For the first time in the school’s history, Woodlawn High School has claimed the 4×200 Meter Relay 5A State Championship.
The team of J’Marcus Sewell, Jordan Matthews, Lanard Harris, and Jay’veon Haynes out raced the field at Saturday’s LHSAA/Allstate Sugarbowl Class 5A Track and Field Meet. The team won the District Championship at Catholic High on April 22nd with a time of 1:27.90. On April 29th, the Panthers ran a 1:26.99 at the LHSAA Region II Meet, which put them second in the Region and the State behind Zachary.
However, the Panthers did not let the underdog status deter them. After the second leg of the relay, the Panthers found themselves in fourth place, behind Ruston, Zachary, and Dutchtown. It was at that point that senior Lanard Harris received the stick. Harris made up the deficit, and put anchor Jay’veon Haynes in a virtual tie with Zachary going into the final 200 meters.
Haynes did the rest of the work, out-sprinting the other competitors to the finish line. The final time of 1:26.14 shaved nearly a second off of their time at the Regional Meet. The time ranked the Panthers as the fastest 4×200 Meter Relay team in the state of Louisiana this season, and also placed them as the 17th fastest time in the nation!
In addition to the 4×200 Meter Relay, Harris placed second in the two individual events in which he qualified. Harris ran the 110 Meter Hurdles in 13.95, which was a PR in the event. In the 300 Meter Hurdles, Harris ran a time of 36.91. Any other year, that time would have not only made Harris the State Champion, but also the state Composite Record Holder. Unfortunately, the gold medal winner from Ouachita ran a 36.42. Both times broke the previous record of 37.40 from 2007. Harris’ time in the 110 Meter Hurdles ranks him 17th in the nation, and his 300 Meter Hurdle times ranks him eighth.
Sewell was also able to score points for the Panthers at the State Meet. As the only sophomore running against eight seniors, Sewell came in fifth with a time of 10.63.
With only four athletes, Woodlawn High finished seventh out of 38 teams who scored points.
The Panthers return a solid core of track athletes for the 2022 season. Student-athletes who are interested in participating in track should contact Athletic Director Elmo Fernandez at [email protected] or Kristin Guidry at [email protected].
Senior hurdler Lanard Harris became a two-time State Champion at the 2021 LHSAA Indoor Track and Field State Meet. Lanard Harris recorded the fastest time in the 60 Meter Hurdles to become the Division I State Champion. He was also the 2019 Class 4A State Champion in the 300 Meter Hurdles.
Lanard Harris led a group of young sprinters who qualified for this year’s Indoor Track State Meet. Sophomores Tramon Douglas, Dawaun Harris, Jay’veon Haynes, and J’marcus Sewell rounded out the Panthers who qualified for the meet. The sophomores made up three-quarters of the Panther 4×200 Meter Relay team which qualified for the state meet.
Entering the meet, which was held at the Carl Maddox Fieldhouse on LSU’s campus, the Woodlawn 4×200 Meter Relay team had the 10th fastest qualifying time, narrowly making the cut for qualification. The Panthers turned heads by finishing third in the state with a time of 1:32.89, shaving nearly two seconds off of their qualifying time. The relay team consisted of Sewell, Lanard Harris, Dawaun Harris, and anchor Haynes.
Lanard Harris, by all accounts, was the favorite entering the 60 Meter Hurdles. His qualifying time of 8.13 was the fastest going into the State Meet. He matched that time to win the State Championship. He looks to carry that momentum into the outdoor track season, where he will attempt to repeat at the 300 Meter Hurdles champion.
The Panthers have begun practicing for the Outdoor Track and Field season. They will host St. Michael in a closed scrimmage on Thursday, February 25. Their first official meet will be on Wednesday, March 3rd at the Brusly Invitational.
Junior student-athlete Lanard Harris placed second in the Division I 60 Meter Hurdles at the 2020 LHSAA Indoor Championships held in February at the LSU Carl Maddox Field House. Lanard crossed the finish line at 8.12 seconds.
Lanard’s second-place finish comes on the heels of his run in the 2020 LSU High School Last Chance Qualifier, in which he ran a 7.97. That run placed him fourth in the nation at the time of the meet.
Lanard participates in Track and Field and Football at Woodlawn High. He won the 2019 Class 4A 300 Meter Hurdles State Championship. Lanard was also named to the 2018 and 2019 All-District Football Teams.
On Wednesday, April 19, the Woodlawn track team competed at the District 6-4A track meet.
The boys team finished 2nd at the district meet missing the top spot by just 9 points.
Million Tyler (2nd) and Coby Sanchez (1st) placed in the pole vault.
