The Houma Christian School boys and girls teams finished the season on a high note on day one of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s (LHSAA) Cross Country Championships at Northwestern State University.
“For me going into the meet, I wanted my kids to really have their peak for the season. I wanted my kids to really have the best race of the year and have confidence going into the track season,” said Lucas Curole, head cross country coach at Houma Christian. “Looking at results overall, most of my boys and girls had their best race of the season — the goal going into it.”
At Monday’s meet, the boys and girls finished seventh and eighth, respectively, in the Division 2A races.
Coming off a District Championship win, the boys were led by Antonio Delgado, who finished fourth overall (out of 115 runners) with a time of 16:57. The junior finished seventh with a time of just over 17 minutes at the 2019 meet.
“The goal for him this year was to do better than what he did last year,” Curole said. “He was able to capitalize on that in time and place.”
The coach went on to say that Delgado remained focus through ups and downs since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic — when last season’s track season was cut short. He also highlighted that his student has a “phenomenal” work ethic.
The remaining Houma Christian boys runners finished as follows:
Conner Angelle placed 30th with a time of 18:24. Brady Sims finished 43rd with a time of 18:55. Peter Trosclair took the 56th spot with a time of 19:44. Micah Kanju finished 64th with a time of 20:16. Bennett DiSalvo placed 70th with a time of 20:30, and Ethan Baxley came in 90th with a time of 22:20.
Also of note, seniors DiSalvo and Angelle, both maintaining a 4.0 GPA, received the All-Academics and were recognized by the LHSAA after the race.
“Keeping a 4.0 and staying focus on sports throughout your years is phenomenal,” Curole said. “We strive for academics; sports are secondary. For those guys to make it to the Top 10 in All-Academics in Cross Country is humbling.”
For the girls team, which placed second at the District Championship, Emma Bourg led the way with a time of 21:49, finishing in 28th place (out of 98). Mary DiSalvo placed 52nd with a time of 23:22. Gracie Breaux came in 54th with a time of 23:26. Anna Bourg took the 56th spot with a time of 23:34. Colette Benoit finished 74th with a time of 25:04, and Sierra Hendricks placed 79th with a time of 25:37.
Curole explained how the girls group is coming off a rebuilding year, not having a full team last season, but they are making strides in the right direction. “Some of them had the best race they ran in two or three years,” he continued.
For a season that saw many challenges due to the pandemic, with races being limited to 25-50 athletes at the starting line and only being invited to eight meets as opposed to the typical 15, Curole said practices had to be amplified to make up for the lost intensity of the workouts experienced through races.
Yet, the Warriors persevered to steadily improve throughout the season. “It’s pretty inspiring as a coach to watch them do that,” Curole said.
“The parents and athletes were great this year. Everybody worked together and understood,” he added. “We are in the right step going forward.”