Even after he
became a state champion, Chesterton senior Braden Corzan wasn’t completely
“I should’ve ran
faster,” he said.
Corzan won the 400
meters at Saturday’s state finals on the campus of Indiana University,
finishing in 47.41 seconds -- over one second ahead of the field -- to
complete his season-long dominance of the event.
But Corzan wasn’t
just chasing first place at the meet.
“I wanted that
record, more than I wanted the win,” he said. “The win would’ve come with
Corzan spent much
of the postseason talking about running a time under 47 seconds, which
would’ve broken the record of 46.99 set by 2002 Merrillville graduate David
Neville, who later won a bronze medal in the 400 at the 2008 Olympics.
And in the first
half of the race, Corzan felt like he was off to a good start.
“My first 200
(meters) felt faster than normal,” Corzan said. “But I saw the clock and saw
how far away I was and I didn’t do it right. But a win’s a win, I guess.”
That reaction is
just part of Corzan’s competitive personality, though, as coach Bryan
“He’s so driven
that, when he has a goal in mind and doesn’t, in his mind, achieve it, he
gets down on himself,” Nallenweg said. “But that’s also why he’s as good as
he is. He said he was disappointed, but I think that’s more of a knee-jerk
reaction. He’s starting to understand that he’s a state champion and very
few people can say that.”
The 400 was the
main thing on Corzan’s mind at the state finals, even when he went out for
the trials in the 100. His preliminary time of 11.14 wasn’t enough to
qualify for the finals but left him with more energy for the 400.
“My block start
felt the best that it ever has,” Corzan said of the 100. “But I was thinking
so much about the 400 that I wasn’t really focused on the 100. Even my
brother (Darren) said it looked like I was just jogging.”
Corzan was the only
Chesterton athlete to finish first at the state finals, but he wasn’t the
only medal winner. Classmate Ben Raffin wrapped up his high school career
with a fourth-place mark of 15 feet in the pole vault.
Like Corzan, Raffin
also had his eyes set on history: the school record of 15-7.
“I was way over
15-3,” Raffin said. “But I’m not the most consistent vaulter. I’ll need to
work on that at college next year.”
vaults will be at Hillsdale College, where he’s headed after graduation.
After finishing 14th in the pole vault in 2017, Raffin took some pride in
getting an all-state medal in 2018.
“Last year I only
cleared 13-6,” Raffin said. “I knew I had to work a lot harder and what I
needed to do when I came here. It wasn’t the goal, but I did want to, at
least, get a medal.”
Elsewhere in the
field events, senior Louie Razo finished 21st in the long jump with a
preliminary round mark of 21-1.25.
“(Louie) had a
great career,” Nallenweg said of Razo. “He was a three-time state qualifier.
I know he wished that he would’ve made the final, but Louie gave it his all
at the state meet one last time and that’s all you can ask for from a kid.”
10th in the team standings with 16 points, the highest placement for any
school from Northwest Indiana.
In the penultimate
race of the day, senior Jakob Kintzele finished 14th in the 3,200 with a
time of 9:26.30. But the veteran of multiple state meets in track and cross
country was caught off-guard by the slow pace of that race.
“Way too slow,” he
said. “That was the one thing we didn’t predict. Once I saw it was too slow,
I tried to take the lead for a few laps. But at the end of the day, it
A lead pack of
nearly 20 runners stayed intact for seven of the race’s eight laps, a rarity
at the state finals.
“I’m a guy who
leads almost every race,” Kintzele said. “I like to pace and string it out
so, at the end, I’m the only one who can close hard enough. But today, the
pace was so slow that everyone was there.”
Kintzele got boxed
in by that large pack of runners a few times and to maneuver his way through
a maze of bodies in a race that had far more physical contact than the
typical track event.
“After all that
jostling and running in Lane 2, it took a lot out of me.”
the way it ended,” the Princeton-bound Kintzele said. “Now on to bigger and