Elizabeth Benoit Sets 200 FR Record as E.D. White Sweeps LHSAA Division 3 Championships

Louisiana High School Division 3 Swimming Championships

Girls Meet Recap

On the girls’ side of the meet, E.D. White claimed its fourth straight Division 3 title, finishing nearly 100 points ahead of runner-up Episcopal.

E.D. White started and ended the meet with wins, claiming the top spot in both the 200 medley relay and 400 free relay. In the 200 medley, Leea Breeding, Andi Clement, Morgan Sacco, and Elizabeth Benoit combined to take the top spot in 1:52.67. Clement was replaced by Ryli Cazenave on the 400 free relay, which won by a wide margin in 3:43.59. All five girls are juniors or younger, meaning they will all return next season.

In addition to helping her school to a pair of relay wins, Benoit added a pair of individual wins at the meet. In the 200 free, she took over two seconds off of the Division 3 record, finishing in 1:49.65. That time puts her less than a second off of the overall state record currently held by Jillian Barczyk at 1:48.87. Benoit added a second gold medal in the 100 fly, with her time of 57.71 being fast enough to lead the field by over two seconds. She has now five state titles, having won the 500 free in 8th grade and as a freshman and the 200 free last year as a sophomore. Benoit was recognized as the Outstanding Swimmer for Division 3 this year.

The second member of E.D. White’s relay teams to pick up multiple individual titles was Leea Breeding, who is also a junior. Breeding first raced to a first place finish in the 200 IM, holding off University’s Riley Roedel to win gold in 2:15.60. She followed that performance with a gold medal swim in the 100 breast, finishing in 1:09.18. Breeding has now won the state title in the 100 breast in back-to-back years.

While her team ultimately finished second, Rylee Simoneaux of Episcopal picked up a pair of individual titles on the day. Only a sophomore, Simoneaux won both the 50 free (24.46) and 100 back (57.22). She also led off Episcopal’s winning 200 free relay in 24.70, edging out E.D. White in a time of 1:45.05.

The youngest winner in the field, 8th grader Andi Clement claimed her first state title in the 100 free, finishing in 54.83. The race for gold came down to Clement and Mia Oncale, with Oncale falling just sort in a time of 54.97.

Sophomore Bailey Van Hoogstraten of University High ran away with the 500 free, winning by almost 20 seconds. She finished in a time of 5:18.28.

Team Scores

  1. E.D. White Catholic – 379
  2. Episcopal – 283
  3. University High – 268
  4. St. Charles – 255
  5. Archbishop Hannan – 166

Boys Meet Recap

The boys of E.D. White were dominant throughout the meet, with their team score of 465.5 being well over double that of runner-up St. Charles.

E.D. White started the meet off strong, with Cade Poimboief, Owen Klingman, Cooper Bilello, and Thomas Husbands claiming first in the 200 medley relay by almost five seconds. The quartet finished in 1:42.73, with Husbands’ freestyle split of 21.40 being the fastest in the field. E.D. White went on to win both the 200 free relay (1:30.91) and 400 free relay (3:23.57) as well.

Husbands would later go on to pick up an individual event title, cruising to a win in the 100 breast with a lifetime best of 1:00.16.

Isidore Newman senior Christian Johnson left the meet with a pair of golds, taking first in both the 200 and 500 freestyles. In the 200 free, he raced to a time of 1:48.58, just ahead of E.D. White sophomores Cade Poimboeuf (1:51.20) and Aiden Templet (1:51.34).

In the 500 free, he sat in second at the midway point before powering through the final half of the race to win by five seconds in 4:49.59. E.D. White once again rounded out the podium, with Owen Klingman taking second and Aiden Templet finishing third. Johnson is committed to swim for Towson University next fall.

After taking sixth in the 200 IM last year as a sophomore, Klingman dropped nearly six seconds from his 2021 finals time to win the state title. He finished in 2:00.89, well ahead of the runner-up in the event.

A double event winner, Gus Nicolosi of Loyola Prep swept the sprint freestyle events in his junior season. Nicolosi posted lifetime best performances in both races, finishing in 21.64 and 47.04, respectively.

After not competing in the event as a sophomore, Cooper May of University High grabbed the state title in the 100 fly. May finished in a lifetime best of 54.67. May also finished as the runner-up in the 100 back in 55.12, losing out on the gold medal to Brusly’s Carson Crochet. Crochet finished in 54.08 for gold.

Team Scores

  1. E.D. White Catholic – 465.5
  2. St. Charles – 213
  3. University High – 210
  4. Patrick F. Taylor – 185
  5. Saint Louis – 133

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