Pitkin won the Class B girls title, and Elizabeth won the Class C boys title to join Class 2A Holy Savior Menard among Central Louisiana champions at the LHSAA Cross Country Championships Monday.
Senior Chelsea James’ fifth-place finish — on a course that measured a little more than the regulation three miles — of 21 minutes, 16 seconds led Pitkin, which scored 70 points to top the 14-team field. Following runner-up Choudrant (91) were Anacoco (124) and Grace Christian (139) in third and fourth places, respectively.
“I’m pretty excited,” said James. “I’ll probably brag about it and won’t shut up talking about it. I’ve had faster times, but for today, it was good.”
Senior Clarissa Smith of Holden had the best time among the Class B girls at 19:06.
“We were runner-up in 2009 to Choudrant,” said sixth-year Pitkin coach Dana Wisby, “and so it was nice to beat Choudrant this year for the title.”
Grace Christian of Alexandria had two of the top 10 finishers in the Class B girls race. Seventh-grader Olivia Slayter was sixth (21:23) and junior Hailey Teal was eighth (21:32).
Although Elizabeth’s boys won the Class C title, they were not presented a trophy because not enough teams participated.
“To compete for a team title, the (LHSAA) rule is you’ve got to have at least the same number of teams as there are districts in that Class,” said LHSAA commissioner Kenny Henderson. “There are eight districts in that Class, and since they didn’t have that many teams in either the boys or the girls meets in that class, there’s no team titles.”
“It’s a shame the kids have no trophy to take home, but they can call themselves champions,” said Elizabeth coach Rhon Morgan. “I understand the rule. Two years ago, Georgetown’s girls didn’t get a trophy after winning for the same reason, but the strange thing is last year my girls won and got a trophy even though there were only four teams.”
Elizabeth had three of the top 10 boys finishers in junior Collin McClelland (4th, 18:37), sophomore Kolby Friday (5th, 18:44) and senior Joseph Boswell (10th, 19:03.). The winner, Randy Carter Jr. of Jeohova-Jire, won in 17:27.
Elizabeth’s girls, with four of the top 10 runners, finished second with 45 points to Claiborne Christian with 25. Junior Kennedy Sutterfield led the way with a sixth-place finish (23:28). Georgetown finished third with 60 points.
Anacoco was runner-up in the Class B boys competition to Patrick Taylor of New Orleans, and junior Sam Turipseed of Anacoco, seeded second, finished eighth at 17:55 and was the only Anacoco runner in the top 10.
“We were seeded third, so we’re pleased with being runner-up,” said Anacoco coach Tammy Cecil. “Patrick Taylor is almost unbeatable. We’ve got six of seven coming back, so we’re looking forward to next year.”
Turnipseed was disappointed in his finish, considering his higher seeding.
“I’m disappointed with myself,” said Turnipseed, who had a 16:56 clocking in the event at a meet five weeks ago. “I’m not a 15-minute runner, but I ran the first mile at that kind of pace, which was not smart on my part and I kind of fell off.”
Zachary Brenner of Grace Christian, a freshman, was the runner-up finisher in the Class B boys race at 17:24.76. Stephen Torry of Patrick Taylor won the race in 17:02.76.
Tyler Magnano of Grace Christian was among the top 10 individuals at ninth (17:59).
In the Class 1A boys race, sophomore Scott Maggio of St. Mary’s finished 10th (18:12). He said afterwards he cramped up during the second mile, which slowed him from his seventh-place finish of 17:17 last year. St. Mary’s team finished sixth. Ascension Catholic, led by winner Zach Capello (16:33), won the team title.
Senior Addie Burleigh of Catholic-Pointe Coupee, the defending champion in Class 1A girls, led until about the 2 1/2-mile mark when she hit the proverbial wall, and finished 22nd before having to be carted off the field, dehydrated, and eventually to the hospital.
Freshman Kirsten Landry of Ascension Episcopal won the race in 19:36, but Ascension Catholic won the team title. St. Mary’s was fifth.