Woodlawn’s night was highlighted by four first place finishes. District champions include the pole vault by Coby Sanchez, the 110 meter hurdles by Shaun McCray, Tray Lang in the 300 meter hurdles and Nicholas Bradley, Jason Jones, Khidhr Al-Mustafa and Brandon Williams in the 4×400 relay.
The girls team finished 3rd at the district meet. The girls 4×400 relay team finished 1st behind a stellar performance the squad of Melissa Grant, Mercedes Pickens, Presley White and Ebani Adams. Diamond-Alexis Craig also placed 1st in the long jump.
Overall, the boys team qualified 12 boys in 13 events to compete at the Region 2 meet at the University of Louisiana Lafayette on April 26. The girls qualified 9 athletes in 12 different events.
Under scattered showers, the meet got off to a great start in the boys pole vault as Coby Sanchez and Million Tyler finished 1st and 2nd in the event. Sanchez posted a 9’6″, while Tyler set a new PR with a vault of 8’0”. For the girls, Mercedes Pickens finished 2nd in the event with a PR vault of 7’6”.
Diamond-Alexis Craig leaped to a first place finish in the long jump with a distance of 16’ 8.5″. Teammate Divinity Collins was 3rd with a distance of 15’. Collins was back at it a few minutes later where she jumped 32’6.5” to finish 3rd in the triple jump.
The girls also had a strong showing in the high jump as Diamond-Alexis Craig set a PR of 5’2” on her way to and 2nd place finish.
Sean McCray and Tray Lang finished 1-2 in the 110 meter hurdles.
In a hotly contested battle, junior Kenneth Washington claimed 2nd place in the shot put with a distance of 40’01”. Calah Williams finished 4th for the girls with a toss of 28’02”. Williams also claimed 2nd place in the girl’s discus with a throw of 107’11”, less than 6 inches behind the top spot.
The boys 4×200 squad of Shaun McCray, Bryant Jacob, Cameron Rogers and Bryson Reaser continued to improve as they worked their way to a 4th place finish with a time of 1:34.02.
In the girls 1600, Woodlawn separated themselves from the pack as they ran with the leaders. In the end, juniors Alexis martin claimed 2nd (6:09.94) and Melissa Grant claimed 3rd (6:14.17).
In the boy’s race, the Panthers were led by a 2nd place finish and PR of 4:46 by senior Brandon Williams. Khidhr Al-Mustafa also ran an excellent race in one of the toughest events of the day with a 4th place time of 4:57.
Woodlawn hurdlers dominated their events as Shaun McCray (16.91) and Tray Lang (17.36) finished 1st and 2nd in the 110 meter hurdles. Lang turned around to finish 1st in the 300 meter hurdles (44.99) and was followed closely by Jason Jones who claimed 2nd in the event with a time of 45.21.
Diamond-Alexis Craig ran a 52.66 in the 300 meter hurdles to claim 2nd for the Lady Panthers.
Jason Jones and Tray Lang finished 1-2 in the 300 meter hurdles.
Bryson Reaser was the standout in the 100 meter dash as he finished 3rd in the event in a time of 11.57 seconds. Reaser also claimed 3rd in the 200 meter (23.53). For the girls, Diamond-Alexis Craig finished 2nd in the 200 meter (26.84).
Sophomore Ebani Adams finished in 2nd place in the 800 meter run with a time of 2:39.17. Teammate Alexis Martin finished in the 3rd spot in a time of 2:43.81
For the boys, Khidhr Al-Mustafa finished 4th in the event with a time of 2:11.
The combination of Cameron Rogers, Bryant Jacob, Chris Frazier and Bryson Reaser, all sophomores, is proving to be formidable as they improve their best on the way to a 3rd place finish.
Senior Brandon Williams showed off a great finishing kick as he made his way to a 3rd place finish in the 400 meter dash in 51.33.
In the longest race of the night, the Panthers proved that they could go toe to toe with the best in the district at any distance. Alexis Martin, coming of top 3 finishes in the 1600 and 800, found the strength to finish 3rd in the 3200 in a time of 14:01. Freshman Aimee Martin finished 4th in 15:19. For the boys, pole vault winner Coby Sanchez took to the track and battled his way to a 4th place finish in a PR of 11:49.
