St. Joseph’s Academy and Catholic High were repeat team winners at the East Baton Rouge Metro cross country meet Monday at Highland Road Park.
With five runners in the top 10, including repeat champion Annie Hill, SJA scored 33 points to win its eighth straight Metro girls title. Catholic put three runners in the top eight and tallied 43 points to win its second straight boys title. It was the ninth Metro crown in 10 years for the Bears.
Episcopal was second in girls (62) and boys (88) divisions, while Ascension Catholic was third in boys (118) and girls (77).
ACHS senior Zach Capello won his first race at Highland with a personal record 15 minutes, 9 seconds, which was 25 seconds faster than his previous best. Capello finished second to Catholic’s Jeffrey Kelley last season, but the two switched places this year.
“I was very pleased with my time,” Capello said. “This is a tough course. I opened up really fast in 4:49 in the first mile. I’ve been running here since fifth grade, so it’s kind of bittersweet knowing I’m done at Highland.”
Catholic’s Kelley, a junior, and Pierce Hill, a senior, finished second and third in 15:36 and 15:38. University’s Hank Patrick was fourth in 15:42.
“Jeffrey ran smart,” Catholic coach Pete Boudreaux said. “We ran real solid as a team.”
“I’m happy with how I did today,” Kelley said. “My teammates were really battling today. We’re getting better and (we’re) optimistic about state.”
Running in her first race in two months because of an illness, Hill, a sophomore, covered the three-mile course in 18:24.
“It was great to be back,” said Hill, who has won every race she has entered at Highland in the past two seasons. “I missed running so much.”
“We’re glad to have Annie back,” coach Mark LaHaye said. “Our team is rounding into shape.”
ACHS freshman Stephanie Breaux (18:30) was second in girls action, and Amber Ferguson of Denham Springs was third (19:01). Breaux bettered her PR at Highland by 50 seconds.
“It was my first time to break 19 minutes here and I was really excited,” she said. “I was fifth at the mile but kept picking it up.”
Episcopal sophomores Hayley Schwab (19:05) and Alicia Stamey (19:24) were fourth and fifth.
“We ran a little bit tired today, and I’m not sure why,” Episcopal girls coach Eddie Cole said. “We probably went out too fast. To come in second was encouraging.”
Episcopal boys coach Claney Duplechin said he was proud that his team moved up a spot from its third-place Metro finish last season. Kris Jackson (16:18) was seventh for the Knights.
“Half of our guys had PRs,” Duplechin said. “I thought we competed very well.”