The Louisiana system breaks our runners into classifications
based on the size of our individual schools ….unfortunately this
separation has the tendency to break competition into factions
resulting in exciting and perhaps even legendary races from taking
In May 2001 a group of runners from St. Paul’s and Episcopal
(the two top ranked distance schools in the state at the time) got
together as a result of being deeply unsatisfied with their state
meets and the conclusions of their high school careers…. Having
to run solo in their respective 2A & 4A races, their times suffered.
Talking amongst each other they concluded “What’s preventing
us from racing each other now that our seasons are over?” in
pursuit of personal goals.
With no running taking place for a week following their visit to
Bernie Moore Stadium in Baton Rouge these school’s runners of
Patrick Gavin (St. Paul’s) Garrett Smith (Episcopal) Greg Fell
(Episcopal), Steve Geiser (Episcopal at the time attending
University of Georgia)in the mile as well as Walker’s Cassidy
Johnson and Andrew “the Wolfman” Huston (Episcopal) in the 800
– got together to make a run for good times and new PR’s with
self made conditions (rabbits and competition to bump elbows).
As they toed the line this May night, there was a feeling of
easiness as jokes and laughter were momentarily exchanged
before Coach Duplechin’s “Set… and Go” – lacking even a starting
pistol with the unnofficial-ness and speed at which this small meet
was thrown together.
The runners rounded the track under the dimly lit lights of
Episcopal unaware of speed they were doing so – with family
members and Dupe loudly cheering them on. The runner’s would
go on to collapse utterly exhausted but with a sense of long
awaited satisfaction – setting new PR’s with the help of rabbits
Steve Geiser (mile) & Will Silk (800).
11 years after that fateful night in Baton Rouge … The Meet under
the Lights has come alive once again with the opportunity for high
school, collegiate, post collegiate, and road racers to have the
opportunity to toe the line with one another.