SULPHUR — The week before the Allstate Sugar Bowl-LHSAA Division II state swimming championship began, St. Scholastica coach Chris Prator said he was “quietly confident” that the Doves would win their fifth consecutive state title.
His suspicions were right on target.
The Doves scored 355 points and wrapped up a quintet of consecutive championships at the SPAR Aquatic Center on Saturday.
Alexandria finished second with 280 points, and Sacred Heart was third with 275. Seventeen teams competed in the Division II girls meet, but none could catch the Doves on their quest to win five in a row.
SSA senior co-captains Katherine Stolin and Anna Rawls have been a part of all five title teams. Stolin swam a leg on all three of the Doves’ winning relays Saturday, and Rawls swam on the 200-medley relay and placed third in the 100-yard breast.
“Swimming relays has always been my favorite,” Stolin said. “I get caught up in my teammates and the excitement. ... That’s what this team is about. This is the best way to end it.”
Rawls said each of the championship teams has been special, but the final one was “different.”
“Seeing it from this angle, as a captain, is great because you get to help guide your teammates, and then watch everyone get better as you go along.”
Top individual swimmers for SSA included Brittany Pierce (second in the 200 free, 2:00.59; third in the 100 back, 1:01.84), Gabriella Fouchi (first in the 50 free, 24.86; fourth in the 100 free, 55.79), Ally Spell (third in the 100 fly, 1:04.25) and Lindsay Parkins (fourth in the 100 back, 1:02.28; fifth in the 200 IM, 2:23.24).
Laura Bruce of Sacred Heart won two events Saturday. She swam a 2:00.08 in the 200-yard free and also won the 100 fly in 58.93.
The Holy Cross boys (380 points) finished second in Division II; the fourth time they have done so in recent years. Ruston won the title with 396 points. Eighteen squads competed in the Division II boys championship.
Pedro Rivera led the way for Holy Cross with a win in the 100 breast (59.17). Owen Martin of Thomas Jefferson won state titles in the 100 fly (51.83) and the 500 free (4:50.70).
In the Division I boys competition, Catholic-Baton Rouge was expected to dominate, and it did. Catholic won with 445 points, Jesuit was second with 299 and St. Paul’s was third at 196. Hahnville was fourth with 184 points and Mandeville fifth with 145.
Rummel’s Thomas Vanderbrook shattered a 21-year-old LHSAA record in the 200 IM. Vanderbrook, a junior, finished in 1:50.78, which bettered the old mark of 1:52.06 set by St. Paul’s Kris Babylon in 1994. Vanderbrook also won the 100 back (51.18).
Catholic’s Colin Bone broke an eight-year-old LHSAA record in the 50 free during Friday’s prelims with a 20.49, and he swam a 20.60 in Saturday’s final. He also broke his own record in the 100 free (44.71). Bone was named Most Outstanding Male Swimmer.
Hahnville’s Warren Massimini won the 200 free (1:43.18), and St. Paul’s Griffin Guzan won the 100 fly (50.31).
On the girls side, St. Joseph’s Academy won nine events and scored 472 points for the title. The real race was for second place, and the difference between second and fourth was razor thin.
Mandeville finished second with 261 points, edging Mt. Carmel, which had 260.50. Dominican was fourth with 257. Northshore was fifth with 162.5, Fontainebleau finished sixth with 124 and Slidell was seventh with 110.
Mandeville’s Denise Frantz was the only metro area girls champion: The senior won the 50 free (24.58).
“This is awesome,” she said. “We knew it was going to be close the whole time. I never expected it to be by half a point, but it was an incredible meet for our relays who were pumped up. We have a nice mix.”
SJA’s Amy Miller was Most Outstanding Girls Swimmer with two wins. She broke Ashley Tappin’s 24-year-old record in the 100 free with an All-America time of 49.97. Her win in the 100 breast (1:03.35) earned her an All-America consideration time.