It was a close call last season, but St. Louis Catholic ran away with the Division II girls indoor track and field championship Sunday at LSU's Carl Maddox Field House.
"The difficulty of being a state champion is significant and being able to do it in consecutive years, I don't know if I have the words to describe it," St. Louis head coach Johnny Giordano said. "It is a testimony to our kids and the dedication they have to the program. They have endured a lot more than the norm between COVID, hurricanes, and the ice storm. Because of what transpired between the COVID and storms, our area was obliterated. Track gave these kids an outlet and give them something to look forward to."
St. Louis scored 83 points to easily beat runner up Episcopal-Baton Rouge by 24 points, but it wasn't till midway through the meet that the Saints were able to take the lead.
In third place after eight events, the Saints scored 52 points over the next five events — 400 meter dash, 4x800, 60 hurdles and 60 dash — to take a commanding 23 points lead over Parkview Baptist, who ended up finishing third.
"They were all tired, but that series of events really made a difference," Giordano said. "Everyone did what they were expected to do or exceeded that. There were so many great performances. It was a team win."
Senior Halyn Senegal won the 400 (59.51) and 800 (2:23.19), placed second in the 60 sprint (7.94) and was part of the winning 4x400 (4:08.56) relay team.
Sophomore Kenzie Touchet also had a big impact with third place finishes in the 400 (1:00.71) and 60 hurdles (9.89), plus she was a part of the top 4x200 and 4x400 relay teams.
In the boys' Division II, Lake Charles College Prep finished fourth with 37 points led by wins in the 4x200 and 4x400 relay and Thaddeus Campbell's third place in the triple jump (41-7 1/4). Campbell, Dillon Simon, Trevonte Citizen and Jarell Joseph ran a 1:33.13 in the 4x200 while Ward, Campbell, Citizen and Joseph posted a 3:37.87 in the 4x400, winning both events by more than a second.
The St. Louis boys were fifth with 22 points. Josh Orsot was the runner up in the 400 (51.79), and the Saints placed third in the 4x200 (1:34.93) and 4x400 (3:42.78).