The final event of the night is often the most exciting, and there were fireworks in Plaquemine as the Panthers took to the track for the 4×400 meter relay. The girls squad of Melissa Grant, Mercedes Pickens, Presley White and Ebani Adams ran a very controlled race, staying near the front until the final lap when they pulled away from St. Michael in the final 100 meters to claim a first place finish in a time of 4:34.33
The boys team of Nicholas Bradley, Jason Jones, Khidhr Al-Mustafa and Brandon Williams would not be outdone. Coming off of a season best 3:36, the Panthers roared to the front during Nicholas Bradley’s 1st leg. Tara sprinted to the lead in the 1st 150 meters of leg 2, but, Jason Jones ran a smooth leg and reeled in the Trojans with 100 meters left in his trip around the track. Senior Khidhr Al-Mustafa took the baton in leg 3, four seconds behind Tara. 400 meters later he had evened the race, and as he handed the baton to senior Brandon Williams, the Panthers and Trojans were side by side. For the 1st 150 meters, Williams settled in behind the Tara runner. Then with 250 meters to go, he fired past the Trojan and continued to extend his lead until he crossed the line in a season best of 3:29.36, seven seconds faster than their previous time and ten seconds ahead of the 2nd place finisher.
The Panther 4×400 relay team goes into the regional meet as the #1 seed in the event and they hold the 3rd best time in 4A this season.
The Woodlawn High Track & Field team will see their first action of the season on Saturday, January 21st at LSU’s Carl Maddox field house.
The 2017 Indoor track team is poised to establish Woodlawn as a force in 4A and the pack leader in District 6. This year’s squad has a great mix of veteran leadership, talented underclassmen and a desire by all to set the track on fire on the way to being state qualifiers
Sophmore Bryson Reaser working on sprints at a track practice.
Junior Shaun McCray and sophomore Bryson Reaser will compete in the 60 meter dash. It will be the first time either athlete has competed on an indoor track. The two competitors have been tenacious in their workouts and are excited to put on the purple and white and gain experience as they represent Panther Nation Saturday.
The strength of this year’s indoor team is the middle distance events. Coming of very strong cross country seasons, seniors Brandon Williams and Khidhr Al-Mustafa are settling for nothing less than qualifying for the state indoor meet on February 18, 2017. Williams will be competing in the 400 meter dash, where he is the defending district 6-4A outdoor champion. He will be accompanied on the track by sophomore Nicholas Bradley who, in his freshman season, showed great progress in the event and helped to add speed and stability to Woodlawn’s 4×400 relay team.
The 800 meter duties will be held by Khidhr Al-Mustafa, who has his sights set on sub 2:00 times this season. During his junior season and cross country season Al-Mustafa focused on building both speed and endurance, essential ingredients for the race that is by some considered a distance event, but by those who know track, is truly a half-mile sprint.
Junior Saulomon John and sophomore Coby Sanchez will be competing in the 1600m (1 mile) and 3200m (2mile) races on Saturday. Both athletes had a great cross country season where the built up their endurance and helped lead the team to a top 13 finish at the state meet. This will be the first indoor meet for both athletes. Since the end of cross country, both athletes have been focusing on increasing their speed for the shorter track races.
Junior Melissa Grant will be one of two girls competing for Woodlawn on Saturday. She will run the 1600m and 3200m. Grant was a new edition to the cross country team but made an immediate impact with her natural athleticism and strong work ethic.
Alexis Martin, Woodlawn’s record holder in the 3 mile cross country race and defending District 6-4A 3200m champion, will compete in the girls 3200m race. Alexis ran well at the indoor meets during her sophomore year and plans to use that experience to move up the field this season as she presses towards qualifying for the state meet.
Woodlawn will compete in two relay events on Saturday.
The 4x200m relay is the first track event of the day and will be run by McCray, Williams, Reaser, and sophomore Demetri Harris. Harris has emerged as a team leader both on and off the track and looks to push this group of talented athletes this season. The 4x200m team will set the pace for the panthers Saturday.
Coach Wallace seems excited about their chances as he explained, “This is an excellent group of athletes, gotta give credit to Coach Rogers for the sprint and relay programs that she has created and implemented and to coach Baronich who has really helped to increase the speed and power of all of Woodlawn’s athletes.”
The 4x400m meter relay team returns 3 of last season’s four runners. Harris is the new kid on the block and will use excellent starting ability in the lead off leg to set up 4×400 veterans Bradley, Al-Mustafa and Williams who, along with Woodlawn graduate Jordan Donald, were the 2016 6-4A Outdoor champions.
Woodlawn will bring two throwers, senior Aaron White and junior Kenneth Washington to compete in the shot put. Both athletes threw over 40 feet in 2016 and represented Woodlawn at the district and regional levels. Coach Samantha Fetter has been working diligently with the throwers, cleaning up their technique and creating the explosive power needed to set new personal bests en route to qualifying for the State meet. Both athletes are the backbone of a talented group of young throwers that look to make a name for themselves and for the school during Woodlawn’s 2017 campaign.
Events begin at 11AM at LSU’s Carl Maddox Field House.