SULPHUR — When St. Joseph’s Academy lost a midseason dual meet to Mount Carmel Academy, it looked like the Redstickers string of Division I swimming titles was in jeopardy.
That loss quickly became the motivation that propelled St. Joseph’s to its seventh straight Division I title on the final day of the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Swim meet Saturday.
“This is definitely the first time in quite a few years that we have not won an individual event,” SJA coach Becca Gilbert said. “We only won one relay. What this shows is that it takes an entire team. That meet with Mount Carmel showed us something important. We knew we could do it, but everyone had to do their job and that’s what they did today.”
St. Joseph’s scored 320 points to finish ahead of Mount Carmel at 281 in the Division I finals session at the SPAR Aquatic Center. The other local traditional power, the Catholic High boys, saw their streak of four straight titles end.
Jesuit, led by record-setter Charles Korndorffer, won its first Division I swim title since 2012 with 455½ points. Catholic was second with 373.
The Redstickers were not the only girls team to win a seventh straight title Saturday. St. Scholastica won its seventh consecutive Division II title in the first session with 409½ points. St. Thomas More was second with 246. Ruston (445 points) won the Division II boys title.
Korndorffer set meet Division I records while winning the 100 butterfly in 49.13 seconds and the 100 backstroke in 49.27. He was the boys swimmer of the meet. Northshore’s Maddie Byrd won the same events, the 100 butterfly in 57.93 seconds and the 100 backstroke in 57.73, to net the girls swimmer of the meet.
Catholic had a double-winner in Sion Cavana in the 200 (1:39.48) and 100 (46.17 seconds) freestyles. The top event for the Bears was the 500 freestyle in which both champion Mason Nyboer (4:33.76) and teammate/runner-up Daniel Woodruff (4:34.09) both broke the Division I record.
“My hat is off to our guys,” Catholic coach Doug Logsdon said. “I thought we swam incredible well today, and I thought we did everything we could. We had a lot of time drops. Jesuit swam great. They’ve got a deep team, one through four, in every event, and it showed. They deserved to win.”
In comparison to past years, SJA’s meet rèsumè looked modest. The Redstickers’ win in the 400 freestyle relay in 3 minutes, 43.13 seconds closed a meet that was about efficiency, mixed with caution.
Amanda Andrews was second in the 100 butterfly and third in the 200 freestyle to lead the Redstickers. East Ascension’s David Boylan, who won the 200 individual medley, was the other local winner.
“We couldn’t afford to have any false starts, especially on relays because they count double points,” Gilbert said. “The girls understood that and also came through in their individual events. We didn’t have first places, but we have people who moved up one or two spots in races. We got as much as we could out of every race.”