St. Louis’ Appleton wins state cross country title in record time

Rodrick Anderson

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, and a pair of destructive hurricanes, St. Louis Catholic senior Ivan Appleton stayed focused on setting a state record and winning another state cross country title.

Appleton not only broke the Class 3A record Tuesday at Northwestern State in Natchitoches, he smashed it by nearly 20 seconds. And he needed every bit of it to win his second state championship in three seasons.

“I definitely didn’t expect to do it by 19 seconds,” Appleton said. “It was extremely tough.

“My house took a lot of damage, and other kids on my team had a lot of damage. The coaches were still finding us meets and finding us support. We were going to people’s houses helping. It was a really good community effort by St. Louis to get us back to normal as soon as possible.”

E.D. White’s Braedon Methvin finished right on Appleton’s heals, less than 2 seconds back. Appleton finished in 15 minutes, 27.9 seconds, beating the old record of 15:45.8 set last season by Loyola Prep’s Will Dart, while Methvin crossed the line in 15:29.6. Appleton finished second to Dart last season.

“(Methvin) is a fantastic runner,” Appleton said. “I knew we would be close together.

“My goal was to sit behind him and kick at the end. Braedon really picked up the pace on the last mile. I was kind of nervous. When we hit the hill, I felt him give a little, and that was my cue to take it.”

Appleton was in fourth after the first mile and moved up to second by the second mile, 0.7 seconds behind Methvin, before finishing the race with his fastest mile of the day, 5:05.6.

The St. Louis boys finished fifth while the girls placed third, led by a pair of top-10 finishes by Ella Segura (7th, 20:00.9) and Ashleigh Tassin (10th, 20:28.9).

On Monday at the Class 2A girls meet, Lake Arthur’s Deonna Brister (19:49.6) placed fifth while Rosepine’s Sophia Jeffers (20:13.2) placed ninth to lead the Eagles to a sixth-place team finish. The Rosepine boys also finished fifth.

In Class B, the Lacassine girls placed third with 122 points behind champion Episcopal of Acadiana (24) and runner-up Christ Episcopal

(37). Lacassine’s boys team placed seventh.

Blaine Picou (23:25.4) placed seventh to lead the Hackberry girls to a third-place finish in Class C while the boys team placed sixth.St. Louis Catholic’s Ivan Appleton won his second cross country individual state champion on Tuesday at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches.

Rodrick Anderson/American Press