"Vengeance is mine,
saith the Lord."
Known for printing
Bible verses on her arms before cross country races, Bailey Ranta could've
rolled with Deuteronomy 32:35/Romans 12:19 for Saturday's Chesterton
Regional at a blustery Sunset Hill Farm County Park.
junior rebounded from a third-place finish in the prior week's New Prairie
Sectional to finish first in 18 minutes, 33.5 seconds.
"I didn't want
people to think I was where I was last week," Ranta said. "I had a bad race,
so I wanted to come back and own my name to it. This morning, I was kind of
doubting myself a little bit, then I had to quickly change my mindset that I
could win this, trust my ability, trust what God has for me. I felt great
this week. I got a lot of sleep. Last week, I didn't get that much sleep. My
body needed that re-fueling."
Ranta crossed the
line with a margin of 5.7 seconds from sectional champion Kaylie Politza of
"I kind of wanted
to break her at the mile point. The second lap, I started to spread it out,"
Ranta said. "I really try to listen to the crowd behind me. If they say, 'Go
Kaylie,' I know I have to keep pushing, to separate the gap more. I hope I
can win Semistate, I hope I can get close to or beat (Lowell's) Karina
(James). I think I have a really good chance of beating her. I'm really
Lindsay Moskalick expected the bounce-back performance for her top runner.
"We talked about
that all week," she said. "Bailey's worked for this part of the season. She
should be up there. She even said I'm going to show that I should be up
there. She was pumped up for this race. She knows with each week we're
getting closer and closer to the end goal, which is the state meet. She
performed just how she's supposed to."
Chesterton (54) won
the team title, followed by Wheeler (59). Valparaiso, running without No. 2
Cheyanne Stock, was third (94), LaPorte fourth (116) and Portage fifth (131)
to also advance to the New Prairie Semistate.
"We're the dream
team, for real," Ranta said.
Ciara Bonner (10th,
19:51.6), Catherine White (12th, 19:55.4) and Bree Gentry (13th, 19:58.8)
closed ranks for the Trojans with Alyssa Dunlap 23rd.
"As tough as each
week gets, regionals are still a little strung out. It's not like the
semistate," Mosckalick said. "Our two, three and four, talked about packing
up and working together, that this is the meet to do it. That's what they're
capable of doing. Alyssa's just knocking on that door where she's going to
have that race where it all connects for her. We're putting the puzzle
together. We're almost done with the puzzle. Hopefully these last two meets,
the puzzle will be complete."
Liz Hibshman (27th,
20:47) and McKenna Handley (34th, 21:09.9) rounded out the Chesterton
1. Chesterton, 54;
2. Wheeler, 59; 3. Valparaiso, 94; 4. LaPorte, 116; 5. Portage, 131; 6.
Morgan Twp., 133; 7. Rensselaer Central, 173; 8. Kankakee Valley, 180; 9.
Kouts, 204; 10. North Judson, 320.
1. Bailey Ranta
(CHS), 18:33.5; 2. Kaylie Politza (Valpo), 18:39.2; 3. Lillian Zelasko (New
Prairie), 18:54.2; 4. Ella Bensz (LaPorte), 19:19.7; 5. Emma Hellwege
finishers: 10. Ciara Bonner, 19:51.6; 12. Catherine White, 19:55.4; 13. Bree
Gentry, 19:58.8; 23. Alyssa Dunlap, 20:23.8; 27. Liz Hibshman, 20:47.0; 34.
McKenna Handley, 21:09.9.