As St. Louis Catholic seniors prepare to take their next steps into the world, track and field athlete Luke Benoit has signed his letter of intent with the University of Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns.

Benoit said he can’t wait to continue the momentum of this season at St. Louis Catholic, though it was cut short due to COVID-19, in college in Lafayette.  For instance, the Saints’ 4×400 indoor relay team on which Benoit ran was runner-up to Northwest in the LHSAA indoor state finals by a mere 0.11 seconds.

“On the way back to our cars that day, we all said, ‘We’re gonna get ’em in outdoor, and that’s gonna motivate us,’ and then we didn’t even get to do that,” Benoit said.  “But track’s not over – there’s better competition out there that I’m gonna be facing at the next level.  I know I have to get ready and keep it going.”

Benoit said he visited ULL in November, and the school’s location and atmosphere made it appealing to the Grand Lake native.

“I wanted to get away from home, but not too far away,” he said.  “There’s always something about Lafayette; it’s bigger than Lake Charles but not too big.”

Benoit also placed 6th in the long jump (6.30m) at the indoor state finals.  Even though he and the rest of the Saints track & field team didn’t get to achieve their goals in the outdoor season, he has many fond memories of his one year at St. Louis Catholic – especially coach Johnny Giardina.

“I loved being on the 4×400 at St. Louis – I actually liked a relay for once because we had such a good team,” Benoit said.  “It was a big move for me from Grand Lake to here, especially for my senior year.  At St. Louis, people were joining track because they actually wanted to win and try, and it pushed me too.  I would have liked to have seen what we could have done.

“I wish Coach Johnny could come with me to college … There’s just something about him, how he’d chase you around the track and yell at you, it was awesome to be with him.”