There was a 30-minute delay because of a nearby lightning strike. Half of the stadium lights were knocked offline when a transformer blew out.
None of that kept Catholic High and St. Joseph’s Academy from running past the competition at the Josten’s Invitational on Friday night at Episcopal.
“Thank goodness we got it in,” Catholic coach Pete Boudreaux said. “That’s the best thing. You’ve had everybody scrambling to get in meets with the weather, being out of school and everything else.
“Overall it was good a performance. We had some guys who doubled (had two wins). Now you’ve got to start getting the package together.”
The Bears finished with 202 points to easily outdistance the eight-team field. West Feliciana won the battle for second with 71 points, just ahead of Zachary (67) and host Episcopal (66).
St. Joseph’s rolled up 159 points on the girls side. Zachary was next at 118, followed by Episcopal at 85.
“We had a really good meet, especially considering the weather conditions and holiday,” St. Joseph’s coach Charlie Daigle said. “We had either solid performances or personal bests. There were no real backslides.
“Some of the things we’ve been waiting for people to step up and do happened. We’re positioning ourselves to hopefully do well at district, regional and state.”
The meet offered an opportunity for two of the state’s top girls sprinters, Zachary’s Janie O’Connor and Episcopal’s Rachel Misher, to square off and the duo provided one impressive meet/stadium record.
But it almost didn’t happen thanks to the training plans. O’Connor skipped the 100 meters to run the 400, which she won in 59.00 seconds, and the 200. Misher didn’t run the 100 or 400 but won the 200 in 23.60 seconds, just ahead of O’Connor at 23.80. Both runners shattered the previous records.
“We got some good work,” Zachary coach Chris Carrier said. “The kids have got to understand that we have to be able to run in this kind of weather, so I’m glad we got this experience. We were trying different people in different events.
“Janie tried her first 400/200 double of the year. Obviously, she’s a competitor and wants to finish first every time. But it (200) was a good race. We’re kind of where we were last year, just seeing where people need to go before district.”
Pierce Hill, Kam Cummings, Nigel Despinasse and Jace Attuso were all double winners for Catholic. West Feliciana’s Raven Davis was a three-event winner in the girls division.
Hill won the 1,600 meters that came right after the weather delay and then later won the 800. Cummings swept the 110 (14.50 seconds) and 300 hurdles (39.50) to pace the Bears on the track.
Attuso came out from the weather delay and jumped a personal best of 23 feet, 3 inches to win the long jump. His mark was just over 2 inches shy of the meet record. Attuso later won the triple jump in 45-4¾. Despinasse won the shot put in 54-9 and the discus in 146-0.
West Feliciana’s Davis won the long jump in 17-11¼ and later won the 100 hurdles (16.00 seconds) and 300 hurdles (45.40).
Episcopal’s Parish Kitto and two boys competitors, Walker’s Kyle Baudoin and Catholic’s Chadd Burns, made the pole vault notable.
Baudoin and Burns tied the boys meet record with heights of 15-3. Baudoin took first place based on fewer misses. Kitto won the girls division with an 11-6 vault that was 2 inches shy of the record.
Jennifer Windham (high jump, 5-1) and Sarah Catherine LeBlanc (3,200, 12:20) had notable personal bests to help lead St. Joseph’s.
“You may not PR in both or do the best in both if you do two events,” Catholic’s Hill said.
“But you compete to help get ready for the meets that matter. With the weather, you just try to stay focused and not make too much of it.”