A year ago, when
the Chesterton girls cross country team qualified for the state finals, it
was a moment of celebration for the end of a lengthy drought.
When the Trojans
made it two in a row Saturday, the reaction was more subdued, not an
indication of it being taken for granted, but a reflection of the strides
the program has made in a short time.
"I'm so proud of
them. They're starting a tradition," coach Lindsay Moskalick said. "Making
it back-to back is something we haven't been able to do in a long time."
All that said,
Chesterton didn't back up its regional-championship performance in similar
fashion, finishing third with 134 points, behind West Lafayette (55) and
"It was an OK day,"
Moskalick said. "After winning the regional, we wanted to perform a little
better, but at the same time, our goal was to make it to state. They did
what they needed to do. They knew if they took care of what they needed to
take care of, they would be making it to state. It wasn't great, but we'll
Following a week in
which she saw little to no running due to back tightness brought on by a hip
issue, Regional champion Shelby Bullock placed sixth in 18 minutes, 39.9
seconds. West Lafayette's Mary Schultz won in 18:24.4.
"She had a setback
after the regional," Moskalick said. "We played it safe the beginning of the
week and didn't run. As the week went on, she was feeling better. We talked
about it and she made the decision to run. She was like, this is it, this is
my senior year. I told her, OK, let's do it, but be smart, don't overdo it.
“Obviously, she did
the best she could, but she was feeling a little flat, and rightfully so.
Still, sixth is pretty good."
Bullock biked with
Moskalick during the week and to her credit, she wasn't using the training
detour as an excuse for her showing.
"I tried, I gave it
all I had, the other girls just had a better day," Bullock said, estimating
she was about 80 percent. "As a runner (injuries are) something you have to
worry about. You always feel pain in a race. I know there's a fine line. I
had to take it easy. You just have to get it out of your mind and go out
like you normally do. Things happen for a reason. It's feeling way better. I
think I'll be good (for State)."
Ranta backed Bullock in 11th (19:03.8), the only other Trojan in the top 20.
(32nd, 20:00.1), Kara Krol (45th, 20:17.6) and Ashley Craycraft (75th,
20:51.6) completed Chesterton's scoring, followed by Bree Gentry (90th,
21:13.7) and Rebeeca White (110th, 21:27.1).
"I had to remind
myself only three out of the seven kids have run here before (in Semistate),"
Moskalick said. "Not being experienced, they didn't go out as hard as they
expect that to be an issue at state.
"They have a coach
who ran state four years. She has the experience," she said. "They'll
realize, oh, I have to go out harder and run with someone I know I can run
with. They'll be ready."