Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, November 20, 2012



SULPHUR — St. Charles swimming coach Denise Falgoust said could think of nobody she’d rather have dive into the pool with it all on the line than Gage Alleman.

He showed everyone why Thursday.

Alleman made up almost a two second difference to overtake E.D. White on the final leg of the 400 yard freestyle relay to clinch the day’s final event and, dramatically, the second state swimming championship in three years for the Comets.  

“I had a good feeling … that if anyone could do it, Gage could,” said Falgoust.

The Comets edged E.D. White with a time of 3:26:59 to 3:27.07 to clinch the fifth state title in the history of the boys program.

Alleman swam a split of 47.57 to lead a clinching relay team comprised of himself, Austin Matherne, Lane Gendron and Andre St. Martin.

“It was really like a movie. We talked about that,” said Alleman. “I didn’t doubt myself … that’s the spot you want to be in. (My teammates) did well and gave me that opportunity.

“Being a senior, it’s the perfect way to go out.”

SCC and E.D. White entered the relay tied with 238 overall points.

Falgoust said that the championship win was her most satisfying — she’s led the Comet boys to four state crowns and the girls to another — because the team overcame some substantial adversity to get there.

Hurricane Issac left what she estimated to be half of her team with flooded homes; the Comets also lost three weeks of practice at the season’s outset.

“I’ve been here 12 years now. This was the best win, to me,” she said. “This team really peaked at state.”

 St. Charles got off to a fast start — and then some —  in the first event of the day, the 200 medley relay. St. Charles set a new state record with a winning time of 1:42.47 — one that didn’t come about by accident.

“They asked me before the race, ‘what’s the record?’” said Falgoust. “They told me they were going to break it.”

Said Alleman, “We came so close last year, we wanted to get it done this time.”

It wasn’t the day’s only record for SCC; Alleman set a new state mark in the 200 boys individual medley, a time of 1:54.42; that dominant effort bested second place by over 15 seconds.

Alleman also captured the state crown in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 53.66. His two state championship wins leave the senior with six total individual state wins in his time at St. Charles.

Luke Jackson finished third in the 50 yard freestyle for SCC with a time of 23.21. Nathan Weinert was third in the 500 yard freestyle (5:58.79) Brandon Klibert finished fourth in the 100 yard freestyle (51.63) and the 100 yard backstroke (1:09.69). Austin Matherne took fourth in the 100 yard butterfly (56.08) and fifth in the 200-yard freestyle. St. Martin captured sixth in the 200-yard freestyle. SCC’s 200 yard freestyle relay team took second (1:33.94).

The title win put the capper on a great day for St. Charles that also saw the Comet girls take state runner-up honors behind champion Episcopal.

“I wasn’t expecting higher than third. But this team, especially the seniors, had a lot of determination,” said Falgoust. “They wanted to go out on a high note.”

The 200-yard medley relay team (Meredith Keating, Elise Loisel, Maggie Trepagnier and Hailey Specht) captured a first place crown with a time of 1:58.36, winning by just .08.

Keating made a strong individual impression as she captured two top three finishes: second place in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 1:04.11 and third place in the 50-yard freestyle with a mark of 25.56.

St. Charles relay teams also placed top third in the girls 200 freestyle and fourth in the 400 yard freestyle.

Trepagnier took third place in the 100-yard butterfly (1:00.80) and Tyra Watkins took third in the 100-yard backstroke (1:05.72).

Trepagnier had to gut out the qualifying round — she performed through an illness to get into the top eight in the butterfly, setting up her third place finish.

“I knew it was my senior year,” she said. “I was praying to God that I’d make it in … It was so tough. I was crying when I got out … but I was really happy I did it.”

She said the Comets success over the past few seasons has in large part been because of how tightly knit the team has been.

“We’ve just all been so close,” said Trepagnier. “It’s always been that way.

“We really wanted a ring. But to get back there and for us to finish as runner-up … we worked so hard, and it means so much to me.”


Riverside put on a strong display at the Division IV state swimming meet, with a number of swimmers placing highly.

Cody Schafer took second place in the 100-yard boys butterfly (1:03.25). He also took fourth place in the 100-yard backstroke (1:01.80).

The girls 200 yard freestyle relay team (Kacie Becnel, Spencer Rodriguez, Kaitlyn Masters and Chelsie Cupit) took second place (1:51.49). The 200 yard medley team (Stevie Noyes, Kacie Becnel, Maegan Hymel and Kaitlyn Masters) finished fourth (2:11.46).

Spencer Rodriguez (27.70), and Chelsie Cupit (27.99) finished fifth and sixth, respectively, in the 50-yard freestyle. Cupit also finished eighth (1:11.56) in the 100-yard butterfly. Maegan Hymel was sixth in the 100-yard freestyle (1:04.71).