Watkins places third in triple jump
By GEOFF STOUTE
BATON ROUGE — Morgan City’s Malcolm Watkins took third place in the Class 4A triple jump during the Class 3A-5A meet Saturday at LSU’s Bernie Moore Track and Field Stadium.
While Watkins’ leap of 45 feet, 1.75 inches tied runner up Huntington High School’s Aaron Roberson, Roberson took second place because he had more legal jumps than Watkins.
Opelousas’ Da’quan Bellard took the state title with a leap of 45 feet, 11.5 inches.
Watkins, who competed at state for the first time Saturday, entered the meet seeded third and actually bested his regional leap by more than 0.4 inches.
Considering it was his second year competing in the triple jump, Watkins agreed the finish was a big deal for him.
He said he didn’t expect as much improvement from his first year to this year.
“I most of all think that it’s a process of learning that helped everything,” he said of his strides in a year’s time.
Watkins said the meet showed him that hard work during the summer will be evident during the regular season.
Watkins’ teammate, sophomore Jaylen Jones, had a tough day. While he entered the meet seeded second with a jump of 45 feet, 1 inch and had won the district and regional championships, he could not record a legal jump in his attempts during Saturday’s meet.
Morgan City track coach Aaron Meyer said his two participants represented Morgan City well.
“They will be back next year, hopefully with a championship,” he said.
He called both “tough kids that will do well in the future.”
Watkins’ sixth points in the triple jump accounted for Morgan City’s team total. The squad finished in a tie with Bastrop for 27th place.