In an atmosphere as much festival as swim meet, favorites Catholic High and St. Joseph’s Academy outpaced all other competitors to win the boys and girls divisions of the Capital City Swim Championships meet on Sunday at the Crawfish Aquatics Pool.
Catholic High scored 595 points and SJA had 516.50 to more than double the points of their nearest challengers.
“I could be wrong, but I think this is the most points we’ve ever scored in a city meet,” Catholic High coach Doug Logsdon said. “It was an amazing effort. We had incredible senior leadership, and we got contributions from everyone from seniors to freshmen.”
The Bears had five individual champions and won all three relay races. Braydon Bergeron was a double winner in the 50-yard freestyle (22.80 seconds) and the 100-yard freestyle (50:11). Catholic High’s other individual winners were Brady Grenfell (200-yard freestyle), Grant Grenfell (200-yard individual medley) and Colin Finegan (100-yard breaststroke).
Bergeron was voted the boys Swimmer of the Meet.
The other individual winners were Clay Furr of University High (100 butterfly), John Miller of Parkview Baptist (500 free) and Dainon Miles of Parkview (100 back).
As usual in these championships the closest scoring races came for other places. The Episcopal girls edged Dutchtown 209-199 for second place, and the Parkview Baptist bosy (218) finished ahead of Lutcher (197) for second place. Only six points separated boys teams in the battle for fourth place, with Episcopal (145) claiming fourth over Baton Rouge High (142).
“I’ll take a top-five finish any day with my team of six swimmers,” BRHS coach George Newport said.
St. Joseph’s Cameron Balkom was named the girls Swimmer of the Meet after setting a meet record in the 100-yard breaststroke, winning in 1:05.23.
Balkom finished second to teammate Mary Katherine Miller in the 200-yard individual medley, and swam on the SJA 200 medley relay team that set another meet record.
Balkom said she had her eye on the record coming into the meet. “I just relaxed and did what my coach (Lyle Robelot) told me,” Balkom said.
Miller was one of three double winners in the girls division, winning the individual medley in 2:11.61 and the 100 fly in 1:00.08. Dutchtown’s Alyssa Dildine, who won the 200-yard free in 1:54.84 and the 500-yard free in 5:07.44.
In the closest race of the day, Hannah Core of East Ascension and Victoria Padial of St. Joseph’s both touched in 54.60 to share first place in the 100 freestyle.
“What made this meet special was breaking records,” Robelot said. “It (breaking records) wasn’t really a goal, and we didn’t talk about it until they were heading into the blocks. It was more about doing our best and getting ready for state, and the records just kind of came along with it.”
SJA also swam under the record in the 400-yard freestyle relay but was disqualified for using an alternate not eligible to swim on the relay.
Core also won the 50-yard freestyle in 28.84.
Logsdon echoed Robelot’s comments about getting ready for the LHSAA state meet in Sulphur on Nov. 16-19.
“Everything today is in the context of we’ve got to be faster in two weeks at the state meet,” Robelot said. “It’s easy to swim fast here when you’re at your home, but it’s harder to go on the road when you know you have to face teams from New Orleans.”