District 9-5A: MCA Almost Perfect; Jays And Crusaders Battle

Mt. Carmel was almost perfect at Thursday's District 9-5A Championships at New Orleans' City Park. MCA placed five runners in the top six including District champion Catalina Reichard, who ran a time of 17:44. Mt. Carmel's score was 16 points, one point shy of a perfect score.

Other scoring Cubs included three sophomores--Lucy Quintana (19:28), Sofia Meneses (19:55), Stella Junius (20:05), and one freshman--Anna Joubert (20:38).

"It was a great feeling," Reichard said of winning her second consecutive District 9-5A title. "It was hard running out in front, but I just worked to get out strong, which is something I've been working on, and then finish."

As for her team, Reichard is proud of strides the Cubs have made.

"We've made massive gains over the last two years," Reichard said. "We are closing gaps and hoping to podium at state."

MCA may have surprised their head coach, Casey Keiser.

"I wanted to have as many runners in front of Dominican's No. 1 as we possibly could," Keiser said. "I was surprised we were able to get four runners in front of her, although I knew we had the potential."

And as far as his No. 1 runner?

"I keep trying to throw hurdles in front of Catalina, but she keeps going above and beyond anything that is put in front of her," Kaiser said. "She is only a junior and I'm really excited to see what the future holds for her."

Dominican, led by senior Morgan Trauth (20:22), was a distant second with 47 points. Other Dominican runners finishing in the top ten included Caroline Bailey (9th; 21:47) and Katherine Patron (10th; 21:54). 

The boys' division featured the two best teams in Louisiana--Jesuit and Brother Martin. Jesuit, led by Brady Mullen's 14:46, scored 26 points, three points better than Brother Martin.

For Mullen, who is the No. 1 ranked 5K runner in Louisiana history with a 14:59, it was his first district championship after finishing as the runner-up to teammate Jack DesRoches a year ago. 

Other Blue Jays finishing in the top ten included Brady Monahan (2nd; 15:11), Lucas Sampedro (4th; 15:24), Joe Accardo (9th; 15:47), and freshman David Quintana (10th; 15:56). 

"We battled," Jesuit coach Cullen Doody said. "Brother Martin has a great team and I knew it was going to be tight. We have very little room for error without Leland Crawford."

Crawford, a junior, is working to return from an injury. 

The Crusaders of Brother Martin were led by Noah Mooney, who finished third with a 15:21. Other harriers finishing in the top ten were Daniel Falk (5th; 15:38), Gabriel Metoyer (6th; 15:39), Luke Regan (7th; 15:39), and Trey Trainor (8th; 15:42).

"I thought we ran our tails off," Brother Martin head coach Drew Haro said. "It's the best team finish of the year so far. 22 second spread 1-5 is a great place to be looking at the back end of the season. It was a hard fought race the whole way."

District 9-5A runners now set their sights on the regional meet, which will be held on Friday, November 3 at City Park in New Orleans. The season will conclude with the LHSAA State Cross Country Championships in Natchitoches on Monday, November 13.