There are times when coaching high school athletes is like opening Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates — you never know what you’re going to get.
Zachary High and Episcopal celebrated homecoming over the weekend, which could have been a cause for concern for swim coaches Stephen Anderson and Lisa McGehee.
Instead, both coaches got exactly what they wanted. The two schools ended their Capital City Swim League regular season by posting victories on Sunday at the Crawfish Aquatics pool.
“We had homecoming last night and that’s always tough, but I challenged them to attack and find a way to be fast,” Episcopal’s Anderson said. “We had lot of best times today and some times that were right on where their best times are, so that was great to see.”
Anderson’s Knights piled up 564 points to win the girls division. Zachary (368) and East Ascension (215) were next.
The roles were reversed in the boys division. With double winner Luke Troth helping to lead the way, Zachary scored 427 points with Episcopal (334) and Denham Springs (285) placing second and third, respectively. The CCSL regular season concludes on Saturday with two more meets, setting the stage for the league championships Nov. 1-2.
“I knew we had a chance to win today,” Zachary’s McGehee said. “But with homecoming being last night I wasn’t quite sure what was going to happen.
“They focused and they stepped up and I’m very proud of them. We have a solid team, not a lot of superstars, but we do have a lot of depth. They all contribute.”
Troth played the lead role for the Broncos by winning the two sprint freestyle events. He won the 50-yard freestyle in 23.39 seconds and the 100 freestyle in 53.10. Troth surged past three other swimmers in the final 12 yards to win the 100.
“I think I did my best,” Troth said with a smile. “I probably could have gotten some more rest, but it was homecoming night. So I did the best I could under the circumstances.
“I’ve always liked the 50 the most but I’m starting to like the 100 more. Coming off the last wall we were pretty even. But I always save a little bit for the end and that usually puts me in front.”
Chanler Turnley and Bailey Stevens were double winners for the Episcopal girls, who won the Division IV state title a year ago. The fact that the Knights all 11 girls events also were impressive.
Turnley normally doesn’t swim distance events, but turned in a winning time of 5 minutes, 26.17 seconds, finishing 34 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher, in the 500 freestyle. She also won her specialty, the 100 breaststroke in 1:12.01. Stevens won the 200 individual medley in 2:27.42 and the 100 freestyle in 48.60.
“I swam something I normally don’t do, the 500,” Turnley said. “So I’m very pleased with how I did with it. I haven’t been swimming the breaststroke lately, but now I’m back doing it. I was happy with that one too I guess.
“This was the last meet for us before city, so it was important to make sure we had everything in order.”