Chesterton Tribune



Bullock medals at girls cross country State Finals; Trojans 16th

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On a cold fall afternoon with temperatures in the low 40s, only one thing felt better wrapped around Shelby Bullock than her mom’s long coat.

That one thing would be a medal.

The Chesterton junior made the most of her first visit to the Lavern Gibson Championship Course, finishing 13th in Saturday’s state finals race.

“It wasn’t too bad,” Bullock said of the weather. “I’d rather have this than 95 (degrees). Honestly, in my mind, I was thinking top 25, so 13th, I’m super happy. I was more excited than nervous. Honestly, I loved it. I had no idea of the course. Racing basically not knowing what’s going was a lot better. There were really good runners running. I was just out here to have fun to see what I can do and hopefully I could pull through.”

Bullock certainly did, using a calculated approach to the race to put herself in striking position for a payoff at the end. She finished in 18 minutes, 28.1 seconds, third among Northwest Indiana runners behind Logan Ferngren of Valparaiso (eighth) and Lowell’s Jordyn Boyer (ninth).

"I felt really good,” Bullock said. “I knew it was going to be fast. I held back the first part of the race, so I didn’t get go out too fast or the last mile was going to be bad. I knew I had to listen to my body the first mile and take it from there. I saw (Valpo’s) Ava (Gilliana) at a mile-and-a-half and Jordyn was in sight, which was good. I wanted to be able to see where thay are.”

The early pace took its toll on some runners, including Gilliana (46th), an issue Chesterton coach Maggie Wolgamot thought could arise if they weren’t wise about it.

“I was really concerned about not starting too fast,” Wolgamot said. “It’s very easy to do on this course. You’ve got the slight downhill at three-quarters of a mile. Shelby knew she was within range going in. Just be strong, stay focused. She fought back. It’s better to pass than be passed.”

Bullock’s performance highlighted a solid showing for Chesterton in its first state meet since 2010. The Trojans placed 16th of 24 teams with 385 points. Zionsville (118) topped Carroll-Fort Wayne (129) for the title. Lowell was 11th, Valparaiso 12th, Crown Point 13th and LaPorte 19th.

“We were hoping top 17,” Wolgamot said. “We were ranked 20th. I thought we were better than that and it turned out we were. They all really performed well on the same day, which is very exciting. That’s not always the case. They were shockingly relaxed. They accomplished their goal of making it to state. They were so excited to be here. With everybody else out there, it was nice to have no pressure on them for the first time in a while, just do your best.”

After Bullock, Kara Krol was 85th (19:23.6) and freshman Nalani Malackowski was 110th (19:34.8) for the Trojans. Rachel Hoffman (159th, 20:19.1) and freshman Taylor Edwards (171st, 20:33.1) completed the scoring five with Elizabeth Canright 187th (20:50.7) and Rebecca White 203rd (21:32.8).

“Awesome,” Wolgamot said. “This is one race where the spectators can cheer for you the entire time and they fed off it. Kara had a really strong showing. She picked people off the second half. Nalanai had a real strong showing. There were no negatives.”


Posted 10/30/2017




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