SPS Aqua Wolves Dominate Invitational Meet

(MANDEVILLE, La.)– The St. Paul’s Aqua Wolves walked out of the Second Annual St. Paul’s Invitational Swim Meet victorious, having won their third meet of the season. The swim team took first place with a dominant 182 points, defeating the combined score of second place Fontainebleau and third place Lakeshore High.

Senior Jesse Cheng and junior Austin Peak lead the national anthem (Photo- Philip Cheng)

The Wolves showed their individual superiority with (at the least) a top 3 finisher in every event at the meet, with a majority of those placements coming in first and second place. In the boys 400 yard freestyle relay, St. Paul’s swept the podium, taking first, second, and third place.

The Aqua Wolves have had only four meets this season, with their winning record only marred by a second place finish to Jesuit in the Mandeville High Invitational.

Senior Drew Putfark swimming the 100 yard breast stroke. (Photo- Philip Cheng )

Several swimmers stand out this season, according to swim team moderator and St. Paul’s science teacher Rachael Peak. “Jesse Cheng has come out of nowhere this year, particularly with his freestyle events,” said Rachael Peak.

Jesse Cheng, senior, is currently on track to break the record of another prolific St. Paul’s swimmer and state champion, Meyers Morgan. The current record for the 50 yard freestyle is 21.47 seconds, and Cheng currently swims the 50 free at 21.94 seconds. “Until Coach Emmet told me this year, I didn’t even know I was anywhere close to Myers’s time. I’m hopeful I’ll break the record, a little anxiety-stricken, but ready for the challenge,” said Cheng.

At the St. Paul’s Invitational however, Cheng did not swim the 50 yard freestyle. Instead, he switched from his favored 50 free to the 200 yard freestyle and won by a commanding 5 seconds over the second place finisher from Fountainebleau.

Peak noted, “Senior Drew Putfark, junior Austin Peak, and sophomore Cameron Smith have all had standout seasons so far.” Drew Putfark is the current 3-time club-state-champion in the 100 yard breaststroke as well as a third place finisher at the state meet last season. Putfark has high ambitions for his final season: “I hope to finish this season as the state champion in the 100 Breast Stroke.”

Sophomore Jack Rodgers swimming the 100 yard butterfly. (Photo– Philip Cheng)

The swim team has one more meet at the Tchefuncte Country Club on Oct. 14 before going to the Metro Championships at UNO on Oct. 25 and 26. The season continues with the regional meet at Pelican Athletic Club on Oct. 30. For the swimmers who qualify, the team will be put to the ultimate test at the years final event: the LHSAA Division I State Championship. The State meet will be held at the SPAR Natatorium in Sulphur.


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