boys cross country team stepped to the start line for Saturday's New Prairie
Sectional, it did so with something it hadn't done all season.
"It's the first
time all year we've run all our top guys," Trojans coach Tim Ray said. "One
had the SAT last week, I disciplined some kids another week, some kids were
hurt. It was nice to finally be able to run together as a group."
It showed in the
standings, where Chesterton made a good run at Valparaiso for the team
title, finishing behind the Vikings 39-48. The teams claimed 14 of the top
20 individual spots with the remaining qualifying teams -- New Prairie
(102), LaPorte (101) and Wheeler (130) well back.
"Valpo might be top
10 in the State, and we were close and then we're not," Ray said. "In the
grand scheme of things, if we can compete with those guys, I'm pretty
pleased with where we're at and what we need to do the next few weeks."
Will Shook took
second for the Trojans, nipping Valpo's Joseph Roylan, 16:29.7-16:20.2, at
the line. New Prairie's Tim O'Laughlin defended his own turf, winning in
"I thought I had a
really good finish," Shook said. "I was just kind of coasting in, then I
thought, I've just got to go."
Cole Raymond of
LaPorte set a blistering pace in the race, but Shook and the Trojans
resisted the temptation to chase the early speed.
"I just kind of
laid back and stayed with the pack so I didn't have to do that much," Shook
Ray credited his
team for sticking with the race plan despite their overall post-season
"We have four
seniors in our top seven, but only two have varsity experience," Ray said.
"They did what they were supposed to, they continued to stay together. Last
week, we got a little separated. We bunched up better for a longer period of
time. We have to stay with what works for us. They're pretty disciplined
when it comes to that. They know what we need to accomplish and how to
Dylan Draves was
seventh for Chesterton in 16:44.6.
"He's been real
consistent all year," Ray said. "It's been nice for him to have some guys
around him this year. That benefits him."
The remainder of
the Trojans' top five finished in close succession -- Matthew Streeter
(12th, 16:50.7), Adam Juestel (13th, 16:51.3) and Travis Konarski (14th,
16:51.7), followed by Cole Dolson (16th, 16:53.3) and Josh Tuck (18th,
"We need to work
the second portion of the race to bring that group further up," Ray said.
The balance of the
regional field will be Kankakee Valley, Morgan Township, Rensselaer, Kouts
"We just have to
keep improving every week," Shook said. "It's nice to have the guys just
behind me. I know they're going to do well, so the team's going to do well."
AT NEW PRAIRIE
1. Valparaiso, 39;
2. Chesterton, 48; 3. LaPorte, 102; 4. New Prairie, 102; 5. Wheeler, 130; 6.
Portage, 175; 7. Boone Grove, 199; 8. South Central, 241; 9. Michigan City,
264; 10. Washington Twp., 274; 11. Michigan City Marquette, 291; 12.
1. Tim O’Laughlin
(New Prairie), 16:19.6; 2. Will Shook (Chesterton), 16:29.7; 3. Joseph
Roytan (Valparaiso), 16:30.2; 4. Stephen Franczek (Wheeler), 16:40.7; 5.
Cole Raymond (LaPorte), 16:41.7.
finishers: 7. Dylan Draves, 16:44.6; 12. Matthew Streeter, 16:50.7; 13. Adam
Juestel, 16:51.3; 14. Travis Konarski, 16:51.7; 16. Cole Dolson, 16:53.3;
18. Josh Tuck, 17:04.6.