There were Tigers in Baton Rouge on Saturday, and it wasn’t just of the LSU variety. The Hahnville Tigers cross country team had an outstanding performance at the Catholic High Invitational, bringing home a sixth-place finish with 256 points.
This was a huge improvement at a meet that is largely considered one of the biggest meets of the season. Last year at this same event, the Tigers finished in 13th place. This team improvement has not gone unnoticed as the Tigers were ranked 11th in 5A by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.
This past weekend’s performance should give the Tigers a huge boost in the polls, as Hahnville moved up to the No. 6 spot in 5A in the la.milesplit.com rankings, based solely on statistics, not votes. The Destrehan Wildcats also raced in the event, but finished in 40th place out of 43 teams.
Although brothers Bryce and Beaux Robinson have been running well all year to lead the Tigers, Bryce took things to a different level on Saturday. Both brothers were caught in the pack at the initial start, but made up ground quickly as Bryce was in the lead at the mile mark. Beau was in fourth.
Sandwiched between the twins were Zachary Albright of St. Paul’s, and his teammate, freshman phenom Eric Coston. Albright has been widely considered to be the favorite to win the state championship this year, but that was put to the test.
At the 2-mile mark, the top pair had slowed down, but only slightly with Bryce and Albright coming though at 9:50. When Albright and Bryce came out of the trees for the final 400 yards, the two were neck and neck. Only a last minute burst about 30 yards from the finish line gave Albright the .88 second win.
Albright’s time was 15:06.81, with Bryce Robinson finishing at 15:07.69. Coston finished at 15:24 for third place and Beau Robinson finished the course in 15:40, eight seconds ahead of Devyn Keith of John Curtis.
Hahnville runner Nicholas Lirette finished in 60th place for the Tigers, while setting a personal best of 17:28. Fellow Tigers Shawn Maher (96th) and Bailey Breaux (100th) rounded out the scoring for Hahnville.
The first Destrehan Wildcat to cross the finish line was Matthew VanAmburg in 225th place with a time of 20:33.
The time that Bryce ran Saturday has garnered him "Milesplit US First Team Elite" status, which is given out to high school runners that break the 15:10 mark in a 3-mile cross country race. His finishing mark of 15:07.69 is also the second fastest time run in the state this year, and the sixth fastest time at Highland Park since 2002.
The Tigers will next head to the Walker Shootout on Saturday, Oct. 19. The Shootout is widely regarded as one of the fastest races in the area, as the course is relatively flat. They will then finish their grueling two-week gauntlet with the Tarpon Invitational at South Lafourche on Oct. 23, earning a well-deserved break until their next race on Nov. 6.
|Hahnville’s Bryce Robinson finished the Catholic High Invitational with the second-fastest time run in the state this year.|