We’re not sure how long it’s been since it last happened, but having a Northwest Louisiana boys track and field athlete win the triple crown of speed races is an anomaly.
Captain Shreve junior Marquez Stevenson could become the latest to make it happen when the District 1-5A meet kicks off Thursday at Benton High.
An elite runner in the 400 meters, Stevenson finished second nationally last year at the Junior Olympics in Houston. He surprised himself with a time of 46.8 seconds against the country’s best.
“It felt pretty good,” Stevenson said. “I went in at like a 48, but I came out two seconds faster. I put in the work.”
Undefeated this season, Stevenson has a best time of 10.64 in the 100 and 2:05 in the 200. His chief competition in the 400 could come from Natchitoches Central’s Braylin Demars who ran a 47.52 last year, but has a best of 49.7 this spring. The senior is also hobbled by an injury.
“Braylin tweaked his hamstring a few weeks ago and is rehabbing it,” NCHS coach Matthew Anding said. “We’re hoping he’s ready for the district meet. Demarion Sowell is worth mentioning here.”
Stevenson said he isn’t worried about competing in the three individual speed events, while also anchoring the 4×100 relay team.
“It’s not that difficult because I’m used to training my body to run ever how many events I’ve got,” Stevenson said. “You work hard in practice, so it’ll be easy in a meet. The relay isn’t that different from the other events. You just have to trust your teammates.”
Captain Shreve coach Kendrick Law finds plenty to like about Stevenson.
“Marquez is an all-around great person,” he said. “He’s a great athlete with excellent character and promising work ethic.”
Stevenson is also a standout on the football field, although last fall was his first time playing the game in high school.
“It’s helping a lot too – being in the weight room and getting stronger,” he said. “Last year I had to get back in the groove of playing. It had been a long time since I’d been out there. It was fun though.”
Stevenson not only hasn’t decided on a college, he hasn’t decided if he’ll go with a football or track scholarship.
“It’s still early in the recruiting process,” he said. “We’ll have to see.”
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