(Story below on this page.)
Girls Cross Country Regional Champions:
(Top left photo) Left to right, row 1, Kelly Allision, Lindsay Hattendorf,
Nicole Hartford, Sara Taylor, and Katie Nadratowski. Row 2, Megan Pierce,
Cassie Peller, Emily Haas, Mandi Loving, Courtny Lipniskis and Coach Jen
Peterson. Row 3, Coach Tom Moeller, Lynzi Lorenz, Jessie Kowalski, Stephanie
Nothelle, Jenny Reitman, Lexie Yelton and Coach Steve Kearney.
Boys Cross Country Regional Champions:
(top center photo) Alex Cornwell (very front). In front row, left to right, Coach Tom Moeller,
Brian Nallenweg, Joe Henrys, Dylan Germick, Bobby Campbell and Dan Keller.
Row 2, Adam Hunt, Nate Reed, Max Goldak, Scott Freeman, Adrian Solis, Jordan
Kellar and Coach Steve Kearney. Row 3, Steve Vrska, L.J. Pol, Mike Darnell,
Doug Sindelar, Dan Styf, Matt Campbell and Coach Tim Ray.
(Tribune photos by Margaret Willis)
At top right the boys race begins.
Bottom row left to right: Steve Vrska is
out in front as he approaches the finish line. Mike Darnell heads for
his third place finish. John Pol splashes to a sixth place finish as
rain begins to cover the camera lens.
(Tribune photos by David Canright)
Braving heavy rains the Chesterton High School boys and girls cross country
teams ran to dual regional championships Saturday.
In what is becoming known as “Chesterton weather” the teams slogged through
a flooded New Prairie course to victory.
Last week, Chesterton cross country coach Steve Kearney was criticized by
some for not running his best athletes at the sectional and accepting third
place finishes for both his teams.
Saturday morning on the soggy course at New Prairie High School, it was
Kearney who had the last laugh.
In a performance that ranks as one of the best in school history, the
Trojans put on an amazing display to sweep both the boys and girls cross
country regional championships.
On the boys side, Chesterton won with a team score of 31 points, easily
outdistancing second place Portage, which finished with 66 points.
Joining the Trojans and Indians at Saturday’s New Prairie Semistate will be
Valparaiso (76), host New Prairie (83) and Wheeler (129).
On the girls side, Chesterton scored 37 points to win the championship while
Valparaiso was second with 39. New Prairie was third with 91 points, Portage
fourth with 119 and Michigan City fifth with 127.
These teams advance to the semistate with action beginning at New Prairie
High School at 11 a.m. Saturday with the girls race, followed by the boys
race at 11:30 a.m. The top five teams and top 15 individuals advance to the
state finals Oct. 27 at Indiana University.
Running in his second big meet of the week, Vrska made his way through the
muddy course in 16:44, a 5:23 average per mile.
While Vrska led the way, Kearney had to have been exceptionally pleased with
the performances of Mike Darnell, L.J. Pol and Doug Sindelar. Clocked at
5:30 mile average, Darnell finished third in 17:04. Pol averaged 5:36 per
mile to finish sixth in 17:25 with Sindelar on his heels in seventh at the
same mile average and finishing time (5:36 and 17:25).
Max Goldak finished 14th (5:40 avg.; 17:36) Dan Styf 16th (5:41; 17:41) and
Matt Campbell 30th (5:54; 18:21).
On the girls side, the competition between Chesterton and Valparaiso
continued, this time the Trojans came out on top thanks in large part to a
strong effort by the entire team.
Senior Lindsay Hattendorf turned in an outstanding effort, coming in second
to defending state champion Amanda Van WanZeele of New Prairie. Van WanZeele
finished in 15:06 and Hattendorf was two seconds behind at 15:08. Hattendorf
averaged 6:05 per mile.
Three other Chesterton runners placed in the top 10. Nicole Hartford was
right at the top of the final standings as she finished fourth (6:16 avg.
mile; 15:35), Cassie Peller fifth (6:18; 15:39), Kelly Allison 10th (6:30;
16:10) despite not feeling well and Megan Pierce 17th (6:42; 16:38). Pierce
was a replacement for Mandi Loving, who was sick as well.
Sara Taylor finished 21st (6:53; 17:07) and Emily Haas 30th (7:02; 17:29).