Ending the season at the state cross country championship has become a
tradition for Chesterton's boys team.
In a year when the trip to Terre Haute was no sure thing, the Trojans capped
the 2011 campaign Saturday, placing 18th in the 24-team field with 479
points at the Lavern Gibson Championshop Course.
"We have been to the state finals for 12 years in a row now, and each time
it is different," coach Tim Ray said. "The kids knew what they had to do to
get here, and they worked for 10 months to do it. We went to the line
feeling great, and we can get on the bus to go home feeling the same way.
There's not too much more you can ask for."
Chesterton was third among local teams. Valparaiso (214) topped the area
contingent, placing seventh. Crown Point was 16th with 469, with LaPorte
(19th, 492) and Hobart (21st, 512) coming in behind the Trojans.
"It was truly a team effort today," Ray said. "The guys that toed the line
ran as hard as they could and competed throughout the race. I really don't
think that there was anyone that really had a bad race or a great race. We
prepared for running our race at the semistate, which is run differently
then the state meet. That being said, I couldn't be prouder of a group of
boys that really over-achieved when it mattered most."
Tyler Rusboldt remained Chesterton's top runner, checking in 72nd at
16:35.1, followed by Austin Palmobizio (103rd, 16:56.3) and Kevin Kenney
(118th, 17:03.9). Andrew Kearney (152nd, 17:28.7) and Joe Niepokoj (165th,
17:39) completed the Trojans' scoring contingent. Evan Mazurkiewicz (183rd,
18:06.9) and Joe Larimer (192nd, 18:32.4) rounded out the Chesterton lineup
in their state finals debut.
"The boys ran a great race," Ray said. "It went out fast, as we thought it
would, but we have not really prepared ourselves for going out that fast.
Tyler put himself in a great position to have a great race, but that quick
early pace caught up to him and he was able to battle the rest of the way.
Austin, Kevin, Andrew, and Joe worked well as a pack and moved up a little
through the race. For Evan and Joe, it was their first state race and they
The race was the high school finale for the senior group of Rusboldt,
Palombizio, Niepokoj and alternate Eric Menn.
"For (them), it is bittersweet," Ray said. "It was their last race as a part
of the Chesterton cross country team. They came in as 19-minute 5K guys and
left with a legacy of hard work and commitment, laying out a blueprint that
if you have goals, work for those goals, and most importantly, believe in
those goals, you can succeed. I will miss those guys a great deal and thank
them for representing what our program truly stands for, and for letting
(assistant) coach (Tom) Moeller and I be a part of what they were able to
Columbus North captured team honors with 77 points, followed by Hamilton
Southeastern (109). Indianapolis North Central's Futsum Zeinasellassie
cruised to his third individual title in a course meet record of 14:48.8.
His 44.1 second margin of victory over runner-up Mitch Hubner of LaPorte is
the largest in race history.
AT LAVERN GIBSON
CHAMPIONSHIP COURSE, TERRE HAUTE
1. Columbus North, 77; 2. Hamilton Southeastern, 109; 3. Carmel, 152; 4.
Mishawaka, 155; 5. Lawrence Central, 179; 6. North Harrison, 192; 7.
Valparaiso, 214; 8. SB St. Joseph’s, 216; 9. FW Carroll, 243; 10.
Zionsville, 268; 11. Bloomington South, 268; 12. Indianapolis North Central,
303; 13. Bedford North Lawrence, 356; 14. FW Snider, 377; 15. Warsaw, 384;
16. Crown Point, 430; 17. Whitko, 469; 18. Chesterton, 479; 19, LaPorte,
492; 20. Evansville North, 506; 21. Hobart, 512; 22. Terre Haute South, 528;
23. McCutcheon, 562; 24. Seymour, 575.
1. Futsum Zeinasellassie (INC), 14:48.8; 2. Mitch Hubner (LP), 15:32.9; 3.
Troy Reeder (HSE), 15:38.3; 4. Joey Zielinski (SBSJ), 15:39.0; 5. Michael
Sublette (CN), 15:39.3; 6. Miguel Lozano (MIS), 15:39.8; 7. Sam Roudebush
(Noblesville), 15:42.6; 8. Carl Smith (BS), 15:43.0; 9. Ari Coulopoulos (V),
15:45.0; 10. Alec Kostelnik (Morgan Twp.), 15:45.1.
Chesterton finishers: 72. Tyler Rusboldt, 16:35.1; 103. Austin Palombizio,
16:56.3; 118. Kevin Kenney, 17:03.9; 152. Andrew Kearney, 17:28.7; 165. Joe
Niepokoj, 17:39; 183. Evan Mazurkiewicz, 18:06.9; 192. Joe Larimer, 18:32.4.