Concerns about possible rain and the fact that it’s an ACT testing weekend did not hinder the entries for Episcopal’s 37th Round Table Run set for Saturday at Highland Road Park.
The annual race is set to feature 35 girls varsity teams and 42 boys varsity teams, signifying the second week in a row of record numbers.
Last Saturday’s Bayou Boogie Invitational hosted by St. Michael also featured a record-setting field.
“It just gets bigger every year,” Episcopal boys coach Claney Duplechin said. “Cross country has exploded over the last few years. We’ve got 37 junior high schools set to compete.
“Now there may be some schools that don’t have everybody because of the ACT and other activities. But I’m not sure you’ll see this grouping of teams again.”
The Round Table Run and two Capital City Swim League meets are part of Saturday’s busy schedule.
Round Table Run races begin at 8:20 a.m. with the three-mile girls varsity race. The three-mile boys varsity race starts at 9 a.m., followed by two-mile junior high races at 9:30 for girls and 10 a.m. for boys.
It’s not just the big numbers that are notable. Seven of the top 10 boys teams in the first Louisiana Track and Field Coaches Association’s composite poll are set to compete, including top-ranked Catholic, No. 2 St. Paul’s and third-ranked John Curtis. Six of the top 10 girls teams are entered.
Top-ranked St. Joseph’s leads the field of girls team. Second-ranked Mandeville is not scheduled to compete. Third-ranked Dominican and No. 4 Menard are part of the girls field.
Last weekend’s individual champions, Annie Hill of SJA and John Curtis’ Devyn Keith, are among the entrants.
A showdown between Keith and St. Paul’s standout Eric Coston could lead to a race where the top runners break the 15-minute barrier. Assumption’s Jacob Daigle and Catholic’s Jeffrey Kelley are others to watch.
Hill and Claire Vaughn of Menard were the top finishers last week. SJA Gabbi Chauvin placed third. Episcopal’s Alicia Stamey and Hayley Schwab join the group this week for the first time.
“We know Dominican will be strong and they’ll have some runners who will rank up there too,” Episcopal girls coach Eddie Cole said. CCSL meets
Meets begin at 8:10 a.m. at the Crawfish Aquatics pool. University High, Baton Rouge High, Dutchtown, Runnels, East Ascension and Zachary are set to compete in the early meet.
Brusly, Central, Denham Springs, Episcopal, Lutcher, Parkview Baptist, St. Amant, St. Michael are scheduled to compete in the second meet set for 11:30 a.m.
U-High’s Johanna Cangelosi has the top girls times in the 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke in the first meet. Dutchtown’s Jordan Slater (200 individual medley, 100 freestyle) is the other girl with multiple top marks. Baton Rouge High’s Jack Penniman (50, 100 freestyles) and Dutchtown’s Zachary Babin (200, 500 freestyles) are boys with two top marks.
In the second meet, Lutcher’s Luke Zeringue (50, 100 freestyles) and Walker’s Shane Pendarvis (200 IM, 100 backstroke) also have two top marks. Episcopal’s Chanler Turnley (200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke) and Episcopal’s Bailey Stevens (200 IM, 100 freestyle) each have two top girls times.