The Dutchtown Griffins closed out their 2014 season with a strong finish at the Metro Meet and Louisiana High School Athletic Association Cross Country State Meet at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches.
The Metro Meet at Highland Road Park in Baton Rouge included 19 teams from surrounding parishes. The Griffins’ boys team finished in fourth place behind perennial champion Catholic, Episcopal and third-place finisher Ascension Catholic, a news release from the school said. In a field of 212 runners trekking the 3-mile course, Ben Vasterling led the Griffins with a 10th-place finish with a time of 16:30, followed by Parker McBride’s 15th place finish with a time of 16:46. Rounding out the scoring for the Griffins were Terrence Green, 33rd, 17:07; Alec Snell, 39th, 17:30; and Nick Harper, 53rd, 17:58. Other Griffins runners included Garrett Barton, 54th, 17:59; Zach Hattier, 67th, 18:14; Ethan Stone, 82nd, 18:14; and Jack Spriggs, 103rd, 19:30.
The Lady Griffins finished sixth at the Metro Meet and were led by sophomore Tara Stuntz. Stuntz’s time for the 3-mile course was 20:01. She received 11th place among 146 runners. Brittany Beach placed 50th with a time of 23:19; Alexis Bateman, 55th, 23:39; Melissa Landry, 64th; 23:53; and Kayla Vicknair, 73rd, 24:38.
The Dutchtown Griffins’ efforts at Metro garnered two All Metro performers, Ben Vasterling and Tara Stuntz, with Parker McBride receiving an honorable mention.
The Griffins traveled to Northwestern State in Natchitoches for the LHSAA Cross Country State Meet. Due to heavy rain the day before, the runners’ times didn’t reflect the quality of competition.
In the field of 55 teams, the Lady Griffins duplicated their 14th-place finish from the previous year. Sophomore Tara Stuntz turned in another stellar performance with a 15th-place showing among 277 runners. The other Lady Griffins contributing were Brittany Beach, Alexis Bateman, Melissa Landry, Kendra Hawkins, Kayla Vicknair and Erin LeBeouf. Although the Lady Griffins will be losing two seniors, they will be looking to better their mark next year with their present base and several upcoming freshmen and sophomores.
In the Boys 5A, the Griffins faced 47 quality teams from across the state. Although the boys finished 14th, a mere 47 points separated the Griffins from a top 10 finish. In the field of 334 runners, sophomore Parker McBride led the Griffins with a 57th-place finish, followed by Ben Vasterling in the 67th spot. Freshman Alec Snell finished in 101st place; Nick Harper, 111; Zach Hattier, 154; and Garrett Barton, 154. The Griffins will lose seniors Harper and Barton, but have a solid base of five state runners returning next year.