Some of the most compelling moments at the Capital City Swim League Championships may be the races within the race.
The annual meet that features more than 20 Baton Rouge area high school teams begins Saturday with preliminary sessions for boys and girls at the Crawfish Aquatics pool.
St. Joseph’s Academy and Catholic High enter the two-day meet as the prohibitive favorites yet again. Catholic has won the last 25 CCSL boys titles, while SJA has claimed the last 15 girls crowns.
“We are laser-focused on being prepared the state meet and the city meet is a big part of that,” Catholic coach Doug Logsdon said. “It’s a prelims/finals meet like the state meet and we’ve got some specific goals.
“One of them is to swim fast in prelims and go faster in the finals. That’s something we struggled with a little last weekend (in a meet with McGill-Toolen of Mobile, Alabama). We want to develop some depth in the 50 (freestyle) and we want team work … all the guys cheering for each other.”
Saturday’s prelims action begins with a girls session at 8:40 a.m. and a boys session at approximately 12:30 p.m. The combined boys-girls finals begin at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Catholic’s Colin Bone set two meet records a year ago while winning the 100- and 200-yard freestyles and was the meet’s top boys performer. Bone, a senior and an Auburn commitment, is scheduled to swim the 50 and 100 freestyles this time and is the top seed in both events.
The Bears’ Braden Nyboer (200 individual medley, 500 freestyle) is the only other boy with two top qualifying marks.
The Dunham School’s Olivia Huffman (50 freestyle, 100 backstroke) and Parkview Baptist’s Jolee Liles (200 IM, 500 freestyle) each have two top marks on the girls side where possibilities abound.
St. Joseph’s Amy Miller, a Texas A&M commitment, was the meet’s top girls performer last season after winning the 100 freestyle and 100 breaststroke. Miller is seeded first in the 100 breaststroke and second in the 100 freestyle to Episcopal’s Chanler Turnley.
LSU commitment Clayton Black won the 200 and 500 freestyles a year ago, but is seeded behind PBS’ Liles in the 500.
“Getting ready for this meet is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle,” St. Joseph’s coach Becca Barber said. “You really have to study it to figure out where each person is going to fit the best.
“We’ve had a great season so far this year with some really good times. Obviously we want that to build on that this weekend.”
Many of the boys races have swimmers seeded fractions of a second apart. Both Catholic and St. Joseph’s have groups of swimmers seeded at the top of multiple events.
The other races within the race involve the team standings. Lutcher and Baton Rouge High are among the other boys teams to watch. Episcopal was last year’s girls runner-up and leads a contingent of teams that also includes BRHS and Dutchtown.