Cross Country Places in Top Five at State
Jesuit’s cross country team posted a strong performance at the LHSAA Division One State Championship in Natchitoches on Nov. 14, finishing fifth in a field of 24 teams. Catholic High took the team total with 77 points, followed by Airline (105), Brother Martin (125), Holy Cross (131), and the Blue Jays with 139.
Senior Jordan Tufts was the fastest Blue Jay on the day, placing 12th overall in the 162-man field with a time of 16:15 on the three-mile course at Northwestern State University.
Rounding out the top five for Jesuit, and thus factoring in the Jays’ overall team scoring, were sophomore Brandon Hall (16:33, 23rd), freshman Jack Wallace (16:37.2, 26th), senior Michael Williams (16:37.4, 27th), and senior Jonathan Arnold (17:17, 51st). Also running were junior Harrison LeBlanc (17:23, 56th) and senior Brenner Rauch (17:31, 65th). Hall and Williams both posted PRs (personal records).
“I’m really proud of the guys,” said Coach Rudy Horvath ’86. “We closed a lot of ground on folks. Not quite enough to take home a trophy, but a lot of ground nonetheless.”
Indeed, they did. The Jays, as always seems to be the case for Horvath’s squads, saved their best for last, beating St. Paul’s for the first time this year and finishing within legitimate striking distance of Brother Martin and Holy Cross for the first time all season.
Perhaps even more impressive is a comparison with last year’s team. Despite losing the top four runners from his 2016 squad to graduation, Horvath molded a new unit that nearly matched last season’s overachieving group. The collective time of the top five runners at state this year (83:19) was a mere seven seconds off last year’s senior-laden group (83:12).