Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Boys cross country season begins Saturday

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By TR HARLAN

When you can trot out arguably two of the top guys in the State, the expectations are high.

The Chesterton boys cross country team opens its season on Saturday when they travel to New Prairie for the NIC Stomp.

Coach Tim Ray will have two of the top guns in the race with seniors Jakob Kintzele and Andrew Smenyak.

“Our one and two are pretty good,” Ray said. “It’s probably the best 1-2 punch we’ve had in my 20 years here.”

Kintzele finished fifth in the 3,200 at the IHSAA Track State Finals last year and broke the school record by five seconds.

“Jakob has a lot of confidence right now,” Ray said. “He could not win a post-season meet and go down as the best distance runner the school’s ever had. Just based on his times and achievements. There could be 7-10 runners from our Semistate that could finish in the top 15 at the State Finals.”

Smenyak set a PR by seven seconds in the 1,600 last spring.

“Andrew understands where he is at,” Ray said. “He doesn’t have to be worried about being the top guy. He can just go out and run and build upon what we are doing in practice.”

With two top runners, the Trojans success will depend on the “pack” of runners that follows.

“Those top two guys lead by example and they always have. The rest of those guys know that on race day, there are going to be two low sticks,” Ray said. “Our success will come down to our three through 10 guys. They’ll be able to run a little more relaxed and we can let them run more as a pack than we have in the past.”

In that group, Ray is watching Will Shook, Matthew Van Kley, Nathan O’Connor, Dylan Olson, Timber Whittemore, Kenny Erow and freshman Matthew Streeter.

“The pack will be the deciding factor every time out,” Ray said.

The Trojans will meet plenty of challenges through the regular season before they even get to the post-season.

“Out of the top 12 teams back in our Semistate, only about 12 guys that ran last year are gone,” Ray said. “Everybody is loaded and just about everybody in the DAC is ranked.”

 

Posted 8/18/2017

 
 
 
 

 

 

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