Chesterton Tribune



No bus, no problem for CHS girls cross country

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The day didn’t start very well for the Chesterton girls cross country team.

With a 7 a.m. race time scheduled for Saturday’s New Prairie Invitational, the Trojans were supposed to start boarding the bus at 5.

As it turns out, the transportation department was under the impression that pick-up was for 5:50.

“It was, well, we’re just going to have to go,” junior Bailey Ranta said. “We got here late.”

When coach Lindsey Moskalick was given the OK for the girls to drive themselves, they hopped in a group of five cars and the impromptu trip.

“Luckily, it’s a quick drive over,” she said. “We got focused on what we needed to do.”

All was well that ended well for Ranta, who navigated the early-morning dew and 41-degree temperature at start in 18:39.9, over 23 seconds ahead of Valpo’s Kaylie Politza in her debut with the Vikings.

“We had a rough morning, but this went so much better,” Ranta said. “We had to have a mask on in the car. I was in the middle of the three. At some point, I was like, I wish I was in the bus right now, but it was kind of good. Actually, it felt like practice because we were all in cars. Everything happens for a reason.”

It all added up to an outpouring of emotion after the race for Ranta, who was touched by having former teammate Ashley Craycraft there to watch the Trojans run.

"It was real meaningful for her to come,” Ranta said. “She’s my role model. I try to be like her. I really needed this race. I had a really good day. I kept staying positive, focusing on what I need to accomplish, not let my mind get the best of me, keep pushing through, never stop. I like (early races). I had a long-sleeve (shirt) on, but I decided to take it off. I usually don’t do that. At first and (the) middle (of the race), my arms got kind of cold, but I didn’t let that stop me. I just had to think, keep going, you’re almost there, picture myself at which mark I’m at, as I kept moving.”

Ranta pulled away from Politza on the third mile to win comfortably.

“I was really looking forward to running against her,” Ranta said. “I just had to break her at some point in the race.”

Politza, running her first cross country meet since December, praised Ranta’s performance.

“I heard a lot of good things about her,” Politza said. “She’s an awesome competitor. It was great to be able to push with her for the first two miles. She took off after Agony Hill. I’m looking forward to the next race against her.”

Moskalick welcomed Politza to Indiana and looks forward to her future matchups with Ranta as well.

“We’re excited to have her,” she said. “She pushed (Ranta) and Bailey did a phenomenal job. We’ll see what the two can do. Bailey came to compete. She’s been running on this course since her freshman year so she knows it like the back of her hand. It was the confidence boost she needed to come in and take the individual crown.”

Chesterton, running without No. 2 girl Catherine White due to a minor injury, finished third behind Penn (72) and Lake Central (90) with 91. Ciara Bonner filled in well, taking fourth.

“With Catherine being out, we talked about all seven were going to have to step up,” Moskalick said. “That’s exactly what they did. Now we have four girls under 20. Ciara dropped another 25 seconds. She really stepped up. She’s been fourth and for her to be a solid No. 2, it shows the depth we have. It was a good day for us.”

For the rest of Chesterton lineup, Bree Gentry was 14th, Alyssa Dunlap 22nd and Liz Hibshman 50th. Mckenna Handley was 53rd and Frances Clancy 59th.

New Prairie Invitational


Team Results

1. Penn, 72; 2. Lake Central, 90; 3. Chesterton, 91; 4. Valparaiso, 107; 5. Crown Point, 169; 6. LaPorte, 183; 7. Indpls. Pike, 196; 8. Warsaw, 220; 9. West Lafayette Harrison, 257; 10. Portage, 279; 11. East Noble, 290; 12. McCutcheon, 335; 13. Elkhart, 355; 14. Mishawaka, 358; 15. Hobart, 374; 16. Munster, 442; 17. Kokomo, 512; 18. Logansport, 516; 19. South Bend Adams, 520; 20. Lafayette Jeff, 597.

Individual Results

1. Bailey Ranta ©, 18:39.90; 2. Kaylie Politza (V), 19:02.10; 3. Cheyenne Stock (V), 19:31.10; 4. Ciara Bonner ©, 19:32.20; 5. Natalie Kransky (LC), 19:32.20.

Other Chesterton finishers: 14. Bree Gentry, 19:49.40; 22. Alyssa Dunlap, 20:04.20; 50. Elizabeth Hibshman, 20:51.20; 53. Mckenna Handley, 20:52.40; 59. Frances Clancy, 21:01.70.



Posted 9/21/2020




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