When Jakob Kintzele
says winning a Sectional isn’t a big deal, he’s not trying to demean the
accomplishment. The Chesterton senior simply has bigger irons on the fire
for his final cross country postseason.
“At Conference, I
was going for time. Today, it was just go get a good, solid run in, not
worry about place,” Kintzele said after winning Saturday’s New Prairie
Sectional. “At the end of the day, winning a Sectional doesn’t really mean
Kintzele checked in
at 15 minutes, 54.9 seconds, 12 ticks ahead of Valparaiso’s Collin Huber,
for his first Sectional title.
“At the 4K, I was
like, oh my God,” Kintzele said of the strong winds the runners encountered.
“My time wasn’t as slow as it felt. It was close to what I ran at the (New
Prairie) Invitational. It was a good effort. Obviously, Huber ran awesome, I
could tell he was close. We stuck together (early). We wanted to go through
the first K in a certain time and go from there.
“The team didn’t do
too well, so maybe the plan backfired.”
second at 81, but a distant runner-up to Valparaiso (30).
“Jakob ran a really
solid race. We were a little more conservative the first K,” Chesterton
coach Tim Ray said. “We wanted to experiment with some things to prepare for
future races, to continue building confidence. We face the exact same guys
(in Regionals) with Morgan (Twp.) thrown in there. We’ll throw a tweak in
here and there.”
The reviews were
mixed for the rest of the Trojans.
Matthew Van Kley
placed 13th (17:03.5) with Andrew Smenyak 19th (17:15.3) and Nathan O’Connor
20th (17:18.6). Kenny Erow rounded out the scoring in 28th (17:33.6). Ethan
Contreras (40th, 17:59.3) and Dylan Draves 49th (18:46.7) followed.
“Matthew was really
solid and Kenny, our No. 5, was really solid as well,” Ray said. “The others
just need to start believing in themselves. It doesn’t matter how often I
tell them who they have beaten. Their heads were already down after the
first K. Pick your head up. You’re not in trouble. We’ve got guys who start
to panic and others who are oblivious. They’re just out there racing.”
The Trojans return
to New Prairie for the IHSAA Regional on Saturday.
“Keep confidence in
what you have already done. You belong. That’s the battle with this group,”
Ray said. “It’s a pretty simple formula. It’s all between the ears.”