The last time
Chesterton won a girls cross country semistate, coach Lindsay Moskalick
(then Hattendorf) and assistant Nicole Hartford were still in grade school
and assistant Natalie Krause was a freshman.
Their current team
members weren’t even a glimmer in their parents’ eyes.
Yes, it’s been a
long time since 1995. Anyone remember Coolio’s hit song, ‘Gangsta’s
“What we’ve been
talking about with each meet is re-writing history for Chesterton,”
Moskalick said. “We started that with conference. That’s been our focus, not
so much what happened last year, but what we want to accomplish this year
from previous years.”
Just the same, last
year played a part in Saturday’s 33-point win (110-143 over runner-up Valpo),
the sting of being the last school called before the six state qualifiers
preparing for this from a year ago,” Moskalick said. “The goal was to come
back here and do the best that we can.”
Bailey Ranta, the
race runner-up, described last year as ‘the worst experience ever,’ wearing
some of the responsibility for the near miss with her 11th-place finish.
“I felt so bad,”
Ranta said. “If I had been up there, something could have happened and we
might’ve made it as a team. I felt so bad for the seniors. They were such
good leaders. I had such a special bond with Ashley Craycraft. It was
horrible for us to go through.”
Bree Gentry was the
only other Trojan in the lineup to have run in the 2019 semistate, and she
didn’t have any better taste in her mouth than Ranta.
“I was definitely
remembering that feeling. It was a huge motivation for today,” said Gentry,
who checked in 20th (19:46.6). “It helped get me through. I felt like I let
the team down. I wanted to go out and show I can do it. I had to stay
mentally strong, and I did a pretty good job of that, focusing on people who
were ahead of me, getting as many as I could.”
(27th, 20:04.9) and Ciara Bonner (29th, 20:06.4) followed, with Liz Hibshman
“This meet is
difficult to keep track of where people are,” Moskalick said. “We wanted to
see how many we could get into the top 30ish, top 40. We had a nice pack.
I’d be interested to see our spread between two and five. We didn’t have big
gaps. We got out good and raced hard.”
Ranta (18:32.8) was
a comfortable second behind Lowell’s Karina James (18:08.4).
“Not as good as I
hoped it would be,” Ranta said. “I needed to get closer. At the start, I saw
her take off and I didn’t know what to do. I knew where I had to pick it up,
to accelerate, but at a certain point, I got nervous. I didn’t want to go
with her and then have her drop me, so I kind of just stayed in the middle.”
gave Ranta high marks for the performance.
“It was a good race
for Bailey,” Moskalick said. “She was ready to go. This is what she’s been
training for since spring time, early summer time. She’s just knocking on
the door for great things (at state). You ask her, she wanted to be with
Karina. It’s only her second time racing her, so she’s trying to get a feel
for what she’s like. She knows going into state it’s going to be fast, but
if she wants to be a big dog, if she wants to run with the big dogs, she
needs to get out there from the start.”
individually last season, Ranta’s excited to have the whole squad going this
“Our team bond is
really special,” she said.
Lake Central (159),
Warsaw (162), Culver Academies (172) and Wheeler (190) also qualified as
teams for Saturday’s state meet in Terre Haute.
AT NEW PRAIRIE
1. Chesterton, 110;
2. Valparaiso, 143; 3. Lake Central, 159; 4. Warsaw, 162; 5. Culver Academy,
172; 6. Wheeler, 190; 7. West Lafayette, 191; 8. Seeger, 216; 9. Crown
Point, 253; 10. Lowell, 267; 11. West Lafayette Harrison, 272; 12. LaPorte,
292; 13. Rochester, 318; 14. Portage, 334; 15. McCutcheon, 343; 16.
Maconaquah, 356; 17. Winamac, 403; 18. Highland, 440; 19. Hanover Central,
443; 20. Benton Central, 458.
1. Karina James
(Lowell), 18:08.4; 2. Bailey Ranta (CHS), 18:32.8; 3. Kaylie Politza (Valpo),
18:44.4; 4. Alexis Allen (Culver Academy), 18:45.4; 5. Hannah Moore
finishers: 20. Bree Gentry, 19:46.6; 27. Catherine White, 20:04.9; 29. Ciara
Bonner, 20:06.4; 54. Liz Hibshman, 20:31.2; 59. Alyssa Dunlap, 20:36.4; 100.
McKenna Handley, 21:14.4.