Westlake’s Xavier Goodly and Keondra Johnson built on their success in 2018 to rise to new heights in 2019 while a pair of sophomores in Sam Houston’s Halyn Senegal and St. Louis Catholic’s Ivan Appleton dominated on the track this year.
The four athletes combined to win nine state championships and were run away winners of the 49th Cagle Awards as voted on by Calcasieu Parish high school track and field coaches.
This year’s voting was a run away as all four won by at least 12 votes. Goodly and Johnson were repeat winners.
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 state legislator and businessman.
After having sitting out his freshman year, Appleton didn’t waste much time making his mark in the distance races in Southwest Louisiana, winning outstanding track honors in his first varsity meet, the Barbe Buc Relays.
Even when the pressure started to mount in the postseason, the underclassman didn’t fold. He won four events (800, 1,600, 3,200, 4x800) at the District 4-3A meet and swept the distance races at the Region II-3A meet.
He saved his best for last with a pair of personal bests to win state 800- and 1,600-meter runs at the Louisiana High School Athletic Association Class 3A meet in May at LSU’s Bernie Moore Track and Field Stadium. He placed fifth in the 800 at the state meet.
His time in the 1,600 (4:32.85) and 3,200 (10:07.71) were the area’s top marks.
He also won the Class 3A state cross country championship.
Goodly, who signed with Indiana Wesleyan University on a full athletic scholarship, was nearly unbeatable during the season, winning two state championships and he came within inches two others another.
He started his final season as a Ram with Division II state indoor triple jump championship (43 feet 111⁄2 inches) and missed one in the long jump (21-5) by 51⁄4 inches. He closed out his career with an outdoor state triple jump title (45-111⁄2 inches). The outdoor long jump title by eluded him by 13⁄4 inches thanks District 4-3A rival Michael Taylor (Washington-Marion).
Goodly set a school record and personal best in the long jump with a 24-foot jump at the Taussig Relays and went on to sweep the long and triple jumps at the District 4-3A and Region 2-3A meets.
He posted the top distance in the long and triple jump in Southwest Louisiana for a second consecutive year.
Senegal’s freshman campaign was cut short by an injury but it didn’t seem to have any effect on her this season as she set personal bests in three events and won a state championship.
Once she got back to full strength she was tough to beat. She closed out the regular season with outstanding track honors at the Westlake Ram Relays after winning the 400 and 800 and won both events by wide margins at the District 3-5A meet.
She saved the best for last as she ran a 2 minutes, 16.84 seconds to win the Class 5A 800 championship and placed fourth in the 400 (57.02 seconds) against a field that produced four sub-58 second times.
She has knocked .55 seconds off her 400 time and 11.07 seconds in the 800 since last year.
After almost sweeping the long and triple jumps at the Class 3A state meet last year, Johnson, a junior, got it right this time with a season-best jump in both events. She went 17-51⁄2 inches in the long jump and 36-81⁄2 inches in the triple jump.
But her 2019 season didn’t start off the same way. Despite winning the Division II state indoor long jump title (16-71⁄2), she struggled in the triple jump, placing sixth.
Those struggles carried over into the outdoor season until the third week when she won back-to-back outstanding field honors at the Taussig and B.S. Walker relays.
Johnson won three titles at the District 4-3A meet (triple jump, 100 and 200) and one a pair of championships at the Region 2-3A meet in the long and triple jumps.