Gold medalists: Cagle Award goes to area’s top track athletes

Published 8:00 am Sunday, June 26, 2022

Between them, Lake Charles College Prep’s JaRell Joseph and Jayla Mason, Westlake’s Tristan Goodly and St. Louis Catholic’s Tia Reder won a dozen individual and team state championships this season.

They are this year’s recipients of the 51st Cagle Award as voted by Calcasieu Parish high school track and field coaches.

The award has been presented to the top track and field athletes in Calcasieu Parish since 1971 and is named for the late Kenneth “Bobby” Cagle, a supporter of track and field and a former state legislator and businessman.

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Boys Field

Tristan Goodly,

Westlake, Jr.

Goodly followed in the footsteps of his older brother, Xavier, in winning this year’s boys field award. The elder Goodly won the award in 2018 and ’19.

Goodly, a jumps specialist, won three state championships in his junior campaign, winning the Division II indoor long jump (22-11/4) and triple jump (48-43/4) and the Class 3A outdoor triple jump for a second consecutive season. All three of his gold medal jumps were personal bests. He was the state runner-up in the long jump at 22 feet, 5 inches, a mere 3 inches behind Mansfield’s Dequinton Robertson.

“Tristan had a remarkable season that began with indoor track,” Westlake coach C.J. Hudson said. “He won both the (indoor) long and triple jumps with hardly any practice as he was playing basketball at the same time.

“Outdoor track season saw him continue his dominance in the triple jump and establish himself in the outdoor long jump. I attribute his success to his work ethic and his family nucleus. He has a tremendous family who encourages him to do his best while also expressing an unconditional love no matter the result.

“Even though he has the God-given ability to win most meets, he continues to push himself and work toward being the absolute best jumper he can be.”

He finished the season ranked in the top 10 in the state in the outdoor and indoor long and triple jumps.

Boys Track

JaRell Joseph,

LC College Prep, Jr.

After a fifth-place finish in the 400-meter run at the 2021 Class 3A state meet, Joseph dropped more than a second and a half off his time to win gold this season.

He ran the fifth-best time in the state at 48.03 to place second at the Region 2-3A meet, then a week later, ran a 48.11 at the state meet in Baton Rouge.

“He is the ultimate competitor when it comes to track and field,” former LCCP track coach Terence Cahee, who recently took the head football coach job at Wossman. “A true grinder. The young man has a true love and respect for the sport that many don’t have.

“He has earned everything that has come to him. He competed. At Praire View, Texas Southern University, and also at Challenge of Champions in Mobile, Alabama, which all prepared him for moments like he had at regionals and state. He always answered the bell, and took on challenges from myself and the staff and is a special young man that I will miss.”

Joseph earned a silver medal at the state meet in the 4×400 relay (3:22.45).

He placed third in the 400 (50.41) at the Division II indoor state meet in February.

Girls Field

Tia Reder,

St. Louis Catholic, Sr.

Reder contributed 40 points this season to help St. Louis win a third consecutive Division II indoor team title and second consecutive Class 3A outdoor team championship.

The Louisiana Tech signee was the 3A state outdoor long (18-43/4) and triple jump (37-101/4) state champion and the runner-up in the 4×100 relay (48.32).

At the indoor meet in February, she won the triple jump (36-11/2) and missed the long jump title by 4 inches to West Feliciana’s Tristen Harris all while playing an integral part in St. Louis’ Division II state basketball championship run.

“She did double duty during the indoor season, contributing to the girls state championship in basketball and at the same time finding 15 or 30 minutes whenever she could to practice the triple jump since that was an event she had never done before,” St. Louis head coach Johnny Giordano said. “You have to be unselfish and willing to do double work to do that. Kudos to her for stepping up and doing that. She contributed unselfishly. She never complained.”

Girls Track

Jayla Mason,

LC College Prep, So.

After a runner-up finish at state as a freshman in 2021, LCCP sophomore Jayla Mason blazed a new trail for the school’s girls track team.

She won the Class 3A 200 (24.81) and 400 (56.76) outdoor state championship, the first girls individual state track and field title in school history.

“She is as humble as they come when it comes to athletes,” Cahee said. “She works extremely hard at her craft, year around.

“She has taken pride in being the ambassador for girls athletics at LCCP. She barely talks or says anything. She’s like one of those old-school hard-hat and pail-type athletes. Coach (Shaka) Strong, Coach (Jamal) Mason (her father), and the whole girls staff — (Brandon) Vital, (Ebony) Broussard, and (Mashala) Larce — have done a great job in her preparation and maturation on and off the track. She’s only getting better. Who knows where the future may take her? But, until then, we will continue to push her to be the best that she can be.”

Also at the state outdoor meet, she led LCCP to the 4×400 relay title (3:58.70), and she was the Division II indoor runner-up in the 400 (58.90).