Schools from Livingston Parish recently wrapped up competition in the Denham Springs High School's third annual Yellow Jacket Dash at North Park last Saturday and Episcopal's Round Table Run at Highland Road Park on Sept 10.
DSHS coach Andy McLean said this was by far the best conditions for the race course compared to previous years.
“The first year, we were setting up in the rain and one of the bridges was out, so we had to include a lot of turns," he said. "Last year, Hurricane Ida came through, and we had to manage around some downed trees and muddy areas. With the dry days we have had, the course is as dry as it can be and the grass is cut short like we want it.”
In the Yellow Jacket Dash girls’ race, junior Cayden Boudreaux of Albany was the top parish finisher, placing third overall (20:08).
Albany coach Brentney Carroll said she was hoping for a faster time but they “are trying some new things out and seeing what is working and what is not working.”
The rest of Albany’s top five included Stormy Williams (17th, 22:48), Briana Watts (22nd, 23:34), Amelia Chesney (65th, 28:31) and Renee Starns (70th, 29:55).
Carroll pointed out that for some of her runners, this was their first three-mile run.
“They truly shocked themselves coming from running only two miles to now in high school running three miles," she said.
The Live Oak girls had two runners in the top 10 -- seniors Brooke Fontenot (9th, 21:25) and Sylvia White (10th, 21:39). The duo helped lead the Eagles to a sixth-place finish.
Their top five also included Elizabeth Flurry (43rd, 25:39), Abigail Hodges (46th, 25:47) and Elizabeth Cutbirth (59th, 27:44).
The Lady Jackets showed improvement from the previous week by finishing third overall as they continued to run together with their top five running just over a minute of one another.
DSHS was led by junior Cate Duckworth (18th, 22:49), who was followed by Alexus Durost (19th, 23:01), Kayleigh Ellis (21st, 23:27), Victoria Durost (26th, 23:50) and Harvest Eli (28th, 24:01).
McLean was pleased with their performance.
“The girls ran great, several of them ran their best race and they continued to push each other," he said. "Our top five stayed almost within a minute of one another. Hopefully we can keep that going this season.”
Dutchtown was the team champion, led by Isabella Legarth, who placed first overall in 19:19.
On the boys’ side, Live Oak was the top team from the parish, placing fifth out of 13 teams with 132 points.
The Eagles were led by Ben Cutbirth (17:39), who placed 14th overall. He was followed by Mason Hutto (20th, 17:49), Caleb Browning (21st, 17:55), Luke Pemberton (37th, 18:41) and Micah Montgomery (45th, 19:25).
Albany was the next team from the parish, placing ninth with 279 points, led by Nolan McClain, who placed 36th with a time of 18:39. He was followed by Antoine Taylor (40th, 18:50), Jack DePaula (52nd, 19:39), Abe Director (95th, 22:59) and Mason Smith (105th, 25:36).
It was Albany's first meet for the whole team, and Carroll said the meet was a good gauge.
“The team overall knows now what it is going to take and is ready to level up to be the best they can this season," she said.
Denham Springs’ boys finished 10th overall with 290 points.
The Yellow Jackets were led by Connor Lazzell, who placed 42nd (19:03), followed by Carson Scott (51st, 19:34), Hunter Steiger (73rd, 20:44), Keegan Cambre (79th, 21:09) and David Dunlap (88th, 21:53).
EPISCOPAL ROUND TABLE RUN
On Saturday, Sept. 10, several area high schools competed in Episcopal High School’s 44th Annual Varsity Sports Round Table Run at Highland Road Park, which was one of the largest races in the event’s history. Despite the rain over the previous weeks, the course dried out significantly by race time.
On the girls’ side there were 27 complete teams and 243 runners in the varsity race.
Senior Avery Guidry from Walker High School was the top parish finisher in 26th place (20:30) with teammate Ava Pitarro finishing 33rd overall (20:46). The one-two punch combo led the Lady Cats to a top-10 finish in ninth place, just one point ahead of Dutchtown.
The rest of the top five included Tamara Fonseca (69th, 22:12), Candilynn Vega (76th, 22:26), and Addison Owen (24:02).
First-year coach Matthew Edwards was pleased with how the team performed, giving credit to their work ethic and support of one another.
“The biggest thing that stood out to me was their support of one another and their drive to make each other better," he said. "Even in a competition, they are pushing one another to try and be just a little bit faster and push the pace just a little but more. Clearly their training and coaching from the last few years and over this summer has prepared them well to do what they are doing, along with their work ethic and internal drive.”
Live Oak’s Sylvia White was also able to get into the top 50 with a time of 21:18 (42nd).
The senior led the Live Oak’s girls to a 23rd-overall finish with the rest of their top five including: Abigail Hodges (161st, 25:40), Elizabeth Flurry (173rd, 26:06), Kylee Robinson (191st, 26:44) and Elizabeth Cutbirth (202nd, 27:33).
New Live Oak coach Will Rossman said the season has started off well, and the team looks to improve over the coming weeks.
“We hope to continue our team’s speed and general success as we head deeper into the season," he said.
The Denham Springs girls finished 17th overall, led by Alexus Durost, who finished 102nd overall (23:15).
The top team's top finishers came in under a minute of each other with Victoria Durost (114th, 23:40), Cate Duckworth (121st, 23:54), Kayleigh Ellis (122nd, 23:54), and Harvest Eli (133rd, 24:10).
DSHS coach Andy McLean was pleased with how the Lady Jackets ran together and hopes they’ll improve together as the season progresses.
“Overall, I’d like to see them a little bit faster, but the first race at Highland is always a lot," he said. "It’s great to have our top five finish in under a minute of one another. Hopefully they see the importance of that and continue to push each other.”
St. Joseph’s Academy was the team champion with a low score of 34 points. Sisters Lucy Cramer (18:09) and Molly Cramer (18:12) of Episcopal High School were the top individuals.
Like the girls, Walker’s boys had a one-two punch with senior Jacob Kennedy (12th, 16:15) and sophomore Peyton Levy (15th, 16:32) getting into the top 15.
As a team, Walker finished in sixth place out of 35 teams. The rest of the team’s top five included Lawson Borne (50th, 17:26), Carson Boyer (59th, 17:34) and Jordan Robinson (96th, 18:18).
Live Oak’s boys finished 23rd overall with junior Mason Hutto (101st, 18:20) leading the way. The rest of their top five included Ben Cutbirth (118th, 18:36), Caleb Browning (120th, 18:38), Luke Pemberton (145th, 18:59), and Micah Montgomery (158th, 19:21).
Denham Springs’ boys finished 34th as a team, which included Carson Scott (196th, 20:03), Connor Lazzell (219th, 20:33), Hunter Steiger (238th, 21:03), Keegan Cambre (269th, 21:53), and Jaelon Carter (278th, 22:15).
Catholic High won the team champion with a score of 58 points with junior Drake Breland of Belle Chasse as the individual champion (15:48).
Several of the parish teams will be back at Highland Road Park next Saturday, October 1, for St. Joseph’s Academy Cross Country Invitational. All the parish teams will meet at North Park on Thursday, October 20, for the Livingston Parish Cross Country Championship.