Local teams fare well at state meet


Several local high school swimming teams flocked to Sulphur last week with hopes of winning big at the Louisiana High School Athletic Association State Swimming Championships.

While no local team brought home a team state title, the local swimmers had some of the best finishes in the state.

The team that came the closest to a state title was E.D. White Catholic's boys squad, which captured the Division III state runner-up trophy with a second-place finish behind champion St. Charles Catholic on Nov. 15.

E.D. White and St. Charles Catholic were tied in total points with each other heading into the final event of the meet, but the Comets pulled out a close victory in the boys' 400-yard freestyle relay to finish with 278 total points to the Cardinals' 272.

E.D. White swimming coach Christina Lasserre said the final race went down to the wire, with St. Charles Catholic winning it with a time of 3 minutes, 26.59 seconds compared to E.D. White's 3:27.07.

"We really gave them a run for their money," Lassere said. "We didn't let them just take it. They had to work for it. I think the boys wanted it bad, so it hurt a little bit, but at the same time, our boys team have never been this good before. The talent we had this year was phenomenal, and they know they did everything they could. I'm so proud everything that they accomplished."

E.D. White's girls team finished fifth overall in the Division III standings with 153 points.

Another local school that fared well at the state meet was South Lafourche, which got two third-place finishes from its boys and girls squads in the Division II standings on Saturday.

South Lafourche's boys team placed third overall with 196 points, which trailed only Division II state champion Ruston (289) and state runner-up Holy Cross (259). South Lafourche's girls team finished with 204 points, which were behind champion St. Scholastica (479 points) and runner-up Baton Rouge High (222.5).

"We had to be focused coming in," South Lafourche coach Corey Callais said. "We wanted to reach the Top 3 in both, and we achieved our goals. Our kids really stepped. I had a lot of new swimmers that never really experienced the state meet, and those kids came out and did an outstanding job. We left everything in the pool. I'm so proud of their effort. We represented our school and our community really well."

Vandebilt Catholic's swim team saw two of its championship streaks end during the Division III state meet on Thursday.

Vandebilt's girls team (203,5 points) placed third overall in the Division III standings behind champion Episcopal (307) and runner-up St. Charles Catholic (231), which snapped the Lady Terriers' eight-year state championship win streak.

"Eight years is a long run, but we knew that at some point, it was going to come to an end," Vandebilt coach Duane Ring said.

Vandebilt's boys team, which entered this year's state meet as a two-time defending state champion, finished fourth in Division III standings with 207 points.

Ring, who just finished her 18th season as Vandebilt's coach, said it was a rebuilding year for both her teams, but she was pleased with how they competed against tough competition.

"My swimmers did their best, so for that, I have no regrets," Ring said. "As long as they did their best, I can't complain."

Several other local teams placed in the final team standings at the state meet.

In Division I, Central Lafourche's girls team was 18th with eight points, and Terrebonne's girls was 19th with four points.

In Division II, South Terrebonne's girls placed 11th with 70.5 points, and Ellender's girls tied for 17th with 13 points. South Terrebonne's boys team took 12th with 48 points.

Here's a look at how the Top 5 finishers in each event fared at the state meet.

DIVISION II

SOUTH LAFOURCHE BOYS

South Lafourche's 200-yard medley relay team, which consisted of Nicholas Guidry, Cody Guidry, Bryant Eymard and Brody Eymard, set the tone on Saturday by winning the state title with a first-place finish time of 1:36.65.

The Tarpons' 200-yard freestyle relay team of Nicholas Guidry, Dominic Pitre, Taylor Keller and Brody Eymard placed third with a time of 1:36.65.

Nicholas Guidry placed second in the 200-individual medley (2:11.52) and second in the 100-meter breaststroke (1:05.94).

Brody Eymard placed fourth in 50-yard freestyle (23.97), and Bryant Eymard took fifth in the 100-yard butterfly (1:00.38).

SOUTH LAFOURCHE GIRLS

The Lady Tarpons had two relay teams that captured state runner-up finishes.

The 200-medley relay team of Jordan Galliano, Natalie Dufrene, Kasey Zeringue and Janie Gauthreaux placed second (2:06.82), and the 200-yard freestyle relay team of Galliano, Brinkley Callais, Zeringue and Gauthreaux finished second at 1:15.17.

Galliano finished third in the 100-yard butterfly (1:07.63) and fifth in the 100-yard backstroke (1:09.37), while Zeringue was fifth in the 50-yard freestyle at 26.99.

SOUTH TERREBONNE GIRLS

South Terrebonne's Payton Gold placed second in the girls' 100-yard freestyle (59.67) and third in the 50-yard freestyle (26.73), while Micaiah Richie took fifth in the 500-yard freestyle (6:48.15).

DIVISION III

E.D. WHITE BOYS

E.D. White's boys won the state title in the 200-freestyle relay with a time of 1:33.21, consisting of Ken Toloudis, Nicholas Rathle, Challenge Talbot and Jay Danos.

The Cardinals also took second in the 400-yard freestyle relay (3:27.07).

Max Cowen placed fourth in the 200-yard freestyle at 1:58.74, and Rathle took home third in the 200-yard individual medley at 2:09.79.

In the boys 50-yard freestyle, Danos won the event at 22.49, and Talbot took second at 23.06. In the boys 100-yard freestyle, Danos finished second (51.08) and Talbot was fifth (51.93).

Toloudis placed third in the 100-yard butterfly (55.74) and in the 100-backstroke (1:01.28).

E.D. WHITE GIRLS

Gabrielle Naquin placed fifth in the 200-yard IM (2:25.49), and E.D. White's girls 200-yard freestyle relay took fourth at 1:51.28.

VANDEBILT BOYS

Elie McRae, a senior, brought home first-place finishes in the 100-yard butterfly (53.69) and the 100-yard breaststroke (59.81) for the Terriers.

Vandebilt finished second in the 200-yard medley relay at 1:45.26 and was third in the 200-yard freestyle relay (1.33.95).

Reese Dantin claimed fourth-place in the 500-yard freestyle (6:04.31).

VANDEBILT GIRLS

The Lady Terriers took second in the 400-yard freestyle relay (3:54.98), fourth in the 200-yard medley relay (2:00.12) and fifth in the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:51.93).

Francoise Bourgeois tied for fourth in the 100-yard freestyle at 58.71.

Lani Rousse was fourth in the 100-yard backstroke (1:06.01).

For the complete list of state swimming results, visit either www.lhsaa.org or www.spartanswimming.com.>