 110 hurdles with a score of 15:32; The boys’ 4×200 team placed third with a time of 1:27.67. Daniel Blood was third in the triple jump (43-06).

In the girls, Destrehan’s Marley Richard won the 100-meter dash, her 12.05 mark cementing the regional crown. Ditto for the 4×200 relay, whose mark of 1:44.73 leads the field. Richard added second place with a second place in the 200m (25.43) and third in the long jump (18-06.75) and triple jump (37-08). Ivie Mashia was third in the 400 (1:00.94). Kaylee Keller was third in the 100 (16.79). The 4×100 relay team finished second (50.48).

In the Hahnville girls, Mallory Whitaker captured the high jump title with a field-best score of 5-00. She added a third-place finish in the pole vault (9-06), level on points with teammate Kayla Lavin (9-06). Madison Bailey placed second (1:00.42); The 4×200 relay team was third (1:48.74) and the 4×400 team was also third (4:15.68).

The Hahnville boys saw Cincere Simmons take second place in the discus (139-09); Jarian Shelby finishes second in shot put (50-07); Micah Lamers is third in the 400m (51.46); Ryan Abadie was third in the pole vault (12-06).

Districts 7-5A Championship Meeting

Wright and Richard were each three-time District 7-5A champions and led Destrehan to both teamwide titles, while Whitaker had two championship results for the Tigers.

Hahnville boys’ district champions included: Jarian Shelby, shot put (48-08.50).

Destrehan boys district champions included: Phillip Wright, 100 (10.77), 200 (22.32), and 400 (50.24); Skyler Gayten, 110 hurdles (15.60); the 4×100 relay (43.49); the 4×200 relay (1:28.40).

The Destrehan girls district champions included: Marley Richard, 100 (12.17), 200 (25.73) and long jump (18-00); the 4×100 relay (50.54); the 4×200 relay (1:44.10); Anaya Kimble, shot put (32-09).

The Hahnville girls’ district champions included: Mallory Whitaker, high jump (4-11) and pole vault (11-00); Madison Bailey, 400 (1:00.11).

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