When it came to the boys team competition in Division I of the LHSAA state swim meet last season, there was Catholic of Baton Rouge, there was Jesuit and then there was everyone else.
Those two swimming juggernauts scored more than twice the points of any other team in the meet, with the exception of third-place Mandeville (which scored 225 points in the 2014 championship.) Catholic won the meet with 416 points and Jesuit was next with 388 points.
The competition figures to be tight again as preliminary swims in Division I and II are Friday at the SPAR Aquatics Center in Sulphur. Finals will be Saturday.
Jesuit coach Brett Hanemann said he’s not sure how close the championship will be simply because he doesn’t like scoring out meets in advance.
“I’ve never done that as a coach,” Hanemann said. “When you look at a psych sheet, it can be called a ‘psych out’ sheet sometimes. Swimming is about going out and doing your best. You just never know what’s going to happen. So, you plan like anything can happen. That’s how you handle it.”
Hanemann recalled a championship about a decade ago when a team that was predicted to finish second overall, came down with a team-wide case of food poisoning at the meet. Needless to say, they didn’t perform as well as expected.
“That’s why you prepare for anything,” the longtime coach said. “It’s only a seed time. You want everyone to do well at state, but let’s face it, some of the kids will be tapered, and some of them may not be. There are some ‘big meet’ swimmers. Some aren’t. There are all kinds of things that go into it.”
The Blue Jays have their usual allotment of top swimmers: Jack Jackson, Josh Armond, Cade Fuxan, Davis Edwards and Noah Wilkens, all who have some of the fastest metro area times. All three of Jesuit’s relays are among the state’s fastest, as well.
“We have some really good leadership,” Hanemann said. “These guys go after it. They go get it.”
The only question that remains is does Jesuit have enough to reclaim the Division I title from Catholic?
“Absolutely we can win,” Hanemann said. “Anything can happen.”