The St. Paul’s Cross Country Wolves won the class 5A boys team state title last week in Natchitoches, and freshman Eric Coston won the individual title with a time of 15:15.79, defeating senior Zach Albright, who placed second with a time of 15:20.66.
“When Eric comes to pass me, he looked like he was trying to tell me something. I said, ‘No, man, go. It’s your day.’ And he did,” Albright told nola.com.
“It was weird when I passed him up because I thought he was about to fall, and I didn’t know what was going on,” Coston said, as reported by nola.com, “He told me he was OK, and he told me to just go ahead and go on and finish the race.”
Senior Kraemer Jackson (eighth, 15:56.86), senior Don Lipani (tenth, 16:08.62), sophomore Spencer Albright (13th, 16:16.07), senior Michael Burke (26th, 16:48.23), and senior Nicholas Taylor (34th, 16:56.52) also contributed to the win. Three-hundred seventeen runners ran in the race.
“We knew we just had to run our race today,” Cross Country Head Coach Terryl Chatham said, as reported by theadvocate.com. “I’m so proud of these guys, especially my seniors. What a great group. I told them last night that, win or lose, it’s been a great ride. Winning this is a wonderful way for those guys to go out.”
“We’ve had a lot of ups and downs through the year with injuries and other things,” Coston said, as reported by theadvocate.com. “So this feels great. I felt good for the first two miles. I started to die a little on the third mile, but I knew I had to keep going to help the team win the title.”
The Wolves finished with 34 points, barely one-third of second place Catholic of Baton Rouge’s 121 points.
The win was especially meaningful for the Albright family, who had two runners on the winning team: Zach, a senior, and Spenser, a sophomore.
“So proud of my boys. It takes team of five scored runners to win state and to see them work together for three years toward a goal and have them both be part of that five is just incredible,” said their mother Angelle Albright. “What an honor to be part of. So proud of everyone.”
The Wolves were recognized before the student body and faculty in a special assembly on Monday morning.