Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Chesterton Girls win 1st Semistate since 1995

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By JIM PETERS

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 Paradise?’

“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 remaining.

“We’ve been 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.”

Catherine White (27th, 20:04.9) and Ciara Bonner (29th, 20:06.4) followed, with Liz Hibshman 54th (20:31.2).

“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.”

Moskalick still 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.”

After running individually last season, Ranta’s excited to have the whole squad going this time around.

“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.

IHSAA Semistate

AT NEW PRAIRIE

Team Results

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.

Individual Results

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 (Northwestern), 18:51.2.

Other Chesterton 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.

 

 

 

Posted 10/26/2020

 
 
 
 

 

 

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