Chesterton Tribune



Ranta, Trojans run second at girls XC Sectional

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By Jim Peters

The winds were blowing strongly enough at Saturday's New Prairie Sectional that it seemed like one big gust could pick up little Bailey Ranta and carry away the Chesterton sophomore cross country runner like she was Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, minus the sparkly shoes.

"You just have to work with it and do the best you can," Ranta said. "It's going to be like this for State. You just have to stay calm and keep moving toward the finish line."

Running in the lead trio, Ranta did her best to not take the brunt of the breeze, letting Valparaiso's Ava Gilliana and Wheeler's Hailey Orosz take the front. She and Gilliana separated over the last mile with the Vikings senior ultimately winning in 18 minutes, 46.3 seconds. Ranta crossed in 18:54.8.

"I just had to keep a positive attitude, listen to my coaches, my teammates and my family," Ranta said. "They kept telling me, you can do this, you've got this. I just want to do better next time and try to catch her."

Chesterton coach Lindsay Moskalick gave her front runners high marks while noting potential room for improvement.

"When there's three of you in front, there's no point in the three of you leading the race, tuck in behind and take some wind off someone," Moskalick said. "Bailey pushed through and did what she needed to do. She ran smart. Of course, we'd like to see her closer to Ava, but she still has time to close that gap. Second place for a sophomore, it looks pretty good for her."

The Trojans were team runners-up behind Valpo, 54-68. Portage (75), Wheeler (111) and LaPorte (130) also advanced to the Chesterton Regional.

"I think if the girls had stuck to the plan we had, we could've won," Moskalick said. "But we've got next week and the following week. We've been talking all season about how important it's going to be to get out from the gun. I think hopefully this was the lesson our four, five, six, seven need to get out (fast). The race got away from them and they had to spend the rest of the race trying to catch everyone."

Ranta was backed by Ashley Craycraft, who took fourth in 19:37.5.

"I've got to remind myself Ashley's a sprinter," Moskalick said. "She's learning. She was out most of the summer with an ankle issue, but she's getting stronger each week, coming through as a solid No. 2, which is what we need in these bigger races."

Bree Gentry was 15th for Chesterton in 20:25.9 with Peyton Westphal (24th, 20:52.3) and Kaitlynn Leady (25th, 20:55.3) completing the scoring. Frances Clancy placed 31st (21:21.3) and Kaitlyn Van Kley 33rd (21:24.5).

"Each race, you learn something," Moskalick said. "You've got to get in position from the beginning. Each race, there are going to be more and more girls who are not going to come back to you, more numbers in between. If we can do that, I'm fully confident we will advance to the state meet."

Chesterton will host the IHSAA Regional Saturday at Sunset Hill with Rensselaer, Morgan Township, Kankakee Valley, Kouts and North Judson comprising the rest of the field.

IHSAA Sectional


Team Results

1. Valparaiso, 54; 2. Chesterton, 68; 3. Portage, 75; 4. Wheeler, 113; 5. LaPorte, 130; 6. New Prairie, 130; 7. Boone Grove, 164; 8. South Central, 206; 9. Lake Station, 271.

Individual Results

1. Ava Gilliana (Valparaiso), 18:46.3; 2. Bailey Ranta (Chesterton), 18:54.8; 3. Hailey Orosz (Wheeler), 19:23.9; 4. Ashley Craycraft (Chesterton), 19:37.5; 5. Aubree Foreman (Valparaiso), 19:41.1.

Other Chesterton finishers: 15. Bree Gentry, 20:25.9; 23. Peyton Westphal, 20:52.3; 24. Kaitlynn Leady, 20:55.4; 31. Frances Clancy, 21:21.3; 33. Kaitlyn Van Kley, 21:24.5.



Posted 10/14/2019




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