Season-opening meets can be a mystery. A hurricane, a career-best finish and a group of competitors not normally in the local cross country mix made Episcopal’s 43rd Round Table Run anything but predictable Saturday.

Ruston’s Lily Garrett and Caleb Ackman of Zachary were not just the X-Factors, … They were the individual champions at the first meet of the year at Highland Road Park.

“Our plan was run together and stay together and I got him in the end … that last 400 (meters),” said Ackman, who sprinted by teammate Rhen Langley on the final straight away to win the three-mile boys varsity race in 15 minutes, 28.62 seconds. Langley was second in 15:34.23.

Ruston’s Garrett was equally impressive. The junior took advantage of unseasonably cool temperatures and a dry course during the day’s first three-mile race to finish 18:40.23.

“I wanted to be up front early,” Garrett said. “It was a cool, the course was good and I just went for it. This is one of my best times.”

Garrett and both Ruston teams were the biggest unknowns going into the annual meet that was without the usual contingent of New Orleans schools in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.

The Bearcats placed all five scoring runners in the top 20 and claimed the boys team title with a low score of 58 points. Fourth-place finisher Caleb Babineaux was the top boys finisher for Ruston.

Catholic High (100) and Mandeville (112) were next in the team standings. Led by Ackman and Langley, Zachary was fourth at 164.

One thing that remained the same was the dominance of St. Joseph’s Academy in the girls division. The Redstickers put all five of their scoring runners in the top eight. SJA finished with the low score of 23 points and Ruston was second with 47. Only one other team, Episcopal School of Acadiana at 199, scored less than 200 points.

SJA freshman Michelle Daigle was the runner-up to Garrett in 18:53.85 on a day when the Redstickers were without some upper classmen who were taking the ACT exam.

“I thought they ran well again today,” SJA coach Mark LaHaye said.

2021 Episcopal Round Table Run

At Highland Road Park

Boys

Team scores: 1. Ruston, 58. 2. Catholic High, 100. 3. Mandeville, 112. 4. Zachary, 164. 5. Teurlings Catholic, 187. 6. St. Michael, 203. 7. Parkview Baptist, 209. 8. Episcopal, 266. 9. Rummel, 276. 10. Dunham, 288. 11. Christ Episcopal, 321. 12. Episcopal School of Acadiana, 337.

Individuals: 1. Caleb Ackman, Zachary, 15:28.62. 2. Rhen Langley, Zachary, 15:34.23. 3. Kelly Cameron, Teurlings Catholic, 15:35.25. 4. Caleb Babineaux, Ruston, 15:44.05. 5. Nathan Fontan, Mandeville, 15:44.71. 6. John Walker McDonald, Dunham, 15:45.58. 7. Jake Tournillion, Christ Episcopal, 15:50.13. 8. Thomas Rogers, Ruston, 5:51.49. 9. Bryar Madden, Ruston, 15:57.79. 10. Matthew Maynard, Catholic High, 16:03.14. 11. Wyatt Whipp, Parkview Baptist, 16:05.59. 12. Kaden McLaughlin, Rummel, 16:09.21. 13. Ty Frazier, Fontainebleau, 16:11.92. 14. Clark Chustz, Catholic High, 16:12.46. 15. Alex Hollier, Episcopal, 16:13.49.

Girls

Team scores: 1. St. Joseph's, 23. 2. Ruston, 47. 3. Episcopal School of Acadiana, 199. 4. Mandeville, 214. 5. University, 227. 6. Teurlings Catholic, 230. 7. Christ Episcopal, 234.

Individuals: 1. Lily Garrett, Ruston, 18:40.23. 2. Michelle Daigle, St. Joseph, 8:53.85. 3. Grace Rennhoff, St. Joseph, 18:55.73. 4. Hannah Vaughan, St. Joseph, 19:00.70. 5. Riley Ries, Dunham, 19:03.69. 6. Svenya Stoyanoff, Christ Episcopal, 19:08.48. 7. Emma Claire Hendry, St. Joseph, 19:16.69. 8. Cayden Boudreaux, Albany, 19:22.60. 9. Caroline Spalitta, Fontainebleau, 19:23.73. 10. Ava Pitarro, Walker, 19:29.02. 11. Brooke Spalitta, Fontainebleau, 19:35.06. 12. Stella Vincent, St. Joseph, 19:37.65. 13. Anna Naff, Ruston, 19:41.61. 14. Sydney Owens, Ruston, 19:44.41. 15. Lexi Guidry, Teurlings Catholic, 19:50.07.


Email Robin Fambrough at rfambrough@theadvocate.com