Zachary Albright leads St. Paul’s to win in Bayou Boogie Classic

There was a repeat champion on the boys side, while St. Joseph’s Academy freshman Annie Hill was impressive in her varsity debut as the cross country season opened Saturday morning at Highland Road Park in Baton Rouge.

St. Paul’s senior Zachary Albright won the three-mile boys title in 15 minutes, 28.75 seconds in the 15th Bayou Boogie Classic. Albright won two races at Highland last season, including the Bayou Boogie.

“It’s going to be a fun year,” Albright said. “I was pleased with my time and more importantly we think our team is going to be very good. We want to win state this year. It’s our year.”

St. Paul’s won the boys title with 35 points. Catholic was second with 59, followed by Episcopal (85) and Ascension Catholic (141).

St. Paul’s had four finishers in the top 10, including Eric Coston (16:06.50) in third place. Episcopal’s Bryan Stamey (16:10.50) was fourth, Ascension Catholic’s Zach Capello (16:18.69) was sixth, Catholic’s Jeffrey Kelly was seventh, University’s Hank Patrick was ninth and Ascension Catholic’s Jesse Hood was 10th.

“I was really pleased with the way our guys stepped up,” Catholic coach Pete Boudreaux said. “Jeffrey Kelly ran a good race. St. Paul’s is loaded and looked very good.”

St. Joseph’s Academy won the girls title with 45 points. The Redstickers had five finishers in the top 15, including Andree’ Laville (20:23.93) who was sixth.

Menard was a close second with 48 points. Menard’s Mallory Robichaux (19:37.03), Grace Ahrens (20:30.06) and Mallory Bartow (20:31.28) were third, seventh and eighth, respectively.

“We feel like this is our year,” Menard coach Wally Smith said. “We have the most runners ever in our program with 50 on the boys and girls teams. We’re healthy.”

The Newman girls were third, Episcopal fourth and St. Michael fifth.

St. Joseph’s Hill finished in a 19:1.72 in her first varsity race on a muddy course. Hill won several junior high races for St. Aloysius on the two-mile course at Highland.

“I didn’t know what to expect with this being my first varsity race,” Hill said. “I did good in a scrimmage here last week. I went out faster than I wanted in the first mile. I think I can get my time under 19 minutes. It was a good start.”

“Annie Hill ran an amazing race for a freshman,” said St. Michael senior Haley Gregoire, who was second in 19:12.09. “I ran a personal record today and think we have the team to win state again. I think Annie and I will push each other to run faster this season.”

SJA first-year coach in Mark LaHaye, who took over when Sam Young retired. “Our girls did really well today,” LaHaye said. “Annie ran the same time as in the scrimmage and the course was more difficult today with the mud. I think she can go faster.”

Episcopal freshman Alicia Stamey (20:23.59) was fifth.