Chesterton Tribune



Chesterton Boys XC claims Regional crown

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NEW CARLISLE -- From the expression, or lack of, on Tim Ray's face, you would never have known the Chesterton boys cross country team had just been announced as the New Prairie Regional champions.

"It's a tribute to the kids. They've worked hard," the stoic Trojans coach said. "But it's not the ultimate goal."

One, Ray knows bigger things lie ahead in this week's semistate, and two, sectional champion Valparaiso didn't have top runner Jack Acton finish the race.

The bottom line for Ray was it was a step in the right direction after a sub-par performance in the Sectional.

"It was better," he said. "That's one of the things we talked about (at sectionals). At this point of the season, every weekend, the goal is to get better, and I thought we did that. I thought we achieved our goals. That's all you can ask for."

Chesterton scored 58 points to Valpo's 74 for its first regional title since 2009. LaPorte (77), New Prairie (88) and Portage (90) also advanced as teams.

"I thought they located each other better than they did last (race)," Ray said.

The Trojans were led by Nathan O'Connor's fourth-place finish in 16 minutes, 28.1 seconds. Mitchell Gits of LaPorte won at 16:15.6.

Also for Chesterton, Matthew VanKley and Will Shook crossed successively in 12th (16:47.9) and 13th (16:48.8) with Dylan Draves 16th (16:51.9) and Kenny Erow 26th (17:09.1). Kyler Haynes was 32nd (17:23.8) and Matthew Streeter 42nd (17:44.5).

"They know to be as good as they can be, the whole piece has to come through," Ray said. "They can't be, oh, I'm going to do my own thing, I'm going to do this, I'm going to do that. I told them that's not going to work for you guys. They have to keep moving up together. I think they realize that now."

Like most of the team, O'Connor rebounded from the prior week's showing.

"Definitely going into it, I felt a lot more confident," he said. "I just wanted to get back from last week, make up for it. I think I wasn't focused going into it. Our goal was to stay as a group and finish good. There were definitely some of the Valpo kids I wanted to be with. I wanted to be with top group and stick with them. I felt a lot better. The course was better. It's a confidence booster."

Becoming Chesterton's lead dog hasn't always been easy for O'Connor, but hes settling into the new role.

"It's been a little bit of an adjustment. It can get a little stressful at times," he said. "As the

season's gone on, I've adjusted to it better."

IHSAA Regional


Team Results

1. Chesterton, 58; 2. Valparaiso, 74; 3. LaPorte, 77; 4. New Prairie, 88; 5. Portage, 90; 6. Morgan Twp., 131; 7. Kankakee Valley, 170; 8. Kouts, 224; 9. Rensslaer, 257; 10. South Newton, 288.

Individual Results

1. Mitchell Gits (LP), 16:15.6; 2. Trevor Braden (MT), 16:20.2; 3. Nate Smith (V), 16:27.3; 4. Nathan

O'Connor (C), 16:28.1; 5. Kyle Gutierrez (P), 16:32.9; 6. Carson Bakker (Covenant Christian), 16:35.7; 7.

Tom Elwood (P), 16:37.3; 8. Jacob Corbett (NP), 16:40.5; 9. Joe Angert (V), 16:44.3; 10. Hudson Hall (Wheeler), 16:45.9.

Other Chesterton finishers: 12. Matthew VanKley, 16:47.9, 13. Will Shook, 16:48.8, 16. Dylan Draves, 16:51.9; 26. Kenny Erow, 17:09.1; 32. Kyler Haynes, 17:23.8; 42. Matthew Streeter, 17:44.5.



Posted 10/15/2018




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