LHSAA Cross Country Highlights (Sept. 18-23)

by Hunter Bower, GeauxPreps.com Owner

As the clock ticks down with under two months left until the state meet, the Louisiana high school cross country scene is heating up, with teams from across the state fiercely competing for the best times in hopes of making a challenge for the coveted 2023 championship. Here’s a roundup of the exciting action from the past week:

Sam Haber Sets the Pace for Newman: Newman senior runner Sam Haber made a statement at the Cedar Creek Wallace Martin Invitational over the weekend, recording the fastest time for the Varsity Boys three-miler. Haber blazed across the finish line with a time of 15:33.31, leaving his competitors in the dust, almost 28 seconds behind. This impressive victory sets the tone for Newman as they aim for championship glory in November. It’s worth noting that Haber finished 12th in last season’s LHSAA Division III state title race, making him a key player in his team’s quest for success. With his remarkable improvement, Newman’s hopes for a strong showing are on the rise.

Catalina Richard’s Dominance Continues: Over in the girls’ division, Mt. Carmel’s Catalina Richard continues to assert her dominance in Louisiana high school cross country. She showcased her exceptional talents at the annual Mt. Carmel Cub Run, finishing a staggering 42 seconds ahead of the runner-up, Leah Varisco of Sacred Heart. Richard crossed the finish line with a remarkable time of 18:12.37, securing her second individual title in as many races this season. Her incredible performance also contributed to her team’s success, as Mt. Carmel captured the team title with a total of 49 points. Richard’s consistency and leadership make her a force to be reckoned with as the season unfolds.

Zachary Triumphs at Lake Charles Toyota McNeese Cowboy Stampede: Meanwhile, in Lake Charles, the Zachary High School cross country teams showcased their prowess at the annual Lake Charles Toyota McNeese Cowboy Stampede. The Zachary boys’ team reigned supreme, accumulating a total of 37 points and securing the team title with five top-12 finishes. Senior Damien Sprouse led the charge for the boys, posting the fastest time of the day at 17:15.10 and securing a third-place finish individually. Their impressive team performance positions them as strong contenders for the upcoming state meet.

In the girls’ division of the same event, it was freshman sensation Cecelia Duggan who stole the show. Duggan, representing Zachary High, edged out David Thibodaux’s Alivia Tassin to claim the individual title with a remarkable time of 20:26.40. The Lady Broncos demonstrated their strength as a team, accumulating 26 points with five top-five finishes. Cecelia Duggan’s emergence as a young talent bodes well for Zachary’s prospects as they continue their journey toward the state championship.

With such thrilling performances and fierce competition across the state, the road to the 2023 Louisiana high school cross country championship promises to be an exhilarating one. As the season progresses, stay tuned to GeauxPreps.com for more updates, highlights, and insights into the exciting world of Louisiana high school cross country.

Varsity Boys Fastest Times (as of week of Sept. 18)

1. Sam Haber, Newman, 15:33.31 – (Sept. 22)

2. Matthew Maynard, Catholic-BR, 15:33.74 – (Sept. 9)

3. Talan Sievers, Lafayette Christian, 15:34.40 – (Sept. 16)

4. Gabriel Falting, Parkway, 15:37.80 – (Sept. 9)

5. Mason Heffernan, Dutchtown, 15:40.71 – (Sept. 9)


Varsity Girls Fastest Times (as of week of Sept. 18)

1. Catalina Reichard, Mt. Carmel, 17:43.96 – (Sept. 9)

2. Grace Rennhoff, St. Joseph’s Academy, 17:50.29 – (Sept. 9)

3. Jenna Key, C.E. Byrd, 17:53.38 – (Sept. 22)

4. Elise Brown, St. Joseph’s Academy, 18:16.49 – (Sept. 9)

5. Jaci Gary, Southside, 18:22.00 – (Sept. 16)


2023 LTFCA Cross Country Polls (Sept. 25, 2023)

Boys Composite Rankings

1Jesuit (10)90
2Brother Martin84
6Parkview Baptist51
9Central Lafourche11
Others receiving votes: Zachary, Episcopal, West Monroe, Lafayette, Alexandria, Teurlings Catholic

Girls Composite Rankings

1St. Joseph (10)100
2Mt. Carmel90
3C.E. Byrd75
4E.D. White71
6Vandebilt Catholic39
8St. Michael22
10Ascension Episcopal13
Others receiving votes: St. Thomas Aquinas, Dominican, ARCA, Sacred Heart-NO, Episcopal, Teurlings Catholic