The day could have been a real downer for high school swimming in Baton Rouge.
No team won a state title on the second day of the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA State Swim meet.
Episcopal’s three-year string of state titles came to end with a runner-up finish to E.D. White Catholic in the Division III girls competition on Thursday.
Instead of taking titles, local competitors zeroed in on records and notable individual accomplishments during the Division III and Division IV finals held at the SPAR Aquatic Center.
The Dunham School’s Olivia Huffman set three records in the Division IV meet and led a contingent that also included record-setters Chanler Turnley of Episcopal and Jolee Liles of Parkview Baptist in Division III.
“Oh gosh, trying to stay relaxed and hitting the walls and turns well and just swimming strong,” Huffman said. “That’s what I focused on. And just having fun … It was fun.”
Newman in Division IV and E.D. White in Division III swept the team titles. The four-day meet continues on Friday with preliminary races for Divisions I and II.
Huffman broke the Division IV records in the both the 50- and 100-yard freestyles during Wednesday’s preliminary heats. She did again with a vengeance, first swimming a time of 24.03 seconds in the 50 freestyle on Thursday.
The junior wrapped up the Division IV girls swimmer of the meet honors early by setting another record while winning the 100 freestyle in 51.55 seconds. But she wasn’t done yet. Huffman lowered her 50 freestyle record by swimming a 24.00 as the leadoff leg on the Tigers’ 200 freestyle relay.
Teammate Miles Jantzi, who won the 100 freestyle in 49.18 seconds and the 100 backstroke in 54.58, was voted the top boys swimmer in Division IV.
“I really didn’t expect to get it,” Jantzi said of the award. “I thought it would be somebody else. I thought my 100 back was the better race, the most challenging and the 100 free was closest to my goal.”
Episcopal’s pursuit of E.D. White during the Division III meet was one huge storyline. The Knights had won three state titles in a row — first winning one in Division III before posting back-to-back Division IV titles.
Turnley was a double-winner who helped set the pace for EHS. Her winning time of 1 minute, 55.25 seconds in the 200 freestyle set a Division III mark. She also won the 100 freestyle.
Episcopal got as close as four points and trailed EDW 195-191 through 12 events. But the Knights never were able to get past the Cardinals, who had no individual champion.
E.D. White won with 292 points just ahead of Episcopal at 268. Lutcher High got edged out by St. Charles Catholic by two points, 238 to 236, for second place in the Division III boys race.
There was a silver lining. Two other girls teams, University and Parkview Baptist, tied for third at 218.
“We knew coming in it would be a heavy-weight fight and we’d have to best them,” Episcopal coach Stephen Anderson said.
“The swimming (Wednesday) from my kids and E.D. White was unreal. We kept fighting and looking for an opening to move up and they didn’t give it to us. I couldn’t be prouder of my team.”
Liles led Parkview by winning the 500 freestyle with a Division III mark of 5:01.09. Seventh-grader Rylee Moore won the 100 backstroke in 58.56 seconds for PBS.
Lutcher’s Luke Zeringue and Brusly’s Logan Gurganus were among the boys individual winners. Zeringue placed first in the 100 freestyle in 49.45 seconds, while Gurganus won the 100 breaststroke in 1:03.30.