Patrick Dowd, Robert Buisson, Jack DesRoches, Lucas Sampedro, Michael Vocke, Leland Crawford
While Jesuit distance coach Cullen Doody may not be able to enter all of his distance runners in the District 9-5A meet in late April due to entry limitations, it is not stopping him from getting the Blue Jays to some incredible, competitive settings during the 2022 regular season. The latest stop on the 2022 Flying Blue Jay Tour was at the Texas Distance Festival last weekend.
What Jesuit has done in the past three years has been impressive enough, but to pull off what happened this past weekend is truly spectacular.
The second day of TDF was kicked off with freshman Brady Mullen running in the second-most competitive 3200m heat. He was fresh off his performance from two weeks ago where he ran 10:00 for 3200m. Even more impressive, he was not too far removed from competing for the basketball team at Jesuit, but his true colors are beginning to show now that he has more training under his belt.
Mullen finished 4th in his heat and 25th overall with his time of 9:44.22. This secures him a spot among the top ten for the Louisiana all-time freshman list for the 3200m among other names like Hunter Appleton and Adam Wise.
Next up was the race that stole the show, the elite 3200m. The Blue Jays had a collective of five boys make it into this heat which speaks volumes to how respected this team is. Three of these runners ran under Rhen Langley's state lead of 9:14 from two weeks ago and the other two were not too far off from that mark. Take a look at their results from the elite heat.
2nd Michael Vocke - 9:06.11
3rd Jack DesRoches - 9:07.37
4th Lucas Sampedro - 9:11.87
7th Patrick Dowd - 9:18.65
11th Robert Buisson - 9:22.49
These results alone can make the safe argument that Jesuit has the second-best 3200m squad in the nation, second to Newbury Park which is composed of some of the greatest athletes to have graced high school distance running. It is truly a testament that Jesuit is able to put themselves alongside a legendary team.
The final highlight of the meet comes from a familiar name called Leland Crawford. For those that don't know, Crawford was the second-fastest freshman at the RunningLane Cross Country Championships with a time of 15:28 for 5k and also ran an impressive 3200m two weeks ago, crossing the line at 9:26.39. Last weekend, he added to that already impressive resume with his entry in the 1600m.
Crawford somehow managed to land in the elite heat of the 1600m even though he didn't have a 1600m time to his name, but surely his previous performances were enough to persuade the meet manager to let him in. Crawford capped off his stellar race with an insane time of 4:15.19, finishing 11th overall as well as the highest-finishing freshman in the field.
This performance ranks Crawford as the fastest Louisiana freshman of all time, beating out Eric Coston's freshman best of 4:16.48. This time also ranks Crawford as the 15th fastest freshman in national history, per the MileSplit Database, ranking among other notable runners such as Olympian Leo Manzano, Colin Sahlman, and Josh Hoey.
"I guess the thing that probably impressed me the most is that everyone in the group had a personal record," Doody said. "It's very rare when you get to that high level to have the entire group be able to perform like that on the same day."
Doody is not worried about his harriers running too fast, too early.
"Our workouts haven't been too strenuous," Doody said. "The way I view it, the later it gets in Louisiana, the worse the weather gets. We could have a state meet in May where it is 95 degrees. While we want to peak at the end of the season, we also want to take advantage of the cooler weather we have now."
To fully grasp the magnitude of all of the accomplishments of the Jesuit distance, take a look at this team's personal bests from the last outdoor track season in comparison to now.
Doody, who began coaching at Jesuit in June of 2020, told the Blue Jays when he arrived that if they worked hard and stuck with the plan, he believed that Jesuit could compete with the big Texas schools. Now, Jesuit is doing just that.
The 2022 Flying Blue Jay Tour will continue next month with stops in Mobile at the Meet of Champions on April 2nd and then the Arcadia (California) Invitational.