In all, four Eagles went down to various leg or foot injuries, though none were serious or permanent.
“The ball didn’t really bounce our way, so to speak,” said VC co-head coach Trev Faulk. “We’ve been fighting injuries for the last few weeks and it just caught up to us. But, I’m real proud of our kids. They tried to fight through it; but its just a difficult situation for us.”
VC junior Matt Wilson was the highest finisher on the team, jumping 14-06 to finish second in the pole vault. Caleb Bertrand of Elton jumped 15-07 to place first.
Wilson, who already had a jump of 16-00 this season, which would be a class record if done at the state meet, said he was disappointed not to win the state title, though he was happy he could contribute points to his team.
“I just couldn’t finish on my pole. I was getting stuck upside down and couldn’t pull through,” he said. “I mean, you have your bad days. But, I definitely should have done better.”
Jacoby Davis, last year’s runner up in both the 100 and 200 meter dashes, placed third this year in the 100 meters with a time of 11.15, well off his season-best mark of 10.68 in that event.
Davis, who re-injured a hamstring he has battled for the majority of the second half of the outdoor track season, was visibly upset by the turn of events.
His seed time in the 100 meters was 10.82, while the winning time at the state meet was 11.01.
Another Eagle to go down to injury was freshman sensation T.J. LaFrance (foot).
LaFrance was in Baton Rouge to compete in the triple jump and 300 meter hurdles; but he went down to injury after placing fourth in the triple jump with a 42-10.5 effort.
Though disappointed to fall out of competition, LaFrance said he had no regrets and would look at his first state meet as a positive experience.
“Now I know what I’m up against,” he said. “I had fun. I mean, this is LSU stadium... This is the best of the best and you’ve got to be at your best to win.”
Still, LaFrance, who also competed in the 110 meter hurdles, was optimistic for the future of VC track, as he is just in his first year in the sport and already made it to state.
“We’ll be back here next year,” he said. “Hopefully, everybody will be healthy.”
VC’s Kyle Zenon also had a fourth-place finish at the meet, throwing the discus 135-04.
Zenon’s fellow field competitor Trey Ryder also competed at the meet, in the shot put, but did not place in the top six to earn points for the Eagles.
The VC relay teams were also in Baton Rouge to compete in the 4x100, 4x200 and 4x400 meter relays.
Because of the injuries, however, only the 4x400 meter team managed to place in the top six to earn points thanks to a time of 3:39.09 which was good for fifth place.
After the meet, Faulk said the injury situation would be addressed in the coming weeks.
“I was just disappointed that kids weren’t able to compete at the best of their abilities,” he said. “For a lot of our kids it’s just been a long athletic year, so, it may be just wear and tear. But, we’re going to do some research... We’re going always try to find a way to get better and put our kids in the best position to be successful.”