Chesterton Tribune



Ranta-less Trojan Girls finish 3rd at IHSAA Cross Country Regional

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Runners came rolling through the finish line in Saturday’s Chesterton Regional at Sunset Hill Farm County Park, one after another.

As the numbers continued to mount in the chute and recovery area with no sign of Bailey Ranta, it became clear that something had happened on the course to the Trojans’ front-runner.

Within a few minutes, a wobbly Ranta was brought in on a Gator utility vehicle and treated in the medical tent.

“I saw her off to the side, being assisted,” Chesterton coach Lindsay Moskalick said. “I think she stopped and people came to her. Toward the finish, I saw her start to slow up a little bit and when I didn’t see her in the top 10, I knew something happened.”

Ranta didn’t feel well before the race, yet went out hard with eventual winner Ava Gilliana of Valparaiso and was still third in the final half mile when she broke down.

“Earlier this season, we had a similar situation and she was able to bounce back,” Moskalick said of a meet in Marion. “She knows what she needs to do. she does a good job, but I have to keep in mind myself she’s just a sophomore, she’s a younger girl still learning this role being No. 1 runner. I think the race went out a little too fast than what they’re used to. I think that added a little to the outcome of her race, but I don’t think it caused it. It was just another factor.”

Despita Ranta’s struggles, Chesterton still managed to advance without issue to the New Prairie Semistate, finishing third with 86 points, behind Valparaiso (46) and Portage (70). Rensselaer (102) and Wheeler (109) also moved on to the next race.

“The big thing with coaching cross country is once the gun goes off, you have no control of what happens, the outcome,” Moskalick said. “You just hope they do what they need to do and you get the finish you want. I saw it start to happen (with Ranta), I saw the girls getting in front of her, I said, you guys have got to go right now, you need to step up. I could see the reaction in their bodies.

“They moved from there, which is exactly what we needed. We realized we need to up our game individually if we want to continue our tradition of going to the state meet.”

In Ranta’s void, Bree Gentry paced the Trojans in 13th at 20:15, two spots in front of Ashley Craycraft (20:17.6). Libby Boster was 18th (20:25.6) and Peyton Westphal 22nd (20:45.3). Kaitlynn Leady (35th, 21:22.5) completed Chesterton’s top five, followed by Frances Clancy (37th, 21:27).

“Libby Boster, Bree Gentry did a great job stepping up,” Moskalick said. “We had three in the top 20, which was awesome. Our sixth stepped up big for us, which is important when your No. 1 runner isn’t able to finish. You’ve got to be able to depend on the other six, and I thought they did a great job. They got us to the next week. We’re moving forward and we know what have to do to make it to the big dance. (Ranta) bounced back the last time and I know, 100 percent, she will bounce back from this.”

IHSAA Regional


Team Results

1. Valparaiso, 46; 2. Portage, 70; 3. Chesterton, 86; 4. Rensselaer Central, 102; 5. Wheeler, 109; 6. LaPorte, 158; 7. Morgan Twp., 175; 8. Kouts, 199; 9. Kankakee Valley, 214; 10. North Judson, 285.

Individual Results

1. Ava Gilliana (Valparaiso), 18:36.2; 2. Haley Orosz (Wheeler), 18:59.9; 3. Kaitlyn Mackovyak (Portage), 19:16.2; 4. Emma Hellwege (Wheeler), 19:21.3; 5. Aubree Foreman (Valparaiso), 19:22.3.

Chesterton finishers: 13. Bree Gentry, 20:15.0; 15. Ashley Craycraft, 20:17.6; 18. Libby Boster, 20:25.6; 22. Peyton Westphal, 20:45.3; 35. Kaitlynn Leady, 21:22.5; 37. Frances Clancy, 21:27.0.



Posted 10/21/2019




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