The furrowed brow on Tim Ray's head told the story of Chesterton's
performance in the Duneland Athletic Championship Saturday at Lemon Lake.
With the post-season right around the corner, the Trojans boys didn't do
much to generate any positive momentum, finishing fifth in the field of
eight with 130 points.
"We took a huge step backwards," Ray said. "Cross country is one sport
where, once the gun goes off, you've got to get after it. You have to want
to be successful. The coaches can want it as much as we do, but eventually
it has to fall on them. We didn't see it coming. We had a really solid week.
We even changed the entire training so they'd feel a little better."
Chesterton was led by Kevin Kenney (10th, 16:49), its sole all-conference
(top 12) performer. The highlight of the day for Ray was the showing of
Mitch Wilborn, who took 15th in 17:04.
"I thought our No. 4 man (Wilborn) ran a great race," Ray said. "He's come a
long way. He continues to get better and better every day."
But it was a substantial dropoff from there to Andrew Kearney (30th, 17:53).
Alex Genetski was next, 35th in 18:06, with Evan Mazurkiewicz rounding out
the top five, 40th in 18:32. Tyler Vore (41st, 18:45) and Emmitt Sullivan
(43rd, 18:52) also ran.
"They have to channel their energy in a more positive fashion. If you come
to the start line thinking in a negative light, then chances are you're not
going to be successful. We have to get them thinking in a more positive
manner. How do we do it? I'll have to start looking up philosophers. Maybe
I'll call Lou Holtz."
Valpo ran away with the title, scoring 24 points to runner-up Crown Point's
65. The Vikings went 1-2-4 with Taylor Bisacchi (16:13), defending champion
Ari Coulopoulos and Peyton Reed.
"We've got a nine-day layoff (before sectionals)," Ray said. "We'll go back
to the drawing board, if there is one in cross country, regroup, refocus,
say, here's where we're at, here's where we want to be, and see what happens
Chesterton will host the Sectional Oct. 9 at Sunset Hill Farm.
"There's some tough smaller schools hungry to knock us off," Ray said.
"We're going to basically have to want it to advance from here on out."
Athletic Conference Meet
AT LEMON LAKE
1. Valparaiso, 24; 2. Crown Point, 65; 3. Portage, 99; 4. Lake Central, 105;
5. Chesterton, 130; 6. LaPorte, 134; 7. Merrillville, 178; 8. Michigan City,
1. Taylor Bisacchi (V), 16:13; 2. Ari Coulopoulos (V), 16:18; 3. Anthony
Didion (LP), 16:21; 4. Peyton Reed (V), 16:29; 5. Daniel Walters (CP),
16:34; 6. Andrew Lyp (V), 16:37; 7. Alex Ray (CP), 16:42; 8. Tom Cierniak
(CP), 16:45; 9. Tyler Gray (M), 16:47; 10. Kevin Kenney ©, 16:49; 11. Landon
Davison (V), 16:57; 12. Xavier Reed (V), 17:00; 13. Anthony Best (P), 17:01;
14. Patrick Dalton (V), 17:04; 15. Mitch Wilborn ©, 17:04; 16. Jacob
Langbehn (CP), 17:12; 17. David Clegg (P), 17:15; 18. Zach Bencur (LC),
17:15; 19. Zach Hupp (LC), 17:17; 20. Dustin Balboa (P), 17:18.
Other Chesterton finishers: 30. Andrew Kearney, 17:52; 35. Alex Genetski,
18:06; 40. Evan Mazurkiewicz, 18:32; 41. Tyler Vore, 18:45; 43. Emmitt