This rounds out our recap of the LSU High School Classic. Today we dive into the distance athletes that competed Saturday. We saw plenty of fast performances for this early in the season which bodes well to the competitiveness of the state meet in February.
The day got started off with Lily Garrett of Ruston throwing down six-second personal best for the 1600m. She won the race with a blazing time of 5:14. She was followed not far behind by small school superstar Svenya Stoyanoff of Christ Episcopal School, who crossed the line in 5:18.
Both of these girls not only broke 5:20 for the 1600m, but they also beat out the only sub-5 minute miler in the field, Brooklyn Biancamano. She is a University of Arkansas commit and holds a personal best time of 4:54 for the 1600m. However, Saturday she finished third with a time of 5:20.
Dan Sullivan during the 2021 Indoor Season
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On the guys' side, we saw Daniel Sullivan of Catholic High run away with the win. He outlastest everyone and crossed the line at a time of 4:30. Nathan Fontan of Mandeville came from behind with an incredible kick of 29 seconds for his last lap. He edged out Ruston's Caleb Babineaux for 2nd, but both ended up crossing the line with a time of 4:31.
In the boys' 800m, it was a show. We saw Zander Dunbar of St. Augustine and Rhen Langley of Zachary go head to head for a highly competitive race in heat one. The entire race a neck-and-neck between the two of them and they ran that way to the wire. In the end, Dunbar had enough space to win it all even though Langley was charging behind him. Dunbar crossed the line at 2:00.31 and Langley followed at 2:00.45
Another interesting performance was of Lejaune George of Zachary who solo'd his performance from heat two and claimed third overall. Though he was not in the first heat, where he could have most likely been more competitive, he still showed out with his time of 2:00.71.
Rachel Fereday (left) at the 2021 Indoor State Meet
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For the girls, Rachel Fereday of Dutchtown ran away with the 800m title. She unleashed a monstrous kick of 33 seconds on her last lap for the win and crossed the line with a time of 2:26.63. She was followed up by Brooke Spalitta of Fontainebleau with her time of 2:27.55. Spalitta was dangerously close to getting caught by Ella Segura of St. Louis. She bided her time and came from behind to finish third with her time of 2:27.98.
When it came down to the 4x800m, it brought a show that no one wanted to miss. The girls' race boiled down to the 5A cross country champions and the runner-ups. Ruston and St. Joseph's Academy were neck-and-neck and gained small amounts of ground on each other only for it to be broken down by the other team. St. Joseph's took the early lead, but Ruston came from behind and claimed the win. It was still incredibly close though with Ruston finishing in 10:13.65 and St. Joseph's trailing at 10:14.33.
The boys' 4x800m went a little differently. Ruston took a very early lead a maintained it throughout the race. The only challenger to the Bearcats was Catholic High. There was a gap between the two, but not by too wide of a margin. By the end, Ruston kept their distance from the Grizzlies and cruised to a win with their time of 8:23.20. Catholic High loosely followed them, coming in at 8:30.69.
The 3200m was probably one of the most interesting events that took place for the distance events this past weekend. On the girls' side, there were six runners that broke 12-minutes, some of which doubled back from other races.
Emma Hendry (3) at the 2021 Indoor State Meet
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Emma Hendry of St. Joseph's won it all after letting the rest of the field lead the race until about a half-mile to go. Her last few laps proved to be too much for the rest of the competition as she slowly increased her lead over the rest of the field. She crossed the line with a time of 11:37. She was closely followed by Ella Segura of St. Louis who doubled back from the 800m. Segura actually took a slight lead early on into the race and then settled into a pack. However, she outkicked everyone else surrounding her, in true 800m fashion, and placed second with her time of 11:42.
Other runners that broke 12-minutes for the 3200m include Ella Chesnut (11:47), Grace Rennhoff (11:49), Hannah Linebaugh (11:52), and Anna Naff (11:57).
For the boys, Rhen Langley of Zachary took charge after his second-place finish in the 800m. He lead the race almost wire-to-wire and laid down a very fast last mile. It is important to note that Rhen led through the 1600m at 5:03, which means that he closed in a 4:45. He was followed by Nathan Fontan of Mandeville who laid down a very quick final 400m and Luke Regan of Brother Martin. These two are the only other competitors to have broken 10-minutes.
Nathan Fontan crossed the line at 9:53 with Luke Regan trailing him at 9:57.
That sums up everything, in detail, that transpired Saturday. Keep track of what happens week by week, as there will surely be more impressive performances throughout this indoor season.
If you missed our other recaps on the field competition, as well as the sprints, you should check them out.