Episcopal Girls, Pope John Paul II Boys Repeat As Louisiana Division 4 State Champions

2023 LHSAA Championship Swim Meet Division 4

The Episcopal School of Acadiana girls and Pope John Paul II High School boys reigned supreme once again at the Louisiana High School Championships in Sulphur, successfully defending their Division 4 state titles.


Episcopal claimed the girls’ title despite having no swimmers win individually, as their lone victory in an event came in the 200 free relay, where a 26.12 anchor from Bella Bourque led them to victory by six seconds in 1:50.02.

Across the eight individual events, six of them were won by three swimmers as a trio of athletes earned double victories.

Pope John Paul junior Mady Hill won the 50 free (24.43) and 100 fly (57.73) back-to-back, with the 100 fly performance marking a new lifetime best.

Another junior, Ascension’s Brooke Gill, topped Calvary Baptist’s Claire Roper in the 200 IM, 2:12.56 to 2:14.27, and then followed up by destroying the 100 breast field by 12 and a half seconds in 1:05.77. Gill’s time in the 200 IM marked a new PB, while her 100 breast showing was just shy of her fastest ever (1:05.46).

Roper had a win of her own in the 100 back, clocking 58.90 to edge out Pope John Paul’s Taylor Frick (59.06).

The third swimmer to win two individual events was Calvary Baptist freshman Macy Monday, who doubled up in the 200 free (2:01.09) and 500 free (5:19.93).

Pope John Paul’s Braylee Ladner added a win in the 100 free, and also played a role in the team’s two relay victories.

In the 200 medley, Frick, Hill, Ladner and Madison Talazac combined for the title in 1:59.23, and then in the 400 free relay, Talazac, Ladner, Frick and Hill won by nearly 18 seconds in 3:53.17.

Team Scores – Top 10

1. Episcopal School of Acadiana, 265
2. Calvary Baptist Academy, 233
3. Pope John Paul II, 224
4. Ascension Episcopal, 171
5. Cedar Creek, 155
6. Riverside Academy, 115
7. Ascension Christian, 102
8. Country Day, 91
9. McGehee, 72
10. Holy Savior Menard, 57


The Pope John Paul boys secured another team title behind superior depth, with two relay wins and an individual sweep from one swimmer leading the charge.

Junior Wyatt Combs won the 100 fly (52.67) and 100 breast (1:00.79), setting new lifetime bests in both.

In the 200 medley relay, Combs recorded a 27.62 breaststroke leg to combine with Owen CampbellEric Ring and Cole Hutson as Pope John Paul won in a time of 1:42.18 over Calvary Baptist (1:44.45).

In the meet-ending 400 free relay, Zayne Sterbenz, Campbell, Combs and Ring clocked 3:22.89 to win the event by 30 seconds.

The top performance on the boys’ side came from Calvary Baptist senior Zach Ponder in the 200 free, as he put up a lifetime best of 1:40.38 to win the event by four seconds and come just over a second shy of the 20-year-old Division 4 record (1:39.31 from Phillip Morrison in 2003).

Ponder also won the 500 free in 4:37.52, just shy of his 4:36.76 PB, and he anchored Calvary Baptist to victory in the 200 free relay (1:33.89) with a 22.03 split.

His younger brother, sophomore Samuel Ponder, had a win of his own in the 100 back, touching in 54.97 to crack 55 for the first time.

Westminster Christian senior Adam Stelly reigned supreme in the sprints, sweeping the 50 free (22.30) and 100 free (48.79) in personal best fashion.

The other winner was Cedar Creek first-year Camdyn Napper, who dropped a tenth in the 200 IM (2:00.65).

Team Scores – Top 10

1. Pope John Paul II, 300
2. Episcopal School of Acadiana, 241
3. Calvary Baptist Academy, 210
4. The Dunham School, 167
5. Ascension Episcopal, 127
6. Ascension Christian, 125
7. St. Martin’s Episcopal, 116
8. Country Day, 110
9. Holy Savior Menard, 96
10. Westminster Christian, 86

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About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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