SCHRIEVER -- It stopped raining long enough Wednesday afternoon for a number of local prep runners to race at the Houma Christian Cross Country Meet.
In the end, Covenant Christian Academy claimed the girls team title with four runners finishing in the Top 10.
The Lady Lions took first place with 61 points, followed by Vandebilt (65), Central Lafourche (95), Houma Christian (117), Destrehan (120) and H.L. Bourgeois (195).
“They came out, believed in themselves and the practices we’ve been doing. They really finished strong,” Covenant Christian coach Lucas Curole said. “They had goals about where they wanted to finish in the race. They really pushed themselves mentally and physically. It was a tough race.”
Ascension Catholic dominated the boys competition, earning the team title with 56 points.
Terrebonne placed second with 76 points, and South Terrebonne was third with 92, followed by Thibodaux (125), Houma Christian (156), Central Lafourche (184), South Lafourche (187), Lutcher (196), Destrehan (206), H.L. Bourgeois (235), Berwick (252) and Vandebilt Catholic (279).
“We have not raced in 10 days. So I was pleased with the way things turned out,” Terrebonne coach Marty Collins said. “Alex Pontiff and Kye Comeaux are the strong leaders of my team. It’s like having two assistant coaches because they take care of the team. They decide what the practice is going to be that day. They’re worthy of the job.”
Houma Christian’s Emma Bourg and Thibodaux High’s Luke Sweatman cruised to easy victories in the girls and boys 3-mile varsity races.
Bourg led the girls race nearly the entire way, winning in 21 minutes, 25 seconds. Ascension Catholic’s Haley Dupre finished second in 21:57, and Covenant Christian’s Jolie Schexnayder placed third at 21:59.
“Lately, it’s been hard to get back into shape. I wasn’t really happy with my time,” Bourg said. “On the levee it was pretty dry, but in the back area, it was all mud. It was hard to keep the pace I wanted without someone challenging me to do what I can actually do.”
Sweatman bolted to the lead from the start and never let up, winning in 17:33.
Ascension Catholic’s Chase Walker finished second in 17:55, and Houma Christian’s Cameron Kerley placed third in 17:59.
“I’m happy to win. I felt I could have run better, but the mud slowed things down,” Sweatman said. “It was hard without someone else to push the pace. I hoped competition would be stronger.”
With all the rain and thunderstorms that have befallen the area, it’s been tough for runners and coaches to get into a rhythm.
“I’m just glad we got a race in. Cross country has had a rough time trying to get a race week after week,” Collins said. “I don’t think I’ve ever had to cancel practice so many times in my 13 years of coaching cross country. We’re all terrain. This doesn’t scare anybody to go run in the mud, but the big concern is lightning.”
At the midpoint of the season, Curole thinks the reigning Class 1A state runners-up are hitting their collective stride.
“We lost are top runner in Emma (Bourg). We still have four girls in the Top 10 as of right now,” he said. “We’re staying humble, focusing on practice, pushing our goals and sticking with them.”