A total of 1,534 runners are entered in the ninth Varsity Sports-Walker High Shootout cross country meet scheduled for Saturday.
Those numbers make the Walker meet the state’s largest this season, helping to highlight the weekend of prep sports action. A five-team swim meet is set for Sunday the PARDS North Park pool.
“Based on the state rankings, St. Paul’s and Dominican are the top teams we’ll have and they’ll be the favorites,” Walker coach Will Silk said. “The course will be set up for some very fast races We’re expecting some good ones.”
Races begin at 8:30 a.m. at Sidney Hutchinson Park in Walker with the three-mile girls varsity race. The three-mile boys varsity race follows at 9:15 a.m.
Two-mile junior high races for girls (9:45 a.m.) and boys (10:15 a.m.) and a three-mile junior varsity race (10:45 a.m.) round out the action.
Covington-based St. Paul’s was ranked No. 1 among the state’s boys cross country teams in the most recent Louisiana Track & Field Coaches Association polls.
Dominican-New Orleans was second behind a local team not entered, St. Joseph’s Academy.
There is plenty of local-area flavor. Catholic High, Episcopal, St. Thomas Aquinas and host Walker are among the other boys teams to watch, along with Jesuit-New Orleans.
The girls field also includes St. Thomas Aquinas, Episcopal, Walker, Mandeville, Mount Carmel Academy-New Orleans and St. Scholastica-Covington.
Two familiar names top the lists of entrants. Catholic’s Cole Stafford has won all four local meets held at Highland Road Park this season. First Baptist Christian-Slidell’s Gabrielle Jennings won the two races she entered in at Highland, including last week’s Catholic High Invitational.
Events begin at 11 a.m. for the 22-event meet that features swimmers from five schools.
Teams scheduled to compete are Denham Springs, Live Oak Runnels, St. Michael the Archangel and Walker.
The meet is the second to be held at the new North Park facility.