SHREVEPORT — With so many things in doubt about fall sports in 2020 just a few months ago, Chris Prator was unsure what the high school season swim season would look like.
For the longtime St. Scholastica coach, it was ultimately more of the same as the Doves won their 10th straight Division II title at the LHSAA State Swim meet Friday.
“We knew COVID was going to be a factor all year for everybody,” Prator said. “But they really rallied at the end and I’m proud of them — because 2020 is a year of adversity. Doing this speaks volumes about their character.”
SSA finished with 381 points, well ahead of runner-up St. Thomas More (292) and the Academy of Sacred Heart (186). The Doves were not the only Metro area team to extend a title streak.
Holy Cross overcame a rocky start in warmups to win its third straight Division II boys title during the early session of the meet at the YMCA of Northwest Louisiana.
“When we got here there were technical issues as guys were putting their suits on,” Holy Cross coach Dale Turner said. “We had two or three little hiccups once the meet started, but everybody else swam personal bests.
“Yes, that was 2020 fashion (in warmups), but what the guys di after that was really amazing today. You know, we are happy to get to be here to swim. And excited to win again.”
While Holy Cross and St. Scholastic were dominating the team some outstanding individual efforts were turned in.
Ruston’s James Calvin Huenefeld was the boys Swimmer of the Meet. Huenefeld set records in winning the 200-yard freestyle in 1 minute, 40.26 seconds and the 100 butterfly (50.32). Liberty’s Riley Brown was the other double winner, taking the 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke.
Record-setter Evelyn Zhang of Caddo Magnet was the girls Swimmer of the Meet. Zhang won the 50 freestyle in a record time of 23.92 seconds also won the 100 backstroke.
Double-winner Jacob Price helped Lakeshore finish second with 216. Patrick Taylor was third at 186 in the boys competition.
Depth was the key for SSA. The Doves did not win an individual event and placed first in just one relay. Senior Carson Doll won the 500 freestyle in 4:40.01 to lead the way for Holy Cross. The Tigers won two of the three relays.
“This is about representing our school and our families and showing everybody what we can do,” Doll said. “This has not been a normal year and we have worked incredibly hard and everything we have got came through teamwork. I’m proud of this team.”