The Big Orange Wave will travel today to Natchitoches, the oldest city in the Louisiana Purchase, to compete in the 5A state cross country championship. The Wave headed out this morning and the starter's horn will sound at 2:45 this afternoon. The Wave, coming off a Regional win in its last race 10 days ago, will face fierce competition for the trophy. Brother Martin, St. Paul's, Ruston, Parkway and West Monroe are the main competitors for Catholic.
Coach Pete Boudreaux's charges will attempt to bring home the program's 17th state championship. Boudreaux has also coached 10 state runner-ups in his storied 50 year career. Collin Hedges and James Lalonde could be in position to run for an individual state championship, where the program has 13 individual state champions. Sophomore Chris Cuntz, and freshmen Ben Langley and Peter Kelly, bring a youth movement to the equation for the Bears. The lone senior on the squad, Josh Durnin, has lowered his times all year. Junior Brian Miller is a veteran in the program.
Coach Boudreaux will rely on the back end of his runners to decrease the time gap between the first five runners to give the Wave a shot at another state title.
The race will be run on the traditional course at Northwestern State University. The race will start next to the soccer stadium, loop around campus and finish inside the track stadium in front of a raucous crowd. The horn sends the runners off at 2:45 p.m. and, hopefully, the Wave will bring another state title back to Catholic High about 17 minutes later.