Comets take second in first year in Class 3A

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 21, 1999

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / November 21, 1999

NEW ORLEANS – St. Charles Catholic moved up a class from Class 2A to 3Aprior to the 1999-2000 prep season.

The Comets’ boys’ swim team also made a move, jumping from fifth place at the Division IV state swim meet last year to second place at the Division III meet Friday afternoon at the UNO Lakefront Arena Pool.

The Comets finished behind four-time defending champion Lutcher with 271 points, up from 175 points a year ago. Lutcher finished with 316points. Parkview Baptist was third with 221 points.The Lady Comets also moved up, jumping from 10th in 1998 to sixth Friday with 125 points. Parkview won its fourth straight state title with 432points. Lutcher was third with 215 points, followed by Brusly (144) andE.D. White (136).”We’re so excited,” St. Charles Catholic coach Michelle Jensen said. “Ican’t ask for more. They swam so well. The team couldn’t have swam anyfaster.”The Comets got off to a strong start, starting off first in the 200-yard medley relay and holding off Parkview and Lutcher with a time of 1:50.95behind the team of Robbie Paydo, Shannon Graver, Adam Gros and Dustin Braud. Josh Ford followed with a ninth-place finish in the 200-freestylein 2:33.84. Gros touched the wall in fourth place in the 200 individual medley, finishing in 2:28.40. Rayville’s Matt Coenen was first in 2:07.16. Braudkept up the scoring in the 50 freestyle, placing third in 24.31. Graver wastwo spots behind with a time of 24.70. James Cupit was 13th in 26.68 andJohn Howard was 16th in 31.74.Graver rallied late to finish fifth in the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:06.05. Notre Dame’s Joel Bailey was first in 1:01.58. Paydo placed fifthin the 100 freestyle, coming in in 56.15. Cupit finished in 15th place witha time of 1:08.24. And Josh Ford was ninth in the 500-yard freestyle in atime of 7:27.84. The Comets’ 200-yard freestyle relay team of Braud, Gros, Paydo and Graver out-touched Parkview at the wall to place second with a time of 1:38.58. Lutcher was first in 1:37.14.Paydo placed third in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:04.90. Jennings’Brian Boudreaux was first in 57.83, followed by Parkview’s Peter Gaughanin 59.82. St. Charles Catholic’s Cory Exterstein was 10th in 1:17.76. Groscapped his prep career with a second place finish in the 100 breaststroke, finishing in 1:11.24. Braud was sixth in 1:13.99. Rayville’s Coenen wasfirst in 1:04.09. St. Charles Catholic’s Chris Arcuri place first in the consolations and wasninth overall with a time of 1:16.78. Brett Deroche was right behind him in1:17.61.The 400-yard freestyle relay team closed out the meet in fourth in 4:24.16. Lutcher was first in 3:56.17.In the girls’ events, Jessica Eschelte (2:37.39) and Mary Guillot (2:39.35)placed 11th and 12th, respectively, in the 200-yard freestyle. MelissaSchlindwein was seventh in the 50 freestyle, coming in at 29.03. The LadyComets’ Kelly Cupit (30.20) and Liz Dufresne (30.56) were 15th and 16th,respectively.

Whitney Torres placed 13th in the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:26.75.Kate Ripple breezed to the state title in 59.48.Cupit was 16th in the 100 freestyle in 1:09.24. Schlindwein placed ninthin the 500-yard freestyle, touching the wall in 7:09.08. Parkview’s ShelbyBenson was first in 5:19.77. The Lady Comets’ 200-yard freestyle relayteam added a sixth-place finish in 1:59.64. Parkview set a Division IIIrecord by winning in 1:42.92.Abby Howard was 13th in the 100 breaststroke in 1:24.86. Torres came in16th in 1:30.30. Parkview’s Helen Mason was first in 1:11.10. The 400-yard freestyle relay team ended the girls’ meet with a fifth-place finish in 4:47.92.

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