Doyline’s Izayla Harris became a 12-Time Track State Champ; Harris: “Track changed me and my life”

By Jimmy Watson // Contributor // Shreveport Times

Not everybody is a 12-time LHSAA state champion, but not everybody is Doyline’s Izayla Harris.

The Panther senior just completed one of the most stellar careers ever by a Louisiana high school track and field athlete. She won the 100, 200, 400 and triple jump at the LHSAA state meet in Baton Rouge to earn Class B Female most valuable athlete for the third time.

“It was really a blessing, wining all four events for the ending of my season,” said Harris, who’s favorite event is the 200. “I love boosting out of the curve.”

She won the 400 for the fourth time, the 200 and 100 for the third time, while capturing the triple jump and 60-meter indoors once each during her illustrious career that began as a Doyline seventh grader for coach Michael Normand. She also holds three Class B state records and is the reigning Shreveport Times All-Area Female track MVP.

“She’s the most decorated female athlete in Doyline history,” Normand said, who said she was dubbed “the Queen from Doyline” by her summer track coach Mychal Word.

Harris said the secret to her extensive career success, which would have been greater had not Covid issues robbed her of her eighth and ninth grade seasons, was relatively simple.

“All of the hard work throughout the years, the patience to get me this far, and the confidence to believe in myself to know I can do it,” Harris said.

Harris became a track athlete almost by accident. She was a seventh grader in Normand’s physical education class when he noticed her long stride in a warmup and invited her to run in the district meet.

“I took her outside to time in the 400 and she ran a 1:03 with no training,” Normand said. “I asked her if she wanted to run track, and I’ll never forget that her eyes got big and she asked ‘coach, you gonna let me run track?’”

Harris won the 400 at the state meet that season and hasn’t lost at that distance since.

“Izayla is quiet and soft spoken until the gun fires, and then that dawg in her comes out,” Normand said. “Not only does she have God-given ability but she has that tenacity that coaches love to see in any athlete. She still has that seventh-grade giddiness when she accomplishes something amazing.” 

Currently committed to run for Alcorn State University, Harris will run in the Junior Olympics for one last time this summer then it’s off to college to major in pre-physical therapy. Running is always in the forefront of her mind.

“What got me going was how fun it was and meeting lots of new people and coaches,” she said. “It has changed me and my life over the last four years.”

Izayla Harris 2024 LHSAA wins

400-meter – 59.27

100-meter – 11.83

200-meter – 25.09

Triple jump – 35-11.5

Harris’ career accomplishments

4-time 400m state champ

3-time 200m state champ

3-time 100m state champ

1-time triple jump state champ

1-time 60m state indoor champ

3 state records

3-time Class B MVP

(Note: Missed 8th an 9th grade seasons due to Covid related issues)