St. Joseph’s Academy claimed its 12th straight Metro Cross Country Meet girls title Saturday by placing seven runners in the Top 10 to finish with the low team score of 17 points.

St. Joseph's total was just two points shy of a 15 point perfect score.

Catholic High won its third straight boys title by placing seven runners in the top nine and scoring 21 points.

Individual champions were Runnels senior Annie Fink and Catholic High sophomore Daniel Sullivan. Sullivan covered the three-mile Highland Road course in a personal-record 15 minutes, 33.28 seconds. He hadn’t finished in the top-20 finish all season.

Fink, who ran 18:14.75, has been a force all season and impressed Redstickers coach Mark LaHaye.

“Annie Fink looks like a college runner,” LaHaye said. “She’s a strong senior and really works hard.”

Fink, the defending Class B state champion, led most of the race. SJA sophomore Maddie Kate Gardiner twice took a brief lead in the last mile, but Fink pulled away.

“It was fun racing in the home stretch,” said Fink. “It was really cool and exciting winning this race. I’ve done lots of training and long runs to get ready for this.”

Gardiner finished second in 18:17.88. SJA’s Sophie Martin (18:20.84), Virginia Dirks (18:23.66) and Lydia Poche (19:02.53) finished third, fourth and fifth. SJA senior Isabelle Brown is still sidelined by an injury.

“I’m proud of everyone on the team,” said Gardiner, who also finished second at the Episcopal Round Table Run. “We stayed right next to each other. I stayed right behind Annie and hung on as long as possible.”

LaHaye said his entire team ran well. SJA had 11 of the top 15 finishers, although only the top seven can score.

“Some of the girls who have been running top seven got beat today,” LaHaye said. “It’s going to be hard to figure out what to do at regionals.”

The Class 5A regionals are this Friday at Highland Road Park. The LHSAA cross country meet is Nov. 11-12 in Natchitoches.

Sullivan was comfortably in fourth place for most of the race.

“I tried to stay right behind the leaders and draft it,” Sullivan said. “I kicked it at the end and came out on top. I was injured at the beginning of the year, but I’m healthy and feeling good now. It was exciting to win.”

Dunham sophomore John Walker McDonald finished second in 15:36.53.

“This was my second best time of the season and I’m really pleased with the result,” McDonald said. “Our team is coming around and we feel like we can finish in the Top five at state in Class 2A.”

Catholic’s Owen Simon (15:40.53) and Blake Cook (15:40.75) finished third and fourth. Episcopal’s James Christian was fifth in 15:41.22. Catholic had the next seven finishers, although only four scored points.

“We had a great team race,” Catholic coach Pete Boudreaux said. “Daniel Sullivan has really been looking good the last few weeks. We were able to stay tightly bunched today.”

St. Michael (73) and Episcopal (94) finished second and third in the girls team race. Episcopal (106) and Zachary (142) were second and third in the boys team race.

Metro Cross Country Meet

At Highland Road Park


Team totals: 1. Catholic (CHS), 21; 2. Episcopal, 106; 3. Zachary, 142; 4. St. Michael the Archangel, 147; 5. University, 149; 6. West Feliciana, 186; 7. Dutchtown, 214; 8. Live Oak, 229; 9. Denham Springs, 231; 10. St. Amant, 267; 11. Dunham, 289; 12. Runnels, 297; 13. Ascension Catholic, 310; 14. East Ascension, 373; 15. Woodlawn, 433; 16. Central, 438; 17. Broadmoor, 513; 18. Slaughter Community Charter, 560; 19. Livonia, 585; 20. St. James, 603.

Top individuals: 1. Daniel Sullivan, CHS, 15:33.28; 2. John Walker McDonald, Dunham, 15:36.53; 3. Owen Simon, CHS, 15:40.53; 4. Blake Cook, CHS, 15:40.75; 5. James Christian, Episcopal, 15:41.22; 6. Joseph Ellis, CHS, 15:42.09; 7. Matthew Hubbell, CHS, 15:50.62; 8. Harrison Thomas, CHS, 15:56.09; 9. Blaison Treuil, CHS, 16:03.97; 10. Christopher Cuntz, CHS, 16:12.75; 11. Zach Morgan, CHS, 16:14.88; 12. Ben Langley, CHS, 16:17.84.


Team totals:1. St. Joseph’s Academy (SJA), 17; 2. St. Michael, 73; 3. Episcopal, 94; 4. Dutchtown, 105; 5. Live Oak, 159; 6. University, 196; 7. West Feliciana, 211; 8. Zachary, 248; 9. Walker, 251; 10. Denham Springs, 259; 11 Catholic-Pointe Coupee, 274; 12. St. Amant, 296; 13. Central, 407.

Top individuals: 1. Annie Fink, Runnels, 18:14.75; 2. Maddie Kate Gardiner, St. Joseph’s Academy (SJA), 18:17.88; 3. Sophie Martin, SJA, 18:20.84; 4. Virginia Dirks, SJA, 18:23.66; 5. Lydia Poche, SJA, 19:02.53; 6. Scarlett Spender, Episcopal, 19:03.15; 7. Rebecca Quebedeaux, St. Michael, 19:09.06; 8. Lillian Leonard, SJA, 19:11.69; 9. Grace Spriggs, Dutchtown, 19:12.84; 10. Mary Saia, SJA, 19:13.69; 11. Elisa Jones, SJA, 19:18.69; 12. Emma Hendry, SJA, 19:29.59.