Swimming is an individual sport that can yield huge team benefits.
A long list of top individual performances is expected at the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Swim meet. Whether Catholic High and St. Joseph’s Academy can continue their string of championships in Division I is a key question.
The four-day meet begins at 10 a.m. Wednesday for preliminaries for teams in Division III-IV at Sulphur’s SPAR Aquatic Center. Finals for those divisions are set for 9:30 a.m. for Division IV and 3 p.m. for Division III on Thursday. Division I-II completition begins with prelims at 10 a.m. Friday, with Saturday’s finals set at 9:30 a.m. for Division II and 3 p.m. for Division I.
St. Joseph’s has won the past six Division I girls titles. Catholic has four boys titles in a row in the division that features Class 5A schools. The Bears will once again battle traditional power Jesuit. SJA's challenges will come from three teams as both local powers look to utilize depth to score points.
“Our goal for state is to get as many of our girls in position to score points as possible,” SJA coach Becca Gilbert said. “Every point is going to count. Mt. Carmel, Dominican and Mandeville all look strong. We all have different strengths, so I expect it to go back and forth during the meet.”
Parkview Baptist’s Jolee Liles in Division III and Dunham's Miles Jantzi in Division IV were selected as Outstanding Performers a year ago and are again expected to be among the top competitors.
Liles is again the top seed in the 200-yard individual medley and 500 freestyle. Jantzi is seeded first in the sprint events, the 50- and 100-yard freestyles in Division IV, Parkview’s Rylee Moore is seeded No. 1 in both the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke in Division III.
University High figures to battle E.D. White Catholic for the Division III girls crown Thursday. Johannah Cangelosi (200 freestyle), Jenna Von Hoogstraten (50 freestyle) and Abby Baumgartner (100 breaststroke) lead the Cubs.
“We’re excited about the possibilities,” UHS coach Courtney Roedel said. “We’ve got some quality and are good in the relays. With us and E.D. White, it should be close.”
A young St. Joseph’s team has no swimmer seeded first in an individual event. Sion Cavana (100, 200 freestyle) was a double winner a year ago. Mason Nyboer (500 freestyle) and Tyler McCullough (100 breaststroke), like Cavana, have one top entry mark each.
“Jesuit has a lot of guys back and a lot of seniors,” Catholic coach Doug Logsdon said. “They’re ahead of us based on the psyche sheet. It is going to be up to us to focus on what we do and to score points in as many places as possible.”