EUNICE – The Crowley Gents raced to their second overall team title in two weeks Friday by winning the Eunice Bobcat Relays.
But as impressive as their performance was, it had to take a backseat to two individuals and their performances - Notre Dame’s Hunter Stelly and Crowley’s Damon Guidry.
Stelly, a junior, broke a long-standing Notre Dame school record with a winning throw of 200-9 in the javelin while Guidry, a freshman, won the high jump with a mark of 6-4.
For one - Stelly - the performance came as no big surprise; he won the Class 3A state title as a sophomore and Friday’s victory in the event was his third in as many meets.
But for the other - Guidry - his performance was, well, something totally unexpected and simply jaw-dropping.
Standing at just 5-foot-7, Guidry had his sights set at clearing 5-10 for the first time in a varsity meet - which in itself was impressive at three inches over his head.
“When we got here, I told coach (Jeptha Wall) that I was going to do 5-10 and he said ‘I’ll believe that when I see it’,” said Guidry. “Really, I have only dreamed of even jumping 6-0 so to come out and do this today, it was incredible.”
When he got to 6-0, Guidry’s mind was racing, he said.
“When we got to six foot, I ran up and I didn’t jump it the first time,” he said. “I ran up and when I stopped at the bar and I had to look up to it. I thought, ‘Man that’s high.’”
But he wasn’t discouraged.
And, apparently, not intimidated.
“If I missed, I didn’t care,” said Guidry. “I had some more jumps so I put it behind me and I pressed on.”
Gudiry cleared 6-1 on his third and final jump and after being the lone participant to clear 6-2, he was declared the winner.
Surprisingly, his day didn’t stop there.
Next, as a crowd started to grow near the pit, he cleared 6-3.
And then, 6-4.
Both on his first attempt!
He finally bowed out at 6-5, clipping the bar with his foot on his final attempt.
“This was just crazy,” said Guidry. “More and more people would drag up as I would go up and up. It was just an awesome experience with everyone congratulating me and telling me how good I did.”
Coach Wall, who was a surprised as any at Guidry’s performance, had nothing but praise for his rising you star.
“He is very good technique wise,” said Wall of Guidry. “He’s a biddy kid but super spirited and just one of those kids that you just love to coach.
“I would have been happy at 6-0 but 6-4. I asked him if he had parachutes on his pants and the wind was taking him.”
In Stelly’s case, he separated himself from the field early when he exploded for a throw of 199-9 on his first attempt of the day. That mark put him at ease and allowed him to go all out from there.
“I was feeling good about that (first) throw and from there I was just trying to beat it. I had three more throws and I wasn’t going to settle for less,” said Stelly.
He didn’t beat the mark on his next two attempts but on his fourth and final throw, he let out a huge grunt and let it fly.
“I got everything into that last throw,” said Stelly. “I was feeling good. We had a side wind and that’s never really great but I didn’t worry about it too much. Once I started throwing with and getting used to it I started getting more comfortable with it.”
Having met his preseason goal in only the third meet of the season, Stelly now says the bar is set even higher.
“Now that I met my goal, I guess I will shoot for 210 now,” he said.