St. Joseph’s wins title; Jesuit edges Catholic

SULPHUR — It was a record-setting day and a championship day for St. Joseph’s Academy.

The Redstickers set state records in all three relays while winning their second straight Division I title to close the Louisiana High School Athletic Association Swimming Championships on Saturday.

“Definitely the relays … they stand out,” St. Joseph’s coach Rebecca Barber said. “We got the records and All-American consideration.

“We came in with the thought that it was possible, but I never thought we could get all three. The momentum of the team, once that first relay swam, carried on throughout the meet.”

SJA finished with 492 points to claim top honors ahead of Northshore-Slidell (288) and Mandeville (268).

Meanwhile, Jesuit, of New Orleans, won the Division I boys title with 393, ahead of 2011 champion Catholic High (373). Northshore (163) edged Mandeville (162) for third.

“No individual wins, but all these guys stepped up,” Jesuit coach Bret Hanemann said. “Luckily we had enough depth. We only have four seniors and it was a matter of freshmen and sophomores stepping up and propelling us over the top.”

Covington’s St. Scholastica (girls) and Ruston (boys) won Division II titles during the morning session at the SPAR Aquatic Center.

St. Joseph’s won the first relay, the 200-yard medley, in 1 minute, 48.57 seconds to set the first record. The Redstickers then set records in the 200 (1:37.13) and 400 freestyle relays (3:32.81).

Mary Claire Beaver and Cameron Balkom were individual winners for SJA. Beaver won the 100 freestyle (52.32) and Balkom won the 100 breaststroke (1:05.96). Beaver also was second in the 100 freestyle. SJA’s Victoria Padial (100 backstroke) also finished in second place.

After 10 events, SJA had 215 points and led second-place Mandeville by 101 points.

The Division I boys competition was intense from the start. Catholic made a key move on the boys side by taking the top three spots in the 200 freestyle. Colin Bone won in 1:44.26 to lead the move. Bone later won the 500 freestyle (4:46.02). The only other boys double winner was Northshore’s Shawn Paretti, who won the 50 (21.30) and 100 free (46.55).

Catholic held an early 14-point lead on Jesuit. By the time eight events were done, Jesuit pulled ahead 144-140. Brady Grenfell won the 100 butterfly and through 10 events Jesuit led Catholic by one point — 175-174. Then Jesuit started to pull away and led 263-237 through 14 events.

“All the credit is due to my guys,” Catholic coach Doug Logsdon said. “We made up 50 points from the psyche sheet. We had two relays and three kids that won championships. I’m thrilled with the effort they gave. Everybody swam faster and moved up. I couldn’t be prouder.”

The relay records were three of five set on the day. Fontainebleau’s Kara Kopcso set a Division I record in winning the 200 individual medley in 2:03.73 and broke her Division I and composite marks in the 100 butterfly in 55.43 seconds.

Dutchtown’s Alyssa Dilldine won the girls 200 (1:52.37) and was second in the 500 freestyle among the Baton Rouge contingent.

St. Scholastica won its second straight Division II girls title in the morning session by scoring 479 points. Baton Rouge High was second at 222.5 with South Lafourche taking third at 204.

“This was our biggest goal – all the girls we brought to the meet scored,” St. Scholastica coach Chris Prator said. “Some of them had to move up a good bit to do i,t and they did. They did best times. Even though they knew they were set up to win, they never got complacent.”

St. Scholastica had double winners in Madeleine Rawls and Kristen Jennings. Caddo Magnet’s Marin Tichenor was the other girls double winner.

Rawls won the 200 IM (2:16.03) and the 100 freestyle (54.89). Jennings won the 100 butterfly (1:01.24) and the 100 backstroke (1:00.91). Tichenor swept the 200 (2:02.20) and 500 (5:20.39) freestyle races. Emily Prieto (50 freestyle) was SSA’s other individual winner.

Kara Ye, who was second in the 200 IM, was a top individual finisher for the Bulldogs, who placed second in the 400 freestyle relay and third in the 200 freestyle relay.

“We were 39 points down and stepped it up,” Baton Rouge High coach George Newport said. “This is the first meet I’ve been in where we had everybody make it to either consols or finals except for one girl, and she missed it by seven-hundreths. We swam great and had a great meet.”

Ruston won the Division II boys division with 289 points, finishing ahead of New Orleans-based Holy Cross (259)

“We have a very young team … we only have four seniors,” Holy Cross coach Dale Turner said. “We have four guys who had never swam in a championship meet before in their life.”

They stepped up to the plate. It’s a team championship; it doesn’t always take individuals to win.”

Ruston’s Morgan Meyer and Zack Begnaud, of Natchitoches Central, were the boys double winners. Meyer won the 200 (1:47.24) and 100 (47.99) freestyles, while Begnaud won the 500 freestyle (5:02.43) and 100 backstroke (56.60).