It was just another day at the office for the Jesuit Blue Jays, who defended their state title from a year ago by winning the LHSAA Division I State Championship in Natchitoches with a perfect score of 15 points.
Brother Martin finished second with 63 points and Ruston was third with 92.
Jesuit senior Jack DesRoches, who avenged back-to-back runner-up state meet performances, won the boys' race with a time of 14:46 on a muddy course in cold conditions.
Neither the mud, nor the cold, seemed to bother DesRoches who appeared to be locked in throughout the three-mile race.
"It's just like any race," DesRoches said. "It is exciting. I am glad it happened. I'm really happy about today, but it's like any other day. We're happy about today, but it's exactly what we have put in. We've been working hard. It did go really well. I'm happy about it."
But it wasn't just any race. It was an historic race which had cross country historians digging to find out if what Jesuit accomplished just after noon on Monday has ever been done in the history of the sport.
Behind Desroches, four of his teammates, the closest of which was sophomore Brady Mullen, who finished in 14:59.
"Our dream wasn't necessarily to have a perfect score, but to get a group of kids to buy in and work hard. The perfect score is just a by-product of that"
Cullen Doody, Jesuit head coach
Then, Jesuit seniors Robert Buisson (15:03), Patrick Dowd (15:10), and in fifth was the 2021 LHSAA Class 5A state champion Michael Vocke, who ran a 15:11, 16 seconds faster than his winning time a year ago.
"I had feeling it would be Jack and I at the front of the race.," Mullen said. "It was really cold, but we expected that. It came out the way I thought it would."
The Jesuit team joked on the podium about Dowd, who was being honored by LHSAA executive director Eddie Bonine along with a group of other Composite All-State student-athletes. Only those athletes who maintain a 4.0 GPA receive the award.
It wasn't the first time his Jesuit teammates had to wait on Dowd after a race. In Jesuit's second meet of the year, the Blue Jays lost Dowd during the cool down after the Nike XC Town Twilight Invitational in Terre Haute, Indiana.
When Jesuit head coach Cullen Doody found Dowd, he explained to him that he just wanted to soak it all in.
"I was just thinking how far we've come in four years," Dowd said. "When we started we finished fifth at state three times in a row. Being in Indiana on one of the most historic courses in America with the fireworks in the background, it was such an experience to realize how far we've come as a team."
How far has Jesuit come? Earlier this year, the Blue Jays were ranked by MileSplit as the No. 1 team in the nation. Last month MileSplit USA produced a video documentary on the program.
"Our dream wasn't necessarily to have a perfect score, but to get a group of kids to buy in and work hard," Jesuit head coach Cullen Doody told Baton Rouge Advocate's Robin Fambrough after the race. "The perfect score is just a by-product of that."
"This is definitely nice to do," Doody said. "It would have been a little bit of a let down to not finish with that perfect score, but it wasn't easy for us."
Doody mentioned Mullen and fellow sophomore Leland Crawford (No. 7,15:29) overcoming injuries since the District 9-5A Championships on Oct. 27. And he mentioned his defending state champion, Vocke.
"Michael had to battle because Gabriel Metoyer (No. 6, 15:14) from Brother Martin had a great second mile of that race. He closed the gap and Michael had to kick for that perfect score. That's why cross country is a cool sport because he is the fifth guy, but he is the one that made that happen."
Vocke trailed Metoyer by 10 meters as they approached the track inside the Walter Ledet Track and Field Complex. Doody was standing at the top of the hill yelling at Vocke.
"I told him that everyone was looking at him now," Doody said. "He said that really turned him on. He had a huge kick."
Don't expect any assemblies to celebrate Jesuit's state title when they return to school in the morning. They have their eyes on the Garmin RunningLane Championships in Huntsville, Alabama on December 3.
"Our celebration isn't even 24 hours," Doody said. "Being a runner is a year-round commitment. I know we'll have a fun van ride back, but we're thinking about RunningLane. We're thinking about track season. We're thinking about getting faster."