Chesterton Tribune

Photos: Geoff Lambert shines at Track Regional

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Surprising finish: Chesterton’s Ed Lawson runs the third leg of the 3,200 relay, in which the Trojans moved all the way up from a seventh seed to cross the finish line first Thursday night at the Valparaiso Regional held at Portage. Geoff Lambert, Ed Lawson and Matt Stevens joined Lawson.  (Tribune photo by Jimmy Kissee)


Top thrower: Chesterton’s Spencer West heaved the shot a personal-best 57-6 1/4 for a first place finish Thursday night at the Valparaiso Regional held at Portage. (Tribune photo by Jimmy Kissee)


Set for state: Chesterton’s Max Goldak leads the pack in the 3,200 relay Thursday night at the Valparaiso Regional held at Portage. Goldak accomplished his season long goal of qualifying for state, finishing second behind Morton’s Tim Sirbek. (Tribune photo by Jimmy Kissee)

Record breakers: Chesterton’s Geoff Lambert (left) gets the baton from Joe Bailey (right) Thursday night at the Valparaiso Regional held at Portage. Lambert and Bailey joined Ryan Wells and AJ Thompson in qualifying for state with a second place finish and a new school-record by over three seconds (3:20.56).  (Tribune photo by Jimmy Kissee)



As Geoff Lambert flew around the final turn of 3,200 relay his teammate and close friend Rob Felton, shouted out to the Chesterton senior ‘you wanted to be a hero, now it’s time to do it.’ Lambert took the words to heart and did exactly that, sprinting past both anchors from Lake Central and Portage for a remarkable first place finish Thursday night at the Valparaiso Regional held at Portage.

“We believed in each other and we knew we had to just step up big today and it happened,” said Lambert, who had the meet of his life, running a personal-best split of 1:56 in his portion of the 3,200 relay, in which the Trojan quartet moved all the way up from a seventh seed to cross the finish line first in a season-best 7:59.89.

“What Rob said meant a lot,” said Lambert, who was joined by Matt Osborn, Nick Stevens and Ed Lawson. “I just thought it’s now or never, and I wanted to win. I knew we had the talent to do it. We definitely weren’t running for second or third.”

The first place finish marked the first regional title for Lambert, who was honored as the Trojans Co-Most Valuable runner a night before at the Spring Sports Award banquet.

“This is my first regional win and I couldn’t have picked a better group of guys to do it with,” Lambert said. “This is all about my team, it’s all about them. We believed in our training and trusted our coaches and that’s all I was thinking about.”

In similar fashion, Lambert took the baton last in the meet’s final event (1,600 relay), and rocketed past most of the competitors for a second place finish and state qualifying spot. The swift footed senior turned in a blazing split of 48.3, to lift the foursome of Lambert, Ryan Wells, AJ Thompson and Joe Bailey to a new school-record by over three seconds (3:20.56).

“I couldn’t be happier with the way both of my relays ran tonight,” Lambert said.

“I feel on top of the world right now. My team gave me the opportunity to do what I did, so I thank them for that. I knew 200 out, that I had enough left, so I just tried to make a run at it. My base training in the winter is really starting to pay off. I am able to recover much better and I have more in the tank at the end. I am just happy to get some of these other guys down to state. A lot of them paid the price for me, so that’s the least I could do for them.”

Chesterton coach Tim Ray, who has had numerous heart-to-heart talks with Lambert about running up to his potential and not being afraid of success, said he couldn’t be happier for Lambert.

“It’s really about time,” said Ray about Lambert’s brilliant performances.

“The big thing was trying to get him to believe in what he has and that’s 90 percent of the battle with most of these kids. You can’t be afraid to fail. He left it all out there today and did everything in his power to make it happen. It was just wonderful to see. I always wanted him to have that feeling of success. Of setting a goal and then achieving it. There is no better feeling in the world. He has the God-given ability, but he can’t be afraid to use it, and he did that today.”

Chesterton senior Spencer West came through with a personal best toss of 57 feet, 6 1/4 inches to take top honors in the shot put, despite having to borrow his buddy’s shot as his was ruled unusable.

“It’s only seventh months old, but they said it had a dent in it so I couldn’t use it,” said West, who borrowed Valparaiso’s Sam Compton’s shot for the competition. “It was a little different because it kept sliding out of my hand, so I felt I could’ve went even further. I don’t make excuses though. A regional championship is a regional championship. I’ll take it.”

West’s previous best throw was 57 feet, 2 inches at the West Lafayette Invite earlier this season.

“I am still not doing everything right,” West said. “I’ve been working a lot harder on my technique, and once my tapering is finished, I think I’ll surprise some people down at state.”

West, who changed his strategy to a smoother more subtle approach, said he wasn’t shooting for a distance, but rather just to make the top three.

“It didn’t matter to me if I won, I just wanted to get to state,” West said.

“I can’t say enough about Coach (Rich) Kadish, he’s always there for me. I didn’t get real pumped out there like some of the other guys. I just tried to relax. Before I was like cave man throwing, now I am just trying to be more fluid. I just don’t want to make a fool of myself like some of these other guys, it’s not my style. I am already the big kid with the red beard. I just go out there and do my thing.”

Max Goldak will also make the trip down to state after placing second in the 3,200.

“The first mile was pretty jammed, I tried to pull away a little, but Sirbek had a strong finish,” Goldak said. “The main goal today was just getting out though. None of this really means anything, state is what matters. I knew it was going to be tough, but getting to state has been my goal from the beginning of the season.”

