Chesterton Tribune



Ranta rebounds; Chesterton Girls win Regional Championship

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"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.

The Chesterton 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 Valparaiso.

"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 fired up."

Trojans coach 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 lineup.

IHSAA Regional


Team Results

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.

Individual Results

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 (Wheeler), 19:22.0.

Other Chesterton 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.


Posted 10/19/2020




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