The phrase “finish strong” is a cliché that appears on T-shirts and posters. Coaches use it in speeches to inspire their teams.
Maggie Hall did not need any of that. Her Baton Rouge High swim teams did it on their own and did it impressively. The Bulldogs swept the boys and girls titles at the final regular season Capital City Swim League on Saturday. The CCSL Championships are Oct. 27-28.
“Looking at the results now, it has sunk in. We won nine events and had swimmers/relays in the top three in 21 of the 22 events,” Hall said. “I was definitely not expecting that, especially when you have competition like we did from Lutcher and Zachary. I couldn’t be prouder of how hard they worked today.”
Baton Rouge High scored 422 points to win the girls division ahead of Lutcher (312) and Zachary (263). The boys race was closer. The Bulldogs had 376 points to place ahead of Zachary 311½. Lutcher (236) was third in the 13-team meet at the Crawfish Aquatics pool.
Double winners Ema Lavigne and Amanda Richter led the BRHS girls. Lavigne set the tone with a win in the first individual event, the 200-yard freestyle in 2 minutes, 5.37 seconds. She later won the 100 freestyle in 57.68, finishing nearly four seconds ahead of the next closest competitor.
Richter won the second individual event, the 200 individual medley (2:27.29), and came back to win the 500 freestyle in 6:15.08. The BRHS girls won the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays and got another individual win from Anacelia Galeano in the 100 butterfly.
Eric Wang won the boys 100 freestyle in 51.59 seconds and placed second in the 200 freestyle to help pace the BRHS boys. The BRHS squads relied heavily on second places, collecting 11 on the day.
“I think everybody was focused on getting the best times they could because this is the last meet before the City meet,” Eric Wang said. “I was five seconds faster in the 200. Winning it (the meet) is good too and shows that the work we’ve done is paying off.”
Lee High’s Camron Wang was the other double winner, taking first in the 200 IM (2:07.14) and 500 freestyle (5:09.31).
“We have a group of freshmen who are doing very well,” Hall said. “I am anxious to see what they all bring to the table as we go to the City meet.”