Will it be more of the same? Or could the first day of the Allstate Sugar Bowl/Louisiana High School Athletic Association State Swim meet be a moving day with teams trying to unseat the favorites?
Teams in Divisions III-IV compete in preliminary heats Wednesday to open the annual four-day meet at Sulphur’s SPAR Aquatic Center.
Races for Division III competitors are set for 10 a.m., while competition in Division IV is scheduled for 4 p.m. The top 16 competitors in each prelim advance to Thursday’s finals.
“I think the girls competition is like last year to an extent with us, along with Ascension Episcopal and Newman,” Episcopal coach Stephen Anderson said. “Newman won it for the boys last year.
“This year we do expect it to be closer with Newman, us and Dunham. With that said, we know our boys can’t match the quality of Jared Williams (of Newman) or Kirkland Mawae (of Dunham) so the key for us will be depth, just like it will be for our girls team.”
Anderson’s Episcopal girls won the Division IV title last year and the boys were second to Newman. Dunham was the boys runner-up in 2012.
The Knights are led by Chanler Turnley, a double winner a year ago, helps lead the Episcopal girls.
Turnley has the top entry marks in the 200-yard individual medley and 100 freestyle. Christian Life’s Anna Morris (100 butterfly, 100 breaststroke) and The Dunham School’s Olivia Huffman (50 freestyle, 100 backstroke) are other local swimmers with multiple top marks.
Another girls competitor to watch is Ascension Episcopal’s Victoria Barczyk, who won the 200 and 500 freestyles a year ago and is seeded first in those events again.
AES was the Division IV girls runner-up in 2013.
Williams of Newman has the top times in the 100 breaststroke and 100 butterfly. Mawae is the defending 100 backstroke champion and also is entered in the 200 IM for Dunham, which has the top entry mark in the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays.
Dunham’s Miles Jantzi is seeded first in the 100 freestyle. Lafayette Christian’s Ricky LaFleur is the No. 1 seed in the 200 IM and rhe 500 freestyle.
“We feel very good about our chances with the boys,” Dunham co-coach Bekah Myers said. “We placed second two years ago with four boys, and this year we have eight. Kirkland has a good chance to win his events, and we have other boys who can get points.
The Parkview Baptist girls and Lutcher boys are among the Division III teams to note once again.
PBS was third behind Vandebilt Catholic and E.D. White last season. Lutcher was second to the EDW boys.
Jolee Liles of PBS has the top entry marks in the 200 individual medley and 500 freestyle. University’s Johannah Cangelosi is the No. 1 seed in the 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke.
“Jolee is in events she feels comfortable with,” PBS coach Kate Ripple Cramer said. “We’re seeded first in the medley relay and have the chance to win a relay for the first time since I came back to coach and this is my fourth year.
“We have other girls who can place in the top eight in events. I feel like can be in the top three.”
Lutcher’s Luke Zeringue is seeded third in the 50 and 100 freestyles. Brusly’s Nicholas Lee is seeded No. 2 in the 100 butterfly.