By BRET H. MCCORMICK, Journal Sports
Senior Anna Chelette posted a pair of podium finishes, while eighth-grader Cadence Dessens added two top-10 swims as Holy Savior Menard finished 10th overall in the girls team standings at the LHSAA Division IV State Swim Meet in Sulphur last week.
Despite taking just those two swimmers, the Lady Eagles beat out 12 other teams to finish in the top 10 at the state finals that were held on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon.
Chelette finished second in the 100-yard freestyle, lowering her qualifying time of 59.19 seconds to 57.84 in Wednesday’s preliminaries and then again to 56.86 in Thursday’s final. Chelette also exceeded her fourth-place seeding in the 200 freestyle by nearly 2.5 seconds to land a spot on the podium by finishing in 2:07.64.
Dessens finished sixth in the 500-yard freestyle race (6:07.15) and eighth in the 200 freestyle (2:17.73).
The Eagles’ boys team, which had four boys competing in six different finals races, tallied 96 points to finish ninth in the team standings.
Eighth-grader Jacques Roy paced the Menard boys with a fifth-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:11.72) and a sixth-place finish in the 200 individual medley (2:22.58).
The Eagles’ teams of Roy, Parker Sketo, Gunner Dessens and Baylor Fall finished sixth in the 400 freestyle relay (4:39.82) and eighth in the 200 medley relay (2:23.46).
Sketo turned in a pair of top-10 performances in the 500 freestyle and 200 freestyle, finishing ninth in the 500 (6:30.10) and 10th in the 200 (2:21.25), cutting more than four seconds off his preliminary time in the latter race.
Fall and Gunner Dessens also both scored points for the Eagles in the 500 freestyle. Dessens finished 14th with a time of 7:23.99, while Fall was 15th in 7:30.68. The top 16 swimmers in each race score points for the team total.
Pineville, led by four finals qualifications, placed 10th overall in the boys Division I State Swim Meet held Friday and Saturday with 78 points, while the Lady Rebels finished 14th overall in the team standings with 38.
Senior Linzay Taylor paced the Lady Rebels with two fourth-place finishes. Taylor lowered her seed time in the 100 freestyle by nearly 1.5 seconds to 53.98 and also swam nearly a second faster in the 100 backstroke, finishing fourth in both races.
The Lady Rebels also scored in the girls 400 freestyle relay, placing 13th in a time of 4:21.52.
The Rebels were paced by a sixth-place finish by sophomore Curtis Malone in the 100 backstroke (53.20). Malone also finished eighth in the 200 individual medley (2:00.53).
Liam Alletag, another sophomore, finished seventh in the 100 butterfly (52.76), and the Rebels finished eighth in the 400 freestyle relay (3:30.63).
Alletag and senior Trey White also qualified for the consolation finals on Saturday with Alletag finishing 12th in the 200 freestyle (1:49.42). White finished 15th in the 200 IM (2:06.42) and 16th in the 500 freestyle (5:15.41).
The Rebels also finished 11th in the boys 200 medley relay (1:45.68).
Alexandria Senior High had two male swimmers and one relay team score to lead the Trojans to an 18th-place finish at the Division I state meet.
Cason Leleux finished 12th in the 100 freestyle (49.90) and 13th in the 100 backstroke (57.52), while Owen Elliott finished 15th in the 100 butterfly (55.51). The Trojans also finished 14th in the boys 400 freestyle relay (3:40.27).