Being your best at the end, is one factor that Ray has tried to drill into Goldak, as well as the rest of the team.

“We’ve stressed from the beginning it’s OK if your results aren’t where you want them to be in the middle,” Ray said. “Because your ultimate goal is to be your best at the end. It makes you look like geniuses when it works out, but if it doesn’t it makes you look like you don’t know what you are doing. These kids made a dedication in the winter and early in the spring, and they really came through when it counted. I couldn’t be more proud of all of them. Hopefully, they can take this feeling and build on it for state and for the years to come. In the end you are your own decision maker on how good you want to be and that’s the great thing about this sport.”

As a team, Chesterton placed fifth with 37 points. Lake Central, led by Brian Kaluf who won both hurdle events, setting the regional record in the latter (300), took the overall title with 70 points. Merrillville was second (68), followed by Valparaiso (66) and Portage (50).

Boys Track Results

Valparaiso Regional

At Portage

Team Scores

1. Lake Central 70; 2. Merrillville 68; 3. Valparaiso 66; 4. Portage 50; 5. CHESTERTON 37; 6. Crown Point 36; 7. Michigan City 32; 8. (Tie) Lew Wallace 29, Munster 29; 10. Gary Roosevelt 24; 11. Morgan Twp. 20; 12. LaPorte 18; 13. Winamac 16; 14. Andrean 14; 15. Highland 13; 16. (Tie) Hobart 11, Morton 11, West Side 11; 19. Horace Mann 9; 20. Bishop Noll 8; 21. EC Central 7; 22. (Tie) Lake Station 6, Wheeler 6, Hanover Central; 25. (Tie) River Forest 5, Boone Grove 5, Griffith 5, Kankakee Valley 5; 29. Rensselaer 4; 30. New Prairie 2.

(Top 3 qualify for state final)

3,200 Relay

1. CHESTERTON - Matt Osborn, Nick Stevens, Ed Lawson, Geoff Lambert 7:59.89; 2. Portage 8:00.46; 3. Lake Central 8:02.16; 4. LaPorte 8:06.06; 5. Andrean 8:11.63; 6. Highland 8:11.67.

110 High Hurdles

1. Brian Kaluf (LC) 14.37; 2. John Bizanes (CP) 14.91; 3. Chris Selent (Mun) 15.01; (CHS result: 11. Rob Felton 16.17).


1. Antoine Brown (P) 10.75; 2. Nathan Barksdale (V) 11.08; 3. WD Walters (Roos) 11.21.


1. Keith Ludwig (LaP) 4:23.28; 2. Don Yamtich (Mun) 4:24.85; 3. Victor Del Toro (ECC) 4:25.52.

400 Relay

1. Merrillville - Jerry Williams, Vince Cole, Onette Gatlin, David Morrow 42.57; 2. Roosevelt 42.66; 3. Valparaiso 43.10; 4. Michigan City 43.37; 5. (tie) Lake Central 43.47, Bishop Noll 43.47; (CHS Result: 9. Joe Bailey, Patrick Small, Jimmy Rash, AJ Thompson 44.81).


1. Anthony Flournoy (LW) 47.93; 2. Jh’Rome Tuggle (Merr) 48.10; 3. Robert Jenkins (Roos) 49.34.

300 Int. Hurdles

1. Brian Kaluf (LC) 37.97 (Meet Record); 2. Andrew Ketcham (MC) 39.37; 3. Chris Selent (Mun) 40.11; (CHS result: 10. Rob Felton 41.24).


1. Bradley Ada (MC) 1:56.96; 2. Cliff Cook (Merr) 1:57.59; 3. Jeff Burkett (Whe) 1:57.62.


1. Antoine Brown (P) 21.89; 2. Jh’Rome Tuggle (Merr) 21.95; 3. David Morrow (Merr) 22.22.


1. Tim Sirbek (Mor) 9:32.11; 2. Max Goldak (C) 9:36.75; 3. David Santelik (CP) 9:39.28.

1,600 Relay

1. Lake Central - Chris Czapla, Mike Toth, Curtis Pratt, Brian Kaluf 3:19.50; 2. CHESTERTON - Ryan Wells, AJ Thompson, Joe Bailey, Geoff Lambert 3:20.56 (CHS RECORD); 3. Valparaiso 3:21.03; 4. Lew Wallace 3:21.05; 5. Roosevelt 3:23.03; 6. West Side 3:29.67.


1. Steve Bartholomew (MT) 166-10; 2. John Tsintas (LC) 158-1; 3. John Kornacki (P) 149-0; (CHS Results: 8. Mike Koulianos 132-10, 9. Ethan Newham 132-7).

High Jump

1. Nate McGinley (MT) 6-8; 2. David Bell (WS) 6-4; 3. Greg Shroka (HC) 6-4; (CHS Result: 12. Curt Bradford 6-0).

Long Jump

1. Nolan Petties (And) 24-0 (Meet Record); 2. Josh Randolph (V) 21-9 3/4; 3. Harold Johnson (MC) 21-6 3/4; (CHS Result: 14. Kyle Yelton 19-4).

Shot Put

1. Spencer West (C) 57-6 1/4; 2. Dexter Larimore (Merr) 55-8 3/4; 3. Eric Vanderfoef (Win) 54-9; 4. Sam Compton (V) 54-4 1/2 (Automatic Qualify).

Pole Vault

1. Biven Fuqua (CP) 13-6; 2. Mike Wells (V) 13-0; 3. Alex Zona (LC) 12-9; (CHS Result: 12. Ray Raffin 10-0).


Posted 5/28/2004