BATON ROUGE – Michael Primeaux’s hopes of winning a state championship looked to be in doubt Thursday at the Class B State Track and Field Championships at LSU’s Bernie Moore Stadium.
In fact, his chances appeared highly unlikely after he suffered a leg injury while placing fifth in the 1600-meter run (4:53.31) early in the meet.
For most athletes, especially a freshman, the injury would have been the end of the meet for them.
But Primeaux is not like most athletes.
He was not about to miss his chance to compete in the 3200-meter run nearly three hours later and because of that, he today is a state track and field champion.
“I wanted to run the two-mile and my dad told me that if I run it, I have to win it,” said Primeaux, who won the event with a time of 10:33.89. “I figured I would just have to win it because I’m not about to get my tail whipped by my dad.”
Primeaux along with Lacassine’s Justin Landry and Choudrant’s Tyler Sadler took turns at the front of the pack for the first seven laps of the two-mile event.
Then, on the final lap, Primeaux’s heart and desire kicked in.
He broke from the pack in the first curve and extended his lead to nearly 75-meters before hitting the final straightaway. From there, he cruised to the finish line.
Landry finished second (10:37.77) and Sadler, who had the best time entering the meet, was third (10:39.93).
“I had a lot of pain in my leg, especially late in the two-mile,” said Primeaux. “But my last lap should be my fastest lap so I just battled through it. I knew if I could put some distance between myself and the other runners that it would be tough for them to catch me at the end.”
He was right.
Primeaux was not the only Rebel recording a victory for the Rebels, who finished seventh in the team standings with 30 points.
Glenmora won the meet with 67 points followed by Lacassine (63), Epps (53), Simsboro (46), Hosanna (37.5) and Choudrant (32).
Teammate Luke Smith also was a winner, claiming the boys’ discus with a toss of 121-9.
Smith’s chances of winning a state title were also in doubt early on when Kilbourne’s Cameron Morris took the lead heading into the finals.
However, Smith uncorked his winning mark on his first throw of the championship round and Morris failed to answer.
“I just wasn’t feeling it early on,” said Smith. “My spin wasn’t right and I was a little nervous. Then in the second round, I hit a good one on my first throw. My last two throws, I was leaning back too much. But I was pretty confident that my first mark would hold up.”
Miles Sonnier failed to make the final round in the discus, but he finished fourth with a throw of 106-0.
He also teamed with Andrew Hains, Michael Vincent and Colby Gantt to place fourth in the 4x400-meter relay with a time of 3:46.14.
On the girls’ side, Midland’s Carisa Richard earned a sixth-place finish in the long jump (15-8 1/4) and another sixth in the 200-meter dash (28.13).
“I’m proud of all our kids tonight,” said Midland coach Todd Briley following the meet. “Everyone came out tonight and did a good job.
* Crowley’s Jacob Meyer, competing for Episcopal School of Acadiana, placed eighth in the javelin with a throw of 120-6.
* LSU signee Joseph Caraway of Lacassine provided one of the biggest highlights of the day by winning the Class B boys pole vault with a height of 16 feet. That shattered the previous class record and ranks in the top 10 nationally in 2009.
* Fifth-grader Gabrielle Jennings of Slidell’s First Baptist pulled off the Class C distance double, winning the 1,600 (5:40.24) and the 3,200 (12:03.61). Jennings is just 10 years old.