Even without its top two runners from last week including sophomore sensation Annie Hill, St. Joseph’s Academy had more than enough team depth to win the girls cross country title of Episcopal’s Round Table Run held at Highland Road Park Saturday morning.
SJA scored 59 points as senior Sarah Catherine LeBlanc, freshman Summer Smith, senior Madelyn Andries, freshman Clare Barfield and sophomore Claire Andries finished No. 8, 9, 11, 13 and 18.
“We had a good mix of runners (Saturday),” SJA coach Mark LaHaye said. “We kind of talked about it during the week that Annie Hill may not run due to a severe migrain. I told the team they had to be ready, and they stepped up. They ran smart. We were excited about it.”
Hill has won every regular season local cross country race she has competed in the past two seasons.
Episcopal sophomore Alicia Stamey won the girls title in 18 minutes, 54 seconds. St. Paul’s sophomore Eric Coston won the boys title in 15:09, just under 40 seconds faster than No. 2 finisher Chace Edwards of Brother Martin.
“I went out 4:49 in my first mile,” said Coston, the defending Class 5A individual champion. “I felt good, and I was pleased with my time.”
“Coston is special,” Catholic coach Pete Boudreaux said. “He’s incredible. He races himself every week.”
Catholic’s Jeffrey Kelley was third in 15:49.68. The Bears’ David Aguillard was 12th.
Jesuit won the boys team title with 55 points. Senior Michael Schwing and junior Carolos Zervigon finished seventh and eighth. Jesuit’s Eli Sisung, Patrick Lacour and Nicholus Slay finished No. 10, 11 and 19, respectively.
“Running in a pack as a team is our strength,” Jesuit coach Rudy Horvath said. “That was our strategy last year and it worked. This was the first official race for these guys so they were pumped up about it. We don’t have a superstar. We stress team here.”
Catholic (81) was second in the team race. St. Paul’s (92), Brother Martin (101) and Episcopal (198) rounded out the top five.
Menard (80) was second among the girls. St. Thomas Aquinas (124), Ascension Catholic (128) and Vandebilt Catholic (136) rounded out the top five.
Ascension Catholic’s Stephanie Breaux was third in 19:08 and Brother Martin’s Hayden Courrege fourth in 15:10.
Finishing second for the second straight week was Episcopal sophomore Hayley Schwab (19:05.53).
“I was pretty pleased with my time,” Schwab said. “It was really fun for Alicia Stamey and I to go 1-2.”
Stamey cut her time by more than 20 seconds and finished under 19 minutes for the first time to pick up her first career victory.
“I have the best coaches and the best team,” said Stamey. “The rain helped cool things off. It was a fun race.”
University’s Ellie Pennington (19:36.03) and Zachary’s John Paul Hardin (16:13.21) were sixth in girls and boys action.