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
“It was, well,
we’re just going to have to go,” junior Bailey Ranta said. “We got here
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
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.”
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.”
Politza to Indiana and looks forward to her future matchups with Ranta as
“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
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,
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.
AT NEW PRAIRIE
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.
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.
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