Archbishop Rummel’s Conner Killian wasn’t the highest profile runner going into Saturday’s St. Joseph’s Academy Invitational. By the time the meet at Highland Road Park was over, everyone knew who the junior was.

Killian ran 26 seconds faster than his previous personal best and also got the best of several high-profile runners, including good friend Zach Capello of Ascension Catholic. Killian won the three-mile boys race in 15 minutes, 34 seconds.

“I love racing and felt really good today,” Killian said. “Zach is a good runner. We both really train hard. Once I got to the second mile with the leaders that gave me a boost. I knew I had to start going from there.”

Capello, a multiple time state champion in Class 1A was gracious afterwards, when describing the race against his running mate from the Gulf States Running Camp.

“I led through the mile and the second mile, and Conner passed me up when we turned to go up the hill,” Capello said. “I stayed with him until about a half-mile left, and then he started opening and I started hurting.”

With Mandeville’s Claire Crosby and SJA’s Annie Hill not among the girls entrants, Episcopal sophomore Alicia Stamey stepped forward, winning the three-mile girls race in 18:39. It was Stamey’s third win overall and second at Highland. EHS teammate Hayley Schwab was fourth in 18:56. Both set personal records.

“Hayley and I always work together,” Stamey said. “It was great that we were both under 19 minutes and several other girls on our team set personal records. Our team continues to get better.”

Catholic High took the boys title with 87 points. Catholic’s Pierce Hill was fifth in 15:52, Miles McLindon 16th and Brandt Green 17th. Denham Springs’ enjoyed a breakout performance, finishing third in 15:47). Baton Rouge High’s Ryan Burrell (sixth, 15:53), and Zachary’s John Paul Hardin (eighth, 16:03) were other top local finishers.

Episcopal was second in the boys team race. Kris Jackson (16:20) was 12th. Alex Dunbar was 15th and Kenny Schafer 19th for the Knights. Archbishop Shaw (160) was third in the boys team race, followed by Rummel (196) and St. Michael (213).

“We’ve been training hard,” Catholic coach Pete Boudreaux said. “Overall they ran well with lots of personal records. We kept our second to fifth runners close together in time, and that’s a good thing.”

Mandeville edged St. Joseph’s by four points to claim the girls title, finishing with 73 points. Sophomore Ally McCulley, a transfer from West Virginia, who placed second in 18:49, a personal record by 34 seconds. Mandeville’s Chelsey Jones (19:15) and Kylie Touchard (19:21) were eighth and 11th.

SJA finished with 77 points and was led by Annalane Lee, who finished sixth in 19:00. Sarah LeBlanc was ninth in 19:17 and Gabbi Chauvin placed 16th. Baton Rouge High’s Kennedy Smith finished 10th in 19:20 in girls action.

“All the girls ran well,” SJA coach Mark LaHaye said. “We had a lot of PRs. The girls competed all the way to the end.”