Berwick will send three to Baton Rouge
Berwick High School will be represented by three athletes at Saturday’s Louisiana High School Athletic Association Class 3A State Track and Field meet. Ashton Morales will compete in the triple jump, while Chad Vining will participate in the 800-meter run and Kennedy Sampey will compete in the pole vault. From left are Morales, Vining and Sampey. (The Daily Review/Geoff Stoute)
The Berwick High School Track and Field team will send three competitors to Saturday’s Louisiana High School Athletic Association Class 3A state meet.
The school will be represented by Kennedy Sampey in the pole vault, Chad Vining in the 800 meter run and Ashton Morales in the triple jump.
Sampey, who signed with Wartburg College to continue her pole vaulting career earlier this week, enters state with the highest seed among Berwick competitors with a leap of 10-feet at regionals. She owns a personal best of 10 feet, 7 inches.
“She’s coming in No. 3, but anything could happen to go to No. 2 or No. 1, and it’s just great to be there … She’s had a great year,” Berwick coach Paul Gilder said.
The top seed entering the state meet, Sara Watson of Erath, recorded a leap of 11 feet at regionals.
Gilder said Sampey wants to reach 11 feet at the state meet and if she does, she can possibly garner a podium finish as one of the top three competitors.
Two years ago, Sampey competed at state where she finished fifth with a leap of 9 feet.
Vining is seeded fifth in the 800 meter run after running a personal record of 2:07.33 at regionals.
While Gilder said Vining wasn’t a fast runner when he came to Berwick as a freshman, he has made himself what he is today through hard work.
“When you watch the 800, you’re going to see a bunch of tall guys and then you’re going to see Chad, but Chad gets everything out of his stride, and he’s made himself what he is,” Gilder said.
The 800-meter run field’s top seed is Joel Smith of Parkview, who ran a 1:59.59 at regionals. He is the only competitor who recorded a sub-2 minute regional time.
Morales, originally an alternate for state after finishing fourth in regionals in the triple jump with a leap of 34 feet, 0.75 inches, now will compete in state after a competitor is unable to attend. Her regional jump, a personal record, is seeded sixth among competitors.
“In another region, she’d be one of the top girls, so it’s just the way it falls,” Gilder said.
The Berwick coach said he was excited for her to have a chance to compete at state.
Lindsey Darby of Erath has the top jump at 35 feet, 3.25 inches.