E.D. White looks to repeat at state meet

The E.D. White Catholic cross country teams are hoping history repeats itself on Tuesday.

Last season, E.D. White went to the Louisiana High School Athletic Association's state cross country meet with aspirations of sweeping the team titles. When the meet ended, E.D. White accomplished its goal by winning the boys and girls state championships.

On Tuesday, the E.D. White boys and girls cross country teams will try to make it two state championships in a row at the annual state meet, which will be held at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches.

"It's hard to win a state championship, much less do it with boys and girls," E.D White coach Don Grabert said. "I like our times, and I like we have a chance to repeat as state champions for both teams."

The state meet begins today with competition in Classes 2A, 1A, B and C and will continue on Tuesday with champions crowned in Class 3A, 4A and 5A. Tuesday's meet begins at 11 a.m. with the 3A girls meet and will be followed by the 4A girls (11:45 a.m.), 5A girls (12:30 p.m.), 3A boys (1:15 p.m.), 4A boys (2 p.m.) and 5A boys (2:45 p.m.).

E.D. White heads into the state meet with some momentum after cruising to another District 7-3A title. It was the school's 65th overall district title (31 boys and 34 girls).

Ian Coates led the Cardinals' boys contingent after strong showings in many meets this season, including a district championship. He earned all-state honors last season after finishing fourth in the 2011 state meet.

Other top runners for the Cardinals are John Stafford, Devin Turner, Stephen Boudreaux and Quentin Landry.

Olivia Coffman returns for the Lady Cardinals after finishing as the Class 3A runner-up last season, but she missed several meets this season because of an injury. Coffman, however, is scheduled to compete at Tuesday's state meet.

In Coffman's absence, several other runners stepped it up for the Lady Cardinals. Emily Sauce led the E.D. White girls by winning the District 7-3A title, and she was followed by Courtney Troxclair, Mimi Guidry, Adeline Labat and Emily Boudreaux.

"With the girls team having a chance to repeat is pretty impressive," Grabert said. "Several of our top runners from last year did not compete because of either injury or deciding not to run. We've had some girls come in to replace them, and they have not missed a beat."

Grabert said both teams are ready for Tuesday's state championship meet, but repeating will not be easy as several teams will be looking to dethrone the Cardinals and Lady Cardinals. Buckeye and West Feliciana are expected to challenge on the boys side, while the competition in the girls meet will come from Buckeye and Jewel Sumner.

Even with tough competition, Grabert said his teams will be ready.

"I like how we've run the past few meets, and our team have been comparable to other schools around the state," he said "If we can continue doing it, I believe we will have another shot to repeat as state champions."

E.D. White is not the only local school that has a chance to make some noise at the state meet.

The Vandebilt Catholic girls team is expected to challenge in Class 4A after posting some impressive showings throughout the season, including a District 8-4A championship. The Lady Terriers finished sixth in last season's state meet.

"Our girls team has been looking really well," Vandebilt coach David Malone said. "We've been competing at the highest level around the area, and we went to some of the bigger meets in Baton Rouge and did well. I think we are looking good, but there will be a lot of competition. Hopefully we can have our best race of the year and come out on top."

Leading the way for the Lady Terrier throughout the season has been Alexis Breaux. She won ever local race this season, including last week's District 8-4A meet, and fared well in some big races in Baton Rouge.

Breaux may be looking for a little redemption after a disappointing finish in last season's state meet. She was sick at the 2012 state meet and placed 49th overall.

Malone said Breaux has a chance to place in the Top 10, earning all-state honors, and could contend for the individual title.

"Obviously, our goal and her goal is to get her to win the whole thing," he said. "But she knows that she will be going against the best competition in 4A, so she is realistic and know that if she runs her race and doesn't let the mental part of it get to her, she has a good chance."

Other individuals coming off strong showings at the district meets and could fare well at the state meet include the Assumption's Jacod Daigle (District 8-4A boys champion), South Lafourche's Brandon Brunet (District 7-5A boys champion) and Central Lafourche's Brooke Picou (District 7-5A girls champion).