BATON ROUGE HIGH SENIOR NATALIE VENKATARAMAN IS ON THIS WEEK'S BALLOT!
Above you will find the athletes who this week's MileSplit LA Girls' XC Performer of the Week poll. The poll will close on Saturday at 9pm. Congratulations to all of the athletes for making the ballot.
LAST WEEK! -West Ouachita's Emma Bielkiewicz won the Week No. 3 MileSplit LA Girls' XC Performer of the Week by getting 52% of the vote. Academy of Sacred Heart NO's Leah Varisco was second in the poll with 29% of the vote. Bielkiewicz made it on to the poll by running a running a personal record 5K of 19:13 at the Warhawk Invitational. On Saturday, she had another personal record with her three mile time of 19:13 at the Wallace Martin Invitational. The time was good enough for a sixth place finish.
ELLA WILLOUGHBY (ST. AMANT)- The sophomore won the Wildcat Invitational with a three-mile time of 19:23. It's only seven seconds off of her personal record 9:17 from earlier this year at the Episcopal Round Table Run. Willoughby is ranked No. 6 among all sophomores in Louisiana.
AVA HARTMAN (NEWMAN)- Hartman and her Greenie teammates took a road trip to North Louisiana for week three of the Louisiana high school cross country season. Hartman finished second to C.E. Byrd's Jenna Key at Cedar Creek's Wallace Martin Invitational. Hartman's time was 18:25. It's a season best time and place for Hartman, who won the LHSAA Class 2A State Cross Country Championship in 2021 with a time of 18:42.
MORGAN TRAUTH (DOMINICAN)- Trauth finished third at the Mt. Carmel Cub Run in New Orleans' City Park on Saturday morning. Trauth's time was 19:12. Trauth's time is almost thirty seconds faster than her winning time of 19:41 in her season opener at the Dominican/Holy Cross Invitational.
NOAH WATSON (CHRIST EPISCOPAL)-The super sophomore continues to get better every week. This week, it was a second place finish at the STA-Southland Steel Invitational. Watson finished second with 19:42. The time is 18 seconds faster than her third place finish in the same meet last year and only four seconds slower than her winning time at the LHSAA Division 5 State Cross Country Championship.
NATALIE VENKATARAMAN (BATON ROUGE)- The senior won Brusly's Cinclaire Run on the Levee. Venkataraman's time was 19:38. She is looking to improve on her sixth place finish at last year's LHSAA Division 1 State Cross Country Championship (18:31).
SPENCER FRIERSON (C.E. BYRD)- Earlier this month, Frierson was Byrd's No. 1 runner in leading the Lady Jackets to a win at Parkway's Border Dash. With Jenna Key back at Cedar Creek's Wallace Martin Invitational, Frierson was not the No. 1 runner, but her role was no less important as Juan Plaza's Byrd team racked up another victory. While her fourth place finish was the same as the Border Dash, her time--a personal record 19:09--was 1:20 faster. To top it all off, it was a record-breaking day for the Lady Jackets, who averaged 19:26. No cross country team in school history has ever run that fast.
AVA MISTRETTA (ST. THOMAS AQUINAS)- While Mistretta was not able to defend her title in the STA-Southland Steel Invitational, she still was able to play an important role for Miguel Becerra's team, who is looking to win another LHSAA Division 4 State Cross Country Championship. Returning from and injury and battling sickness, Mistretta posted a time of 19:53-- almost 50 seconds slower than her winning time a year ago. Tough times don't last, but tough runners do. Expect to see Mistretta and teammat Alexis Pitts, who won the STA-Steel Invitational (19:12), in the lead pack at state.