The John Curtis boys and the Dominican girls got a leg up on the competition and won the Allstate Sugar Bowl Metro Cross Country Championships on Saturday morning at New Orleans City Park.
The Patriots, who by far have been the most dominant team in the metro area this season, placed each of their top five runners in the top 13 spots to clinch the title. Curtis finished with 37 points to defeat second-place Brother Martin (59 points) and St. Paul’s (61)
The boys overall winner was Devyn Keith, who completed the 3-mile City Park course in 15 minutes, 4 seconds. That was good enough to put the junior well ahead of last year’s Class 5A champion Eric Coston of St. Paul’s, who completed the race in 15.14.50. The Brother Martin tandem of Hayden Courrege’ (15.31.70;) and Chace Edwards (15:38.90) followed, with Curtis’ Austin Brown at 15.41.
“We had a hard workout the past few weeks, and it’s been hurting my shins,” Keith said. “I didn’t let anyone know. I just went out and let (Eric) set the pace. He took it for a while and then at the end, all I had to do was kick the last 600 meters in.”
The girls metro cross country championship was a more tense affair, perhaps, with several teams believing they had a legitimate chance to win the title.
In the end, it was Dominican which won the team title with 63 points. The team was led by third-place finisher Emily Doyle, who ran the 3-mile course in 19:25. Doyle’s teammates locked down several spaces in the top 20 to ensure the team victory.
The overall girls’ champ was Mt. Carmel’s Isabella Hemb, who led the field with a time of 18:38. Newman’s Hailey Johnson placed second with a time of 18:53.
When Hemb crossed the finish line, she was handed a dollar bill by her former cross country coach. It’s a tradition they share whenever Hemb sets a personal best time, or does something spectacular like she did Saturday.
“It was really cool this morning (in the low 50s,) and then it got hot,” she said. “It was kind of shocking. I just tried to keep the pace up. I passed up Haley right before the 2-mile mark. That was when I knew I could take if for good.”
The Cubs finished second in team scoring with 65 points. McGehee placed third with 92.
In total, 19 boys teams were eligible to score points in the team championships at the metro meet. The girls had 13 full teams compete for title honors.
The Louisiana High School State Cross Country Championships will be held later this month in Natchitoches.