Berwick, Morgan City, Central Catholic and Patterson all will be represented at the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s Swim Meet, which begins Wednesday at SPAR Aquatic Center in Sulphur.
Berwick will bring 14 swimmers, eight male and six female, to state to compete in Division 3.
Individually, the top local seeded swimmer is Central Catholic’s Ryan Ratcliff, who is seeded second in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:04.09.
Ratcliff will have his work cut out for him if he wants to win a state championship as he will have to conquer his nemesis, Newman’s Harry Browne, who has more than a 12-second lead for the top seed.
In the 500-yard freestyle, Ratcliff is seeded fourth with a time of 5:41.20, just ahead of fifth-place with a time of 5:41.87.
“That’s like a fingertip” difference, Central Catholic swimming coach Charlotte Ratcliff said. “That 200’s going to be a good race, too.”
Central Catholic swimmer, senior Gage Green, is seeded sixth in the boys’ 100-yard breaststroke.
“That’s great,” Charlotte Ratcliff said of his seeding. “That’s a good position to be in. Your goal is to be in the top 8.”
Green also is seeded ninth in the 100-yard freestyle, while junior John Carmody also is set to compete in the 50-yard freestyle.
Charlotte Ratcliff said Carmody has done well this year.
“He did what he had to do to get there,” she said of the state meet.
As for Berwick, the list of qualifiers is plentiful, especially in the boys’ field.
Head coach B.J. Castaneda said she anticipates both her boys’ and girls’ squads having good showings.
Headlining the local participants include Evan Boudreaux, Quinn DeHart, Josh Miller and Daniel Gray, all returning state swimmers who Castaneda anticipates making it to the top 8 if they swim to their capabilities.
The highest seeds belong to Boudreaux and DeHart, who are seeded seventh in the 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard backstroke, respectively.
Boudreaux enters state with a time of 2:25.37, while DeHart has a time of 1:05.64.
Other top 8 seeds for Berwick include DeHart, who is seeded eighth in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 59.64 and Gray, who is eighth in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 24.58.
Miller also is seeded eighth in the boys’ 100-yard freestyle with a time of 54.59.
Castaneda also expects good things from her relays.
“Boys relays should also make the top 8, but you never know what can happen when they get to the state meet,” she said.
The highest seeded entrant is the boys’ 200-yard medley relay, which is sixth with a time of 1:54.78. The relay is made up of Boudreaux, Anthony Richard, DeHart and Gray.
The Berwick boys’ 200-yard freestyle relay is seeded seventh with a time of 1:40.80. Boudreaux, Trevor Champagne, Austin Aucoin and Miller comprise the team.
Berwick’s boys’ 400-yard freestyle relay, comprised of Miller, DeHart, Champagne and Gray, is seeded ninth with a time of 3:54.28.
Other events Berwick’s boys are set to compete in include Miller and Champagne, both in the 200-yard freestyle; Gray and Champagne in the 100-yard freestyle; John Maynard in the 500-yard freestyle; and Richard in the 100-yard breaststroke.
The Berwick girls will compete in the 200-yard medley relay as well as the 200 free relay and the 400 free relay. Berwick is seeded 16th in all three relays.
“Girls will do well also, just looking to see them beat their own school records, which they broke earlier this season,” Castaneda said.
The medley relay is comprised of Morgan Gray, Zoie Estay, Josie Estay and Olivia Gilbert, while the 200 free relay is comprised of Shanna Roussel, Marissa Champagne, Zoie Estay and Gilbert. The 400 free relay is comprised of Josie Estay, Champagne, Gilbert and Zoie Estay.
Morgan City will bring its boys’ team to state, headlined by senior Andrew Albritton, who is seeded 11th in the 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard butterfly.
In the 200-yard individual medley, Albritton’s time is 2:26.87, while in the 100-yard butterfly, Albritton’s time is 1:05.30.
“Andrew Albritton looks really good for top 8” in the individual medley, Morgan City coach Becky Bergeron said.
Bergeron said her senior swimmer was seeded in the same place last year and made the top 8 in the event.
The butterfly, however, will be filled with tough competition from Vandebilt Catholic, she said.
While Albritton qualified for state in both the 100-yard breaststroke and 50-yard freestyle, he opted to compete in the 200-yard individual medley and the butterfly as his two individual events.
Trevor Vaughn also is set to compete in the 200-yard freestyle for the Tigers.
Morgan City also is scheduled to bring relays in the 200-yard medley relay, 200-yard freestyle relay and the 400-yard freestyle relay.
The 200-yard medley and 200-freestyle teams will consist of Carter Arcemont, Albritton, Ethan Aucoin and Vaughn.
While the Tigers are entered in the 400-yard freestyle, they may have to drop out because of illness of one of the participants, Dylan Mayon, Bergeron said this morning.
Bergeron said she has a team with youth on it and that their experience at this meet will pay off. However, she said that her squad’s times don’t reflect their talent.
“We look stronger than our times suggest … (but) we’re going to have to work really hard to get in the spots we want,” Bergeron said.
Patterson will send freshman Austin Thomassie to compete in the 100-yard backstroke, while Patterson also will compete in the 200-yard freestyle and 400-yard freestyle relays.
Thomassie is seeded 24th in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 1:14.67, while the ’Jacks are seeded 16th in the 400-yard freestyle and 20th in the 200-yard freestyle.
The relays are comprised of Thomassie, freshman Harold Ganaway and sophomores Chase Guiollet and Donovan Aucoin.
“We’ll make a decent showing this year and much better next year, I’m sure, because we’re young,” Patterson coach Luke Bienvenu said of his participants, none of whom attended state before.