As Jakob Kintzele
sprinted out with the lead pack, the Chesterton senior caught a quick
glimpse to his left and to his right.
“It was crazy,”
Kintzele said. “I went out the first 100 meters, I was looking for some of
the guys I normally run with. I was up with (state champion) Gabe (Fendel),
I was like, holy crap. I was shocked to be with different people.”
his strong start, finishing with a surge to take seventh place in Saturday’s
state finals race at the Lavern Gibson Championship Course, tops among
Northwest Indiana runners.
“A lot of times, I
could drop back, but I really wanted to stay with that top group. It was a
really tight pack the whole raqce.Ę kept telling myself, stay on them, stay
on them, stay on them. Coach (Tim) Ray talks about leading races all the
time. This time, I was able to sit on people and save a lot of energy. I
think that’s one reason I did so well. I was really picking up ground the
last K. I passed four, five guys. It was super windy. I left it all out
there. I ran a good race.”
in 15 minutes, 35.5 seconds. Fendel won in 15:17.2.
“I wasn’t going to
waste energy chasing Gabe,” Kintzele said. “I wanted top 10 or so, maybe 25.
As long as I was all-state (top 25), that’s what I was shooting for. I ‘m
proud to represent the Region.”
Ray praised his
four-year standout, who was also a nominee for the mental attitude award.
“He’s a pillar of
success, an example on an off the course, in the classroom,” Ray said. “All
the hard work, the dedication he’s had, it sets an example of what you need
to do to be successful. It doesn’t matter he’s as good as he is, if you want
to continue to improve, to have success, you have to work hard. He’s an
outstanding runner and he’s worked hard to get where he’s at. He sets the
tone for the rest of the team.”
20th in the field of 24 teams with 452 points. Carmel was the runaway
champion at 94, 58 points better than runner-up Fishers. Valparaiso paced
the Northwest Indiana contingent in fourth at 200.
“We had a fantastic
race, which is all you can hope for,” Ray said. “It was a valuable
experience and hopefully it will motivate them for more in years to come.”
Kintzele was the
only Trojan in the top 100. Nathan O’Connor was second on the team and 115th
overall in 16:40.8, followed by Matthew Van Kley (138th, 16:53.8). Andrew
Smenyak (167th, 17:18) and Kenny Erow (180th, 17:28.6) also scored for
Chesterton with Kyler Haynes (195th, 17:58) and Dylan Olson (208th, 19:03.6)
completing the lineup.
“Nathan, in the
past, had been our three, four, and has been our No. 2 the last two races,”
Ray said. “He ran a solid, solid race. Matthew and Andrew had steady races.
Kenny and Kyler broke 18. They hadn’t been able to in the past and they have
the past two. We had six break 18, which we haven’t done in a long time. I’m
proud of the guys.”