Abbeville scored 136.33 points, more than twice runner-up North Vermilion's 68 and enough to rank as one of the favorites for next Saturday's LHSAA State Meet at LSU's Bernie Moore Stadium.
“We're not as dominant as we were two years ago, but the girls knew what was at stake,” AHS coach Erik Lege said. “Regionals don't matter. We came here to compete and to get girls out (of regional to state).
“The next one is the big one. The girls bought into that.”
Lege's team had performers entered in 17 of 18 events at the regional, including 10 of 11 running events.
“We wanted to see where we were at,” he said.
They were ahead of the pack on Wednesday as Vonchelle Perry won the 100-meter hurdles in 15.33 and the Lady Cats swept the 4x100 (49.36), 4x200 (1:43.56) and 4x400 (4:15.08) relays.
Freshman Arrayia Starland was named Outstanding Track Performer, finishing second in the 400 and third in both the 800 and 1600 in addition to running on the winning 4x400 exchange.
“We were confident at the start,” Starland said. “You just do the best you can, and I think we'll be fine.”
Like her teammates, Starland enjoyed the relays sweep.
“The 4x400 is my favorite event,” she said. “I just like it. You could just tell we would do great tonight. We stepped up our time.”
“We put a lot of stock in our relays,” Lege said. “The girls enjoy it, work hard and take a lot of pride in it.”
“We felt we had to do it (sweep) tonight, and it felt good,” said Perry, the senior captain of a youthful squad. “We were nervous, but we ran well.
“Last year we had three (athletes) at state and finished second. The year before we had seven and won. We have more this year, and hope to win.”
Other AHS athletes advancing to state individually were Katina Perry (300 hurdles), Derrian Nolan (long jump, qualifying second on her last attempt), Charlotte Eaton (high jump), Shatara Small (100, 200) and Paige Cutright (high jump, 300 hurdles).
“This has been a fun group to coach,” Lege said. “They've been outstanding from the beginning. The motivation is there. They know what's at stake. But, we're not finished. There's more work to do.”
Runner-up North Vermilion was led by Chelcie Sonnier and Randee Vincent (1-3 in the javelin at 137-6 and 120-10), pole vault winner Meg Simon (10-6), Miranda Martin (3rd in the 3200), Lunden Graham (3rd, 100 hurdles) and a third-place 4x400 relay.
Erath's Caitlyn Domingues continued her stellar sophomore campaign with wins in the 100 (12.44) and 200 (25.99), holding off AHS's Small both times.
“That rivalry has always been there, since last year,” Domingues said. “We've become really good friends. I told myself not to quit, not to slow down until I'm past the finish line. My focus was on finishing strong.”
Domingues admitted surprising herself this season.
“It's been really successful,” she said. “My goal has been 25 (seconds) in the 200 and low 12's in the 100, and I did it. I'll be excited just to be there at state next week.”
Her anchor leg also lifted EHS to state in the 4x100, placing third.
The day was a mixed bag for Erath in boys action, as the Bobcats placed third behind West Feliciana (89 points) and Glen Oaks (86) with 77 points.
Fred Watson won the pole vault with a 14-foot clearance and will defend his title at state, while Corey Cole surged to win the 800 in 2:05.77.
But 2011 state 400-meter champion Cole Bourque pulled a hamstring in the 4x100 relay and scratched from the 400 as well as the concluding 4x400 after winning both races at district last week.
Watson had three frustrating tries at 15 feet in the pole vault, and so wasn't completely happy with his win.
“It's been happening all year,” he said. “It's all mental. I just need to relax and not let the pressure get to me. It hit me in the indoor season and I wasn't close to where I could be. Outdoors, I started from zero and worked my way up, and that has worked better.”
EHS's Antonio Willis will return to state in the discus, joined by Quentin Harrington (pole vault), Carlon Grogan (long jump), Shay Primeaux (high jump), Austin Domingues (110 hurdles) and Kullen Romero (3200).
Also advancing was North Vermilion's Tyler Trahan, third in javelin.
3A Meet Qualifiers
Erath _ Corey Cole (800), Antonio Willis (discus), Fred Watson (pole vault), Quentin Harrington (pole vault), Kullen Romero (3200), Austin Domingues (110 hurdles), Carlon Grogan (long jump), Shay Primeaux (high jump).
North Vermilion _ Tyler Trahan (javelin).
Abbeville _ Arrayia Starland (400, 800, 1600), Vonchelle Perry (100 hurdles, 100), Katina Perry (300 hurdles), Derrian Nolan (long jump), Charlotte Eaton (high jump), Shatara Small (100, 200), Paige Cutright (300 hurdles, high jump), 4x100 (Vonchelle Perry, Derrian Nolan, Jayla Nolan, Small), 4x200 (Vonchelle Perry, Derrian Nolan, Jayla Nolan, Small), 4x400 (Cutright, Starland, Elania Baytop, Katina Perry).
Erath _ Caitlyn Domingues (100, 200), 4x100 (Megan Perkins, Mia Allen, Ashley Dubois, Domingues).
Kaplan _ Yasmyn Cobb (shot put).
North Vermilion _ Meg Simon (pole vault), Chelcie Sonnier (javelin), Randee Vincent (javelin), Miranda Martin (3200), Lunden Graham (100 hurdles), 4x400 (Morgan Harrington, Graham, Elise Vincent, Arianna Winters).