Title hopefuls jockey for spots in preliminaries at state swimming meet

SULPHUR — Teams from Baton Rouge and New Orleans moved into position to compete for titles on the first day of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s Swimming Championships at the SPAR Aquatic Center.

Defending champion Newman-New Orleans was among the Division IV teams who performed well in preliminary heats on Wednesday morning.

St. Charles Catholic-LaPlace, Houma’s Vandebilt Catholic, Thibodaux’s E.D. White Catholic and Baton Rouge’s Episcopal were among the top performers in the afternoon preliminary session for Division III.

The finals for Division IV begin at 9:30 a.m. Thursday. Division III finals are set for 3:30 p.m.

There was a Division IV record set by Westminster Christian’s Silas DeJean, who won the boys 100-yard breaststroke prelim in 57.86 seconds, breaking a 2002 record set by Runnels’ Joc Christiana. DeJean had the top 50 freestyle time of 22.49.

Newman’s Angele Cherbonnier also posted top times in two girls Division IV prelims, recording times of 24.90 in the 50 freestyle and 1:13.49 in the 100 breaststroke. Ditto that for Episcopal School of Acadiana’s Anna Buttaci (200 individual medley in 2:18.24; 100 butterfly in 1:02.65).

Newman competitors with top Division IV marks included Patrick Riess (100 backstroke), Harry Browne (200 freestyle), Alexander Bahat (200 IM) and Helena Keyes (100 backstroke).

St. Charles’ Gage Alleman, Vandebilt’s Elie McRae and E.D. White’s Jay Danos posted top times in two events in the Division III boys prelims.

Danos was first in the 50 (22.47) and 100 freestyles (51.23). Alleman was first the 200 IM (2:00.92) and 100 backstroke (55.48). McRae had the top times in the 100 butterfly (54.01) and 100 breaststroke (1:02.06).

Baton Rouge girls competitors with top Division III marks include Episcopal’s Anna Singletary (100 freestyle), University’s Emily Rush (100 backstroke) and Parkview Baptist’s Danielle Miles (200 freestyle). PBS’ John Miller (200 freestyle) had a top boys time.