Sometimes, coaches and athletes get so caught up in the destination, they
fail to fully enjoy the journey.
So while Tim Ray's sights are still squarely set on the state finals Nov. 1
in Terre Haute, the Chesterton boys cross country coach allowed himself to
pause and appreciate the moment Saturday after the Trojans captured the New
Prairie Regional title.
"We've been blessed with some talented teams the last couple years," Ray
said. "But these kids haven't experienced that, so I'm happy for them. We
talk to the kids about opportunities to win, and that's awfully nice just to
see them get some recognition for their hard labor. You run all these races,
you get third, fourth, you want some positive feedback. They don't take it
The Trojans scored 41 points to top runner-up Valparaiso (60). LaPorte (72)
took third, with the hosts and Michigan City also moving on.
"It's kind of interesting, a lot of DAC coaches don't like the dual meets
because it's Tuesday-Saturday," Ray said. "Well, you get into the
post-season, you go Tuesday-Saturday for sectional-regional, so it benefits
us a little bit. I was pleased we were able to put back-to-back
invitational-type races together. Valpo's coming on strong, as I figured they
would, and LaPorte had a much more solid race. I just like to get this week
out of the way and get on to the next week."
A 2-3-5 finish by David Osborn (15:54), Thomas Halpin (16:20) and Shane
Kenney (16:36) paved the way for Chesterton. Jon Rogers (16:51) took 12th.
"That's what we were hoping for toward the middle of the season," Ray said of
Kenney, "a guy to step up to help Thomas and David out. Thomas ran another
strong race, Shane ran a strong race, and Jon ran a strong race, too. Our top
four did a real nice job. We've have to make sure our five and six are ready
to go next weekend and the weekend after. If not, they'll get buried, and if
they get buried, that adds up the point total."
Osborn checked in eight seconds behind race winner Matt Miller of LaPorte.
"We went out pretty fast, faster than usual," Osborn said. "I didn't feel bad
so I went with it. I didn't notice it until about 3, 4 K, which is when he
lost me going up Agony Hill. I just couldn't make it back up. I'm not
disappointed. I would've liked to have had a better race, but it's over with.
I've got to think ahead. I'm definitely looking to do better next week."
Ian Smith (19th, 17:15) completed the scoring for Chesterton, which had Ryan
Cutter 36th (18:00) and Manny Orlich 41st (18:15).
"We've got a week of preparation. We hope the kids will be ready to go," Ray
said. "We know a couple teams from the Lafayette regional will be awfully
tough, and if we're not on top of our game, we could end up anywhere from
fourth or fifth to first."
The Trojans were second in the 2007 semistate.
New Prairie Regional
AT NEW CARLISLE
(Top 5 teams and 15 individuals advance to Saturday’s New Prairie Semistate)
1. Chesterton, 41; 2. Valparaiso, 60; 3. LaPorte, 72; 4. New Prairie, 126; 5.
Michigan City, 129; 6. Kouts, 197; 7. Kankakee Valley, 197; 8. Rensselaer,
204; 9. Boone Grove, 209; 10. Hebron, 218.
1. Matt Miller (L), 15:46; 2. David Osborn (C), 15:54; 3. Thomas Halpin (C),
16:20; 4. Kyle Smiley (NP), 16:32; 5. Shane Kenney (C), 16:36; 6. Mike Fauser
(BG), 16:37; 7. Kevin Costalunga (V), 16:41; 8. Jake Carden (K), 16:41; 9.
Brendan Pope (V), 16:42; 10. Mitch Hubner (L), 16:43; 11. Ahmed Aljobeh (V),
16:48; 12. Jon Rogers (C), 16:51; 13. Phil Strader (MC), 16:54; 14. Corbin
Slater (L), 16:57; 15. Matt Burgess (V), 16:59.
Other Chesterton finishers: 19. Ian Smith, 17:15; 36. Ryan Cutter, 18:00; 40.
Manny Orlich, 18:15.