Times are improving a month into the cross country season, and the St. Paul’s-Covington duo of Zachary Albright and Kramer Jackson did it again by claiming the top two spots in a major meet at Highland Road Park.
Albright covered the three-mile course in 15 minutes, 29 seconds to win the boys title at the St. Joseph’s Academy Invitational Saturday. Jackson was second in 15:30. That duo also finished 1-2 four weeks ago in St. Michael the Archangel’s 16th Bayou Boogie Invitational in the season opener for most teams. Eight boys runners finished under 17 minutes in the Bayou Boogie, while 24 did Saturday.
On the girls side, no runners were under 20 minutes in the Bayou Boogie, but eight were Saturday. Three girls runners were under 21 minutes at the Bayou Boogie and 19 bettered that time Saturday.
“Our goal is to finish 1-2 in every meet,” Albright said. “It was an exciting race. Our St. Paul’s team is really coming around, and we’ve won every meet this season.”
Top-ranked in the Class 5A-3A poll, St. Paul’s lived up to its billing and took the boys team title with 49 points. Episcopal, the top-ranked Class 2A and below boys team, was second with 90. Catholic earned third with 108.
Episcopal senior Christian Johnson (15:33) and junior Bryan Stamey (16:03) set personal records at Highland and finished third and fourth, respectively.
“I’m very happy for Christian and Bryan,” EHS coach Claney Duplechin said. “Both work very hard in practice. St. Paul’s has a good team. We’re trying to run with them and eventually stay with them.”
“I was pleased with my time,” Johnson said. “I had the lead briefly on the second mile. I really like running against the St. Paul’s guys. It’ll only make me better as we get closer to state.”
University’s Hank Patrick was sixth in 16:19. Keith Aldrich (16:33) was 11th for Catholic. Cody Favaro (16:39, 17th), Joseph St. Cyr (16:40, 18th) and James Claitor (17:00, 25th) helped pace Catholic.
“It’s still early in the season, and we’re still searching for our identity,” Catholic coach Pete Boudreaux said.
Episcopal’s Ben Murrey (16:44) was 21st.
SJA won the girls team title with 75 points. SJA’s Mary LaHaye (20:07, 9th), Sarah Leblanc (20:31, 13th), Elise Richard (20:34, 14th), Laurie Lyon and Annabelle Laville all finished in the top 22.
“I was just happy we went out and competed hard,” SJA coach Sam Young said. “I was busy running the meet and didn’t get to coach the girls as much as usual. They really stepped up on their own.”
Mount Carmel Academy was second with 98 points, and the St. Michael girls were third with 134.
Mandeville freshman Olivia Murphy set a personal record and was the girls winner in 19:02. St. Thomas More’s Hannah Bourque was second in 19:11. St. Michael senior Haley Gregoire (19:55) was seventh and teammate Allie Stone (20:09) was 10th. Mandeville’s Kylie Touchard (19:44) was sixth.
Episcopal’s Alex Dunbar won the boys junior high two-mile race in 10:59. Annie Hill of St. Aloysius won the girls junior high race in a time of 11:53.
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