It was a good day to be a member of the Vandebilt Catholic cross country team during the District 8-4A meet held at Buddy Marcello Stadium in Houma on Tuesday.
Vandebilt Catholic won both boys and girls district team titles at the meet.
The Lady Terriers dominated the girls’ race with 15 points and had nine runners finish in the Top 10. South Terrebonne girls’ team was district runner up at 50 points.
In the boys’ race, Vandebilt scored 41 points and held off a stiff challenge from South Terrebonne (46 points) to win the district title. The rest of the boys’ standings included South Lafourche (third, 68 points) and Assumption (fourth, 78 points).
Vandebilt coach David Malone said he was impressed by the performance of both boys and girls teams on Tuesday.
"We knew that the girls were going to go out and get their last really good run before state," Malone said. "I think (Tuesday) for us was all about the boys. We had a good meet at parish. We won in an upset by two points. (Tuesday) we came out confident. South Terrebonne gave us a run for our money, but we came out on top, so it feels good to win both parish championships and today both district championships."
There were no surprises at the top of the girls’ team standings.
Vandebilt’s Brynn Kelso won the girls race at 18 minutes, 32.98 seconds.
Kelso said running a familiar course at Vandebilt helped on Tuesday.
"I’ve run this course every day for the last two years now, so it’s like second home," Kelso said. "We did what we usually do."
The other Top 10 finishers for the Lady Terriers were Ella Chestnut (second, 19:33.67), Caroline Lindsay (third, 19:41.94), Madison Richoux (fourth, 20:10.92), Logan Hamilton (fifth, 20:21.70), Katherine Cazayoux (sixth, 20:39.71), Gracean Schexnayder (seventh, 20:40.43), Ava Lindsay (eighth, 20:45.50) and Georgia Bice (10th, 22:29.67).
Kelso said Tuesday’s district championship will be a nice momentum builder for the Class 4A state meet in Natchitoches. The Lady Terriers are trying to win their second straight state championship.
"I was confident in my ability and my team’s ability today to just do our best as always," Kelso said. "We came out on top today. That’s a good thing."
Malone said Tuesday’s district meet was business as usual for the Lady Terriers.
"It was a dominating performance by our girls," Malone said. "We’ve won seven meets during the year. We kind of knew what was going to happen today at district. We just wanted to get a good run in and get some good times up on the board because the real test is in two weeks when we go to state and try to win a state championship. We’ll celebrate this for a couple of days and then we’ll move on because we know we have bigger fish to fry."
South Lafourche’s Makayla Bynum was the only non-Vandebilt runner to finish in the Top 10 in the girls’ race. She placed ninth at 20:50.86.
In the boys’ race, Assumption’s Lajuan Adams dominated from the start to the finish, winning the individual district title at 17:15.49. South Lafourche’s Max Kliebert was runner-up at 17:28.99.
It was the first district championship win for Adams, who is now hoping to have another high finish at the state meet.
"It feels good. I’ve been working on this since my freshman year," Adams said. "I’ve been thinking about it since Day 1. I’ve been thinking about district when we first started. I wanted it bad. I needed it."
Vandebilt had three runners place in the Top 10 of the boys’ race in Thomas Thompson (third, 17:45.09), Brice Valure (ninth, 18:35.08) and Robert Galinsky (10th, 18:40.21). Kurt Richoux placed 11th (18:41.96) and Parker Landry took 12th (18:48.79) for the Terriers.
South Terrebonne had top finishes from Emerson Estrada (fifth, 18:16.54), Houston Boquet (sixth, 18:21.39) and Sage Verdin (seventh, 18:27.20).
"They came through for us and did great," South Terrebonne coach Scott Guidroz said. "They were running hard. I thought our Top 6 or 7 guys ran really well. It’s the best race all year by far. I’m pleasantly surprised. I’m very proud of them."
South Lafourche’s Jacob Smith took fourth overall at 18:14.02), and Ellender’s Divante Williams finished eighth at 18:27.60.
All runners who finished in the Top 10 were named to the first-team all-District 8-4A team. Runners who finished in 11-15 were second-team all-district and 16-20 is honorable mention.