It was a good day for local runners at the sun-splashed Episcopal Round Table Run on Saturday at Highland Road Park.
Freshman Annie Hill of St. Joseph’s Academy won the varsity girls three-mile race, Episcopal’s Bryan Stamey finished first in the boys varsity division, Catholic High took the boys crown, and St. Joseph’s finished second in the girls competition.
Hill, who finished in a personal record time of 18 minutes, 37.53 seconds and St. Michael’s Haley Gregoire (18:46.91) were the only Baton Rouge area girls to finish in the top 10, with Addie Burleigh of Catholic of Pointe Coupee finishing 11th and Amber Ferguson of Denham Springs in the 13th spot in the race that attracted nearly 1,500 runners.
Holy Savior Menard of Alexandria topped St. Joseph’s 84-120 for the girls title. Dominican finished third, followed by Mandeville, St. Scholastica of Covington, and 1A Catholic of Pointe Coupee in sixth place.
Jeffrey Kelley, in sixth place, was the top finisher for Catholic High, but the Bears placed their five top runners in the top 25 including James Claitor (12th), Pierce Hill (21st), Lawrence Elkins (22nd) and David Toups (25th) to edge second-place John Curtis 83-99.
Jesuit (115) and Brother Martin (138) finished in third and fourth ahead of host Episcopal with 160 points.
“We don’t have that guy that’s maybe going to challenge for the top position, but we’ve got guys we think can move into the top 10 or 15 or 20. We had a few (runners) struggle today, but fortunately we had some others step up and take their place,” Catholic coach Pete Boudreaux said. “It’s one of those seasons, and that’s the way we’re going to have to do it.”
Meet director Claney Duplechin said the times were good for an early-season meet despite Friday night’s thunderstorms that disrupted high school football games and softened the Highland Road Park course.
“It was rough today. It was pretty muddy,” Hill said after her win in the girls race. She still reached the goal she had set for herself.
“I was going for 18:45 and I ran 18:37,” Hill said. “The first mile I tried to be patient and just stay in the back of the pack. On the first hill at the start of the second mile I tried to make my way to the front. I stayed at the front with a couple of girls and made my move at the start of the last mile.”
The win was a special one for boys champion Stamey, who had finished fourth at St. Michael’s Bayou Boogie.
“It’s our meet and I love our team and our coaches, and everyone comes out to support us,” Stamey said. “I had a personal record by about 20 seconds. I like to just keep my pace going and not worry what the other runners are doing. I’m better at sprinting than I used to be, but distance is still my best thing, just keep it going.”
Zach Capello of 1A state champion Ascension Catholic finished third in 15:42.56, Hank Patrick of University High logged 16:17.03 for seventh place, and Leo Frilot of Baton Rouge High took 11th place with a run of 16:30.75.
The Round Table Run is the second of the four major cross country invitationals in Baton Rouge, following St. Michael’s Bayou Boogie Classic last weekend. Still on the calendar are the St. Joseph’s meet Sept. 27 and the Catholic High invitational Oct. 5.
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