MATHEWS – Local cross country runners got their first taste of cooler weather Thursday afternoon at the Central Lafourche Invitational.

Central Lafourche benefitted by sweeping the boys and girls team titles.

Luke Sweatman of Thibodaux High and Chloe Kurtz of H.L. Bourgeois won respective boys and girls individual events.

“I’m really proud of them. I think being at home, they were really comfortable running here,” Central Lafourche coach Traci Constant said. “This cool weather really helped them. They’re slowly improving; they’re working their way up.”

In the girls race, Kurtz sprinted from fourth to first place over the final mile to win in 23 minutes, 1.59 seconds. Central Lafourche’s Kaydi Manning came in second at 23:11.88, and Lutcher’s Carley Boudreaux finished third in 23:24.63.

It was the second victory for the 13-year old and the second time this season she survived a directional mishap during a race.

“I realized how many people I had in front of me, and I wanted to get first place,” Kurtz said. “At the beginning, I went the wrong way, again. I dropped to like 20th. So I just kept pushing myself to get in front of them.”

All five Lady Trojans runners finished 16th or better to win the girls title with 28 points. H.L. Bourgeois placed second with 38 points, and Assumption finished third with 54 points.

“At practice, it’s nothing but motivation. They push each other,” Constant said. “Kaydi is only a freshman, but she’s pushing and improving every week. I see her getting better and better.”

In the boys event, Sweatman pulled away from the pack after the first mile to win in 16 minutes, 57.64 seconds. Berwick’s Darby Frickey finished second in 17:13.45, and Houma Christian’s Antonio Delgado placed third in 17:17.92.

“It was another easy day. I’m prepping for Saturday,” Sweatman said. “I really didn’t want to come out, but I came to run for the team, try to win another trophy to take home. I didn’t break a sweat.”

Four Trojans runners place between fourth and 12th to win the boys team title with 60 points. Terrebonne finished second with 68 points, followed by Thibodaux (78), Houma Christian (140), Lutcher (144), Berwick (165), Assumption (183), South Terrebonne (203), South Lafourche (204), H.L. Bourgeois (225), Destrehan (291), Vandebilt Catholic (319) and Covenant Christian (332).

“Four of my Top 5 runners finished in the top 12. They motivate each other,” Constant said. “It helps having them so close together because even when they’re practicing, they run as a group. So they’re able to push each other.”

With parish, district and regional meets in the horizon, Central Lafourche hopes to accomplish the biggest objective they set for themselves.

“Our boys haven’t qualified for state as a team yet,”’ Constant said. “So that’s their goal for this year. They’re working toward making it.”