While there was a
sense of finality for the Chesterton girls cross country team at Saturday’s
state championship race at the Lavern Gibson Cross County Championship
Course in Terre Haute, there was also an exciting sense of beginning.
Led by freshman
Bailey Ranta’s impressive top 20 finish, the Trojans took 10th place in the
team standings as coach Lindsay Moskalick wrapped up her first season back
at her alma mater.
Ranta finished in
16th place with a time of 18:52.0, exceeding Moskalick’s expectations.
“The goal for me
was that I wanted Bailey to crack the top 35 and to have a chance at being
the top freshman,” Moskalick said. “I’m still learning about her a little
bit. She kept moving up and she went hard as she moved her way through the
Ranta did in fact
earn the highest finish of any freshman in the state field, edging out
Munster’s Hannah Robbins by less than two seconds for that distinction.
Ranta was elated with her performance on Saturday, but remained humble as
the torch has been seemingly passed to the young runner.
“I’m really excited
right now,” Ranta said. “All of this is because of my teammates and all the
support they’ve given me. I just want to thank my teammates and my coaches
for everything that helped me today.”
battled through an injury and was one of three seniors to run the final race
of her career on Saturday as Bullock finished in 48th place with a time of
19:22.9. The Purdue-bound runner, who has paced the Trojans throughout the
season, couldn’t shake a lower back injury that has kept her limited
throughout the postseason.
“It was really
hard, but I knew it was my last race and even though I’m not happy with the
outcome today, I knew I did what I could,” Bullock said. “I knew the
adrenaline would kick in. I wanted to get (the injury) out of my mind.”
As painful as
Bullock’s back may have been by the end of the race, she couldn’t help but
smile when she started talking about Ranta’s performance.
“I’m excited for
her,” Bullock said. “She’s a freshman and we talked before the race about
not having to put too much pressure on and just go enjoy the race. She did a
Bullock wasn’t the
only senior to run her final race as Kara Krol and Rebecca White also
wrapped up their cross country careers. Krol finished in the top 100 with a
time of 19:56.9 while White crossed the finish line in 22:20.4.
The youth movement
is apparently on for the Trojans as Ranta led a trio of underclassmen on
Saturday. Sophomore Nalani Malackowski finished in 20:11.9 and freshman Bree
Gentry finished just outside Chesterton’s top five runners with a time of
21:37.7. Moskalick was thrilled with the way Saturday unfolded and for the
future of the program.
“This is total
motivation for these girls,” Moskalick said. “With me coming in as the coach
in mid-August, I’m excited to be able to have a full year with them. We’re
only going to get better.”
Boys Cross Country
Nathan O’Connor was the lone Trojan boys runner to compete on Saturday and
he finished in 135th place with a time of 17:23.7.
“Nathan ran a race
with no regrets,” Chesterton head coach Tim Ray said. “He was in the top 40
with 400 to go and his body started to shut down. He battled his way to the
finish line just the way he has run his entire career.
“He embodies what
it means to be a distance runner at CHS.”
IHSAA State Finals
AT TERRE HAUTE
1. FW Carroll, 85;
2. Zionsville, 149; 3. West Lafayette, 176; 4. Carmel, 235; 5. Hamilton
Southeastern, 235; 6. FW Bishop Dwenger, 253; 7. Fishers, 261; 8. Indpls.
Brebeuf, 268; 9. Noblesville, 307; 10. Chesterton, 314; 11. Floyd Central,
322; 12. Franklin Central, 326; 13. Valparaiso, 328; 14. Lowell, 353; 15.
Homestead, 361; 16. Bloomington North, 361; 17. Indpls. Pike, 363; 18. Penn,
410; 19. Bloomington South, 446; 20. Columbus North, 447; 21. Warsaw, 449;
22. Crown Point, 464; 23. Evansville Memorial, 496; 24. Edgewood, 500.
1. Emma Wilson
(Greencastle), 17:53.9; 2. Erin Strzelecki (FW Bishop Dwenger), 18:00.6; 3.
Annalyssa Crain (Edgewood), 18:18.6; 4. Kayla McCulloch (East Noble),
18:20.8; 5. Meagan Hathaway (FW Carroll), 18:30.2; 6. Monroe Fruchey (FW
Carroll), 18:30.5; 7. Morgan Dyer (Elkhart Memorial), 18:32.8; 8. Jordyn
Boyer (Lowell), 18:34.2; 9. Abigail Green (FW Carroll), 18:34.7; 10. Lulu
Black (Hamilton Southeastern), 18:37.5.
finishers: 16. Bailey Ranta, 18:52.0; 48. Shelby Bullock, 19:22.9; 96. Kara
Krol, 19:56.9; 114. Nalani Malackowski, 20:11.9; 161. Ashley Craycraft,
21:01.1; 188. Bree Gentry, 21:37.7; 203. Rebecca White, 22:20.4.