Gabriella O’Neil, Lane Coleman Each Win Four as St. Scholastica Girls, Holy Cross Boys Win Louisiana 4A Titles

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Photo Courtesy: Andrew Canulette / The Advocate

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The 2018 Louisiana State 4A Swimming Championships took place on Nov. 17 at the SPAR Aquatic Center in Sulphur, La.

Behind junior Gabriella O’Neil’s pair of 4A record-setting individual wins and key role in two victorious relays, St. Scholastica dominated the girls meet with 429.5 points, over 170 points ahead of runner-up St. Thomas More (258). This was their eighth-straight championship crown.

Senior Lane Coleman also had himself a night, rewriting the 4A record books twice and helping his Holy Cross boys to two relay victories as well as a team title with 423 points to dethrone Ruston (274). Both O’Neil and Coleman were named Swimmers of the Meet for their performances.

Click here for full results.

Girls Meet

Top 5 Team Scores:

1. St. Scholastica – 429.5
2. St. Thomas More – 258
3. Ruston – 206
4. Caddo Magnet – 191.5
5. Alexandria Senior – 176

The meet began as the St. Thomas More quartet of Hannah RichardAshley RichardElla Balhoff and Madison Marullo won the 4×50 medley relay in 1:55.96, about two seconds ahead of runner-up Caddo Magnet (1:57.81).

O’Neil dominated the 200 free, winning the event by five seconds in a swift 1:53.97. The junior was just off of the 1:53.74 she swam during prelims to set a new 4A record. She then posted a convincing victory in the 500 free, eclipsing the previous 4A mark of 5:08.89 set back in 1996 with a winning time of 5:08.27.

Not too long after helping St. Thomas to medley relay gold, A. Richard cruised to six-second 200 IM victory after powering home in 2:12.70. She also posted a win in the 100 breast, getting her hands to the wall three seconds ahead of the field in 1:08.43.

Ruston’s Jaila Payne splashed and dashed her way to victory in the 50 free stopping the clock in 24.19, just 0.03 shy of the 4A mark. Shortly after, the senior was back in the water to win the 100 free by nearly a full second in 53.46.

Benton’s Kathryn Kairschner flew to first in the 100 fly by five seconds, getting her hands to the wall in 56.90 as the only swimmer to crack the minute mark and was four-tenths off the 4A mark. She later dropped nearly two seconds from her prelims swim to again be crowned champion in the 100 back with a winning time of 57.38.

St. Scholastica’s O’Neil, Frances Barousse, Hope Robinson and Gabriella Fouchi combined to win the 4×50 free relay in 1:41.41, about a three seconds faster than runner-up Caddo Magnet (1:44.65) after setting a new 4A record during prelims. The same quartet teamed up again to win the 4×100 free relay in 3:41.62, 17 seconds faster than runner-up Ruston (3:58.38).

Boys Meet

Top 5 Team Scores:

1. Holy Cross – 423
2. Ruston – 274
3. Destrehan – 229
4. Lakeshore – 221
5. St. Thomas More – 138

The boys’ meet began as Holy Cross’ Coleman, Antonio RiveraMaximilian Caffery and David Price combined to win the 4×50 medley relay in 1:38.64, two seconds ahead of Ruston (1:40.48).

Ruston’s Justin Holmes took home the gold in the 200 free, winning by three seconds in 1:46.22; also cracking the 1:50 mark was Carson Doll of Holy Cross in 1:49.26. Holmes’ second win of the night came in the 100 back, where he was victorious with a time of 52.15. Doll was the only swimmer under five minutes, winning the 500 free in 4:55.08.

Shortly after helping his team with gold in the opening medley relay, Rivera was the only swimmer to clear the two-minute mark in the 200 IM after touching the wall in 1:58.60. He added 100 breast gold to his hardware collection, taking the title in 1:00.93.

Coleman sprinted home to a win in the 50 free, grabbing the gold in 21.16 after setting a new 4A record of 21.00 during prelims. Coleman then went on to grab his second individual gold in the 100 fly, stopping the clock in 50.67. After tying the 24-year-old 4A mark during prelims in 50.74, he lowered it again to etch his name in the record book.

After finishing second in the 50 free in 21.85, Lakeshore’s Jacob Price found himself on top of the podium in the 100 free with a winning time of 48.10. Soon after, he joined Lakeshore Kyle MaggioJacob Bromley and Joel Holloway to win the 4×50 free relay in 1:31.60, just out-touching second-place finishers Ruston (1:31.65).

Just like they began the meet, Holy Cross concluded the night with a 4×100 free relay win as Coleman, Price, Caffery and Rivera posted a time of 3:18.01 for the win, five seconds faster than silver medalist Ruston (3:23.42).

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