The 2005 cross country season was arguably the best the state of Louisiana has seen for quite some time. Despite uncontrollable and extreme circumstances the cross country season flourished into one full of incredible individual performances and perseverance in the face of adversity. Eighteen male athletes broke the sixteen minute barrier and a staggering forty-nine ran 16:30 or better (compared to 11 sub-16 and 36 sub-16:30 in 2004). The women also left little to be desired. The number of female athletes under nineteen minutes nearly tripled from the 2004 season, not to mention some very impressive times near the top of the female performance list. Several athletes traveled to the Footlocker Regional Cross Country Meet in Charlotte, NC to represent our state, and competed well.
Looking forward, such a successful cross country season will hopefully lead to an even more impressive track season. As things really get underway this weekend at the LSU Indoor Qualifier Meet, one can't help but ask what those same cross country athletes have in store for us this spring. Both the male and female 2-mile fields this weekend look strong enough to challenge meet and even field house records.
The boys 3200 heat sheet is a who's who of big name Louisiana cross country athletes. One that's loaded with young talents like Kasey Baker and Alex Breaux, but also has some tough competitors with plenty of experience such as Andy Florek, Brett Guidry, and Sean Swanner. Here's a list of some of the favorites to win the race and their resumes:
Brett Guidry, Senior, Jesuit:
2-time 5A State XC Champ
2005 5A State Champ in both 1600 and 3200
2005 Division I State Indoor 3200 Champ
15:03 3-mile in XC 2005
Kasey Baker, Sophomore, Choudrant:
3-time B State Champ in 3200
2-time B State Champ in 1600
2005 B State XC Champ
2005 Catholic High Invitational XC Champ
15:12 3-mile in XC 2005
Alan Sticker, Senior, Pineville:
2005 4A State XC Champ
2005 4A State 1600 Champ
15:20 3-mile in XC 2005
Andy Florek, Senior, Brother Martin:
2004 Division I State Indoor 3200 Champ
Top 5 in 5A State XC past 2 seasons
LSU Qualifier Meet Record Holder
15:13 3-mile in XC 2005
Hank Festervan, Junior, Choudrant:
2004 B State XC Champ
15:35 3-mile in XC 2005
Sean Swanner, Senior, Episcopal:
2005 2A State XC Champ
2-time Baton Rouge Metro XC Champ
15:28 3-mile in XC 2005
Alex Breaux, Sophomore, Vanderbilt Catholic:
2005 4A State XC Runner-Up
15:55 3-mile in XC 2005
For an athlete comparison amongst some of the male competitors click here .
In the girls 3200, the favorite has to be Whitney Curry of St. Thomas Aquinas. After consistently running in the mid-17's for three miles this past cross country season, one can't help but wonder what she will accomplish on the track. She already gave everyone a taste of what she's capable of by running an impressive 1600 (5:10) at the LSU Indoor Classic earlier this month. Those giving her a run for money include 2004 5A State XC Champion and last year's Division I Indoor 3200 State Champ Lydia Woodward of Barbe, 2004 4A State XC Champion and 2005 4A State 3200 Champion Meggie Schmidt from Sacred Heart (NO), and 2006 LSU Indoor Classic 3200 Champion Simone Domingue.
For an athlete comparison amongst the female competitors click here .