Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

CHS Boys CC earns State Finals berth

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Three weeks ago, Ryan Cutter was in the hospital, awaiting surgery for appendicitis, his white cell count way out of whack.

A last-minute change in the diagnosis to a virus saved his cross country season, which made the Chesterton senior appreciate the moment all the more Saturday, when he finished fourth in the New Prairie Semistate.

"Obviously, it hit at an inopportune moment," Cutter said. "Starting off, I didn't even know if I'd be back. It was nice just to be back with the guys. We kind of just pushed along through sectionals and regionals. I'm starting to feel fresh again and now I'm ready to go."

Cutter checked in at 15:52.5, seven seconds behind Valparaiso's Ahmad Aljobeh. Logansport's Kyle Overway won in 15:30.6

"I'm definitely getting stronger week to week I'm feeling a lot better," Cutter said. "The runners here are awesome. I just tried to work my way up the field and I started feeding off people."

The Trojans didn't defend their title but finished a solid second to Valparaiso, 78-120. LaPorte (126) was third, just ahead of West Lafayette, with Crown Point (196) and Munster (208) also getting a trip to Terre Haute for state.

"You want to compete and do as well as you can, but my message to the boys -- they weren't happy with their performance last week -- was, 'Would you go out and enjoy it, please?'" coach Tim Ray said. "Sometimes we get so worried about winning, about doing our best, we forget it's supposed to be fun. Go out and enjoy it, and whatever happens, so be it. With the ups and downs, this happening and that happening, they came together and started to re-focus on what's important, getting back to the enjoyment of the sport, and not being wrapped up in beating guys."

Cutter literally pulled fellow senior Andrew Morris along at one point, grabbing him by the shirt and exhorting him on before they headed into the woods.

"It probably wasn't the smartest thing to do, but I was trying to wake him up," Cutter said. "We've been best friends, running together since sixth grade, and I wanted to keep us together."

His efforts certainly didn't hurt. Morris finished 12th in 16:06.5.

"They came into the program together as mediocre kids," Ray said. "But they worked at making themselves better every day. For them to get top 15 in the semistate, it's a neat feather in their cap. They got there (state) and now they can go out and enjoy their last race."

Tyler Rusboldt (37th, 16:48.9), Manny Orlich (43rd, 16:56.8) and Conner Ennis (50th, 17:043.9) rounded out the Trojans' scoring with Austin Palombizio 50th in 17:03.9. Joe Niepokoj (109th, 17:52,6) also ran.

"You look back at sectionals, regionals, we had one guy who wasn't up to where he usually is," Ray said. "Everyody performed well. We knew coming into the season Valpo was the team to beat and they're proving it now. They're so talented and so deep."

Chesterton will run in the state meet Saturday in Terre Haute, extending an area-best string that dates back to 2000.

"It's really been an up and down year," Cutter said. "We haven't run healthy in six, seven weeks. For us to get out, it's a great accomplishment. I'm thankful to be able to move on and run another week. It'll be a great experience."

New Prairie Semistate


(Top 6 teams and 15 individuals qualify for the IHSAA State Finals Saturday in Terre Haute)

Team Results

1. Valparaiso, 78; 2. Chesterton, 120; 3. LaPorte, 126; 4. West Lafayette, 131; 5. Crown Point, 196; 6. Munster, 208; 7. New Prairie, 213; 8. Portage, 215; 9. Andrean, 220; 10. Maconaquah, 288; 11. Lafayette Jefferson, 311; 12. Hobart, 314; 13. Western (Kokomo), 319; 14. Culver Academy, 330; 15. McCutcheon, 345; 16. Lowell, 350; 17. Northfield, 374; 18. Carroll (Flora), 401; 19. Logansport, 435; 20. West Lafayette Harrison, 490.

Individual Results

1. Kyle Overway (L), 15:30.6; 2. Morgan Welsh (MC), 15:43.2; 3. Ahmad Aljobeh (V), 15:45.5; 4. Ryan Cutter (CH), 15:52.5; 5. Mitch Hubner (LP), 15:53.5; 6. Zane Cooperider (WL), 15:56.9; 7. Blake Lawson (NP), 15:59.6; 8. Ari Coulopoulos (V), 16:00.2; 9. Javier Vasquez (Frankfort), 16:01.3; 10. Jacob Bingham (MA), 16:01.4; 11. Anthony Best (P), 16:02.1; 12. Andrew Morris (CH), 16:06.5; 13. Dylan Harrison (Merrillville), 16:07.3; 14. Jake Baranowski (Highland), 16:07.5; 15. Blake Mills (CA), 16:07.6.

Other Chesterton finishers: 37. Tyler Rusboldt, 16:48.9; 43. Manny Orlich, 16:56.8; 48. Conner Ennis, 17:01.3; 50. Austin Palombizio, 17:03.9; 109. Joe Niepokoj, 17:52.6.


Posted 10/25/2010




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