WALKER - The notion that a three-mile race can be decided by a just a few seconds, or perhaps even a fraction of second, is a foreign notion to some.

But it was the reality for the two featured races at Saturday’s Varsity Sports-Walker Shootout cross country meet.

Catholic High’s Cole Stafford held off Scott Brewster, of St. Paul’s, to win the boys varsity race in 15 minutes, 13.04 seconds, just ahead of Brewster (15:13.40) to help highlight the day of races at Sidney Hutchinson Park.

“My kids call this the land of PRs (personal records),” St. Paul’s coach Terryl Chatham said. “They absolutely love to run this course because they know it’s flat, and that means they can run very fast.

“They did run fast. The race between Cole and Scott was awesome. It was great to see.”

Christian Life Academy’s Anna Katherine Devitt made a wide loop on the turn to the final straightaway, giving Gabrielle Jennings, of Slidell’s First Baptist Christian, the small opening she needed.

Jennings won the girls varsity three-mile race in 17:22, just ahead of Devitt (17:27).

Running on the smooth Hutchinson course after weeks of races on hill-laden courses like the one at Highland Road Park may have seemed like a break. But the winners said the competition was no picnic.

“This was definitely the toughest race all year,” Stafford said. “I got a push today from several guys like I haven’t gotten this year.

“And it was so fast. I just tried to hang on because I knew if someone passed me there was a chance I wouldn’t be able to catch up.”

Jennings added, “My PR before today was 17:40. It felt good to run that fast. We (Jennings and Devitt) really pushed each other.”

The competition for the two team titles was also relatively close. St. Paul’s won the boys title with 49 points.

The Covington-based Wolves placed three runners in the top 10 - Brewster, Zachary Albright (fourth) and Kraemer Jackson (fifth).

Catholic High was second at 89, followed by Hammond’s St. Thomas Aquinas at 105. Host Walker was fifth (175). Episcopal (seventh, 269) and Dutchtown (10th, 353) were also in the top 10.

The Bears had Stafford and Joseph St. Cyr (sixth) in the top 10. Scott Wheat of STA (seventh), Walker’s David Harrison (eighth) and STA’s Corbett Ourso (ninth) were other notables in the top 10.

Dominican-New Orleans coach Sherri Thompson said her team also relished the chance to run on the flat course.

“The course we’ve run on have all had hills, so they (Dominican runners) were excited about this one,” Thompson said. “It’s good to run on different kinds of courses, and today they also had fun.”

Thompson’s team also had three runners finish in the top 10: Ellen Barkemeyer (fifth), Lisa Sakamoto (eighth) and Mia Meydrich (ninth). Parkview Baptist’s Morgan Schuetz finished 10th.

Dominican finished with 59 points to win the girls title ahead of St. Patrick’s, of Biloxi, Miss., (78) and Fontainebleau (88).

Episcopal (sixth, 252) was the lone local team to finish in the top 10.

Cross Country

Walker Shootout at sidney hutchinson park - walker


Varsity - three miles

Top team totals: 1. St. Paul’s. 49 2. Catholic High 89. 3. St. Thomas Aquinas 105. 4. Jesuit 152. 5. Walker 175. 6. Archbishop Shaw 207. 7. Episcopal 269. 8. Archbishop Rummel 289. 9. Mandeville 335. 10. Dutchtown 353.

Top individuals: 1. C. Stafford, Catholic High, 15:13. 2. S. Brewster, St. Paul’s, 15:13. 3. N. Fitzpatrick, Jesuit, 15:17. 4. Z. Albright, St. Paul’s , 15:24. 5. K. Jackson, St. Paul’s, 15:33. 6. J. St. Cyr, Catholic High, 15:38. 7. S. Wheat, St. Thomas Aquinas, 15:43. 8. D. Harrison, Walker, 15:44. 9. C. Ourso, St. Thomas Aquinas, 15:47. 10. T. Bonin, Teurlings Catholic, 15:49.

Junior high - two miles

Top team totals: 1. Catholic 33. 2. Episcopal 62. 3. Our Lady of Mercy 90. 4. Archbishop Rummel 173.

Top individuals: 1. E. Coston, Trafton 10:33. 2. A. Dunbar, Episcopal, 11:30. 3. B. Green, Catholic High, 11:31. 4. J. Bowman, Episcopal, 11:35. 5. C. Killian, Rummel, 11:37.



Top team totals: 1. Domincan 59. 2. St. Patricks 78. 3. Fontainebleau 88. 4. St. Scholastica 239. 5. Newman 240. 6. Episcopal 252. 7. Sacred Heart-NO 263. 8. Mandeville 304. 9. Northshore 313. 10. Cabrini 313.

Top individual: 1. G. Jennings, First Baptist, 17:22. 2. A. Devitt, Christian Life, 17:27. 3. A. Irwin, Mandeville, 18:24. 4. A. Durham, Fontainebleau 18:29. 5. E. Barkemeyer, Dominican, 18:33. 6. C. Boyce, St. Scholastica, 18:40. 7. A. Bellais, St. Patrick’s, 18:49. 8. L. Sakamoto, Dominican, 18:55. 9. M. Meydrich, Dominican, 19:08. 10. M. Schuetz, Parkview Baptist, 19:11.

Junior high - two miles.

Top team totals: 1. Trafton Academy 44. 2. Our Lady of Mercy 52. 3. Mount Carmel 68. 4. Sacred Heart-NO 119. 5. St. Joseph’s Catholic 186.

Top individuals: 1. M. Becerra, Trafton, 12:54. 2. L. Pevey, St. Joseph’s, 13:12. 3. K. Mayer, Mt. Carmel, 13:24. 4. M. Mitchell, Our Lady of Mercy, 13:30. 5. I. Hemb, Mt. Carmel, 13:41.