It would be easy to dismiss the 33rd Round Table Run as an instant replay of another high school cross country meet held last weekend at Highland Road Park.
The top teams and individuals also took top honors at St. Michael the Archangel’s Bayou Boogie Classic.
A series of fast three-mile times helped set apart the annual meet hosted at Highland by Episcopal.
“I tried to go faster the second mile and separate myself from the pack,” Catholic High’s Cole Stafford said. “That’s really all I thought about.”
Both Stafford and Christian Life Academy’s Anna Katherine Devitt got the separation they needed during the first two miles of their respective three-mile varsity races.
Stafford posted a winning time of 15 minutes, 29 seconds, which was 15 seconds better than his winning time a week earlier.
“I tried to work through the whole race,” Devitt said. “Whenever I started to feel a little tight, instead of letting up, I pushed myself harder.”
Devitt’s winning time of 18:29 was 24 seconds faster than her Sept. 10 mark.
The first nine boys runners all finished in less than 16 minutes, a feat that typically doesn’t happen until late in the season.
Episcopal’s Christian Johnson edged Neal Fitzpatrick, of Jesuit-New Orleans, for the No. 2 spot. Both runners finished in 15:32.
Devitt and runner-up Mallory Robichaux, of Menard-Alexandria (18:45) finished under 19 minutes. The top 13 runners finished below 20 minutes. Ellen Barkmeyer, of Dominican-New Orleans (19:09) was third.
The repeat team champions, St. Joseph’s Academy and St. Paul’s, also set a furious pace for the second straight week.
Fourth-place finisher Andree Laville (19:18) finished a second ahead of teammate Kassidy Noto as the Redstickers placed four runners in the top 15 and seven in the top 20.
SJA finished with 38 points. Dominican (50), Menard (123) and St. Thomas Aquinas (172) followed in a girls field that included 19 full teams.
“I’ve got some gamers in this group,” St. Joseph’s coach Sam Young said. “Before we ran I told them to think about Thursday’s LSU (at Mississippi State) football game.
“LSU didn’t start winning until the third quarter. This race was like that. It was great competition, and the race was won in the third mile.”
Covington-based St. Paul’s placed three runners in the top 10 and four in the top 15 to finish with the low boys total of 50 points. Host Episcopal (83) was followed by Catholic and Hammond’s St. Thomas Aquinas both with 92.
The Bears took third over STA based on the finish of their No. 6 runner. The meet featured 29 full boys teams.
“The thing we talked about was trying to get better every week, and I think we did that,” St. Paul’s coach Terryl Chatham said. “We want to continue to improve and more than anything else, just be consistent.”
Other local girls in the top 10 were Parkview Baptist’s Morgan Schuetz (sixth, 19:24) and Baker’s Dynasty Williams (eighth, 19:38).
Kraemer Jackson, who took fourth in 15:37, was the top finisher for St. Paul’s. Scott Wheat (eighth, 15:54) led STA.