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Fast start, championship finish

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / November 25, 1998

NEW ORLEANS – How a swimmer gets out of the blocks can often be the difference between first and second place.

The same is true for a team at a meet when one event can decide the difference between being a champion and finishing second.

The Lutcher Bulldogs came out of the blocks smoking Saturday afternoon, with first and second place finishes in its first two events, on their way to a third straight Division III state championship at the Lousiana High School Athletic Association/ State Farm State Swim Meet at the UNO Lakefront Pool.

“The kids came together today and put out everything they had,” Lutcher coach Joan Murray said. “They came together as a team and swam theirhearts out.”The Bulldogs finished with 310 points, out-distancing Brusly and St. Louiswhich finished with 213 points apiece. West Feliciana was fourth with163 points followed by E.D. White with 150.Dustin Murray, Josh Sylvest, Shane Duhe and Terry Millet set the stage for the Bulldogs with a victory in the 200-yard medley relay. Lutcher wasthird after the first three laps but Millet led the charge in the freestyle as the Bulldogs finished in a time of one minute, 53.69 seconds. E.D. Whitewas second in 1:54.68.”Placing first in the medley really motivated the kids to come out and swim better,” Murray said.

Duhe added a second place finish in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:05.01. Sylvest contributed a fifth place time of 2:19.68. Albany’s Matt Stognerwon the event in a time of 1:57.36.The Bulldogs continued to add points as Jason Bourgeois placed sixth in the 200-yard individual medley in a time of 2:20.63. Rayville’s DavidGresham placed first in 2:07.31.Millet followed with a third-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle, touching the wall in 24.13 seconds. Tyler Murray and Jason Chabaud addedsecond and third place finishes in the consolation heat with times of 25.52 and 26.59, respectively. Pearl River’s Roger Watkins was the statechampion with a time of 21.53 seconds.Lutcher, which led St. Louis 113-95 after eight events, increased thatlead in the 100-yard butterfly. Duhe came in third with a time of 1:04.76.Chabaud was fifth in 1:12.45, while Jeff Bourgeois contributed a seventh-place finish in 1:12.84, giving the Bulldogs 40 points in the event.The Bulldogs had an even bigger scoring event in the 100-yard freestyle as Dustin Murray won the state championship with a time of 52.87. Murraywas the first Lutcher swimmer to win an individual state title.

Millet was right behind with a time of 54.17 to place second. Tyler Murrayadded a fifth-place finish in a time of 52.28, and Jeff Bourgeois swam a1:02.65 in the consolation heat to place third.The 200-yard relay team of Duhe, Millet, Tyler Murray and Dustin Murray also captured a state championship with a time of 1:39.01. The Bulldogswere second after the first lap, pulled even after the second, took the lead on the third and cruised home. E.D. White was second in a time of 1:44.08.In the 100-yard backstroke, Dustin Murray placed third with a time of 1:05.75. Ricky Bourgeois contributed a sixth-place finish in 1:07.64. BrianBoudreaux of Jennings was the state champion with a time of 58.59.Sylvest and Jason Bourgeois closed out the individual events by placing fourth and fifth in the 100-yard breaststroke. Sylvest finished in 1:16.53while Bourgeois came in in 1:16.64. Pearl River’s Watkins was first in59.79.

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