The margin for error for Chesterton's boys cross country team at Saturday's
New Prairie Semistate was razor thin.
In a well-bunched field where over half of the 20 schools harbored hopes of
a trip to Terre Haute, the Trojans saw their season come to an end with a
"We just don't have the depth this year," coach Tim Ray said. "We also knew,
based on the times and the teams we've beaten in races throughout the
season, that we had a legitimate chance to get out. It just didn't happen."
At the very least, Chesterton was spared the heartbreak that befell Munster
and Crown Point, who missed out on qualifying for state by one and two
points, respectively. The Trojans checked in with 302 points, 93 behind
Lowell, which claimed the sixth and final slot.
"We mixed and matched all season and the same things didn't work every
time," Ray said. "I'm proud to say it wasn't a lack of effort, them doing
what they were supposed to do. As a coach, you can always live with that.
You do what you can to put yourself in a position to be successful. That's
really what the program's all about."
In a race where teams needed either some low individual numbers or a tight
pack, Chesterton had neither. Kevin Kenney led the Trojans contingent,
taking 20th in 16:31.6, but the dropoff was substantial to Mitch Wilborn
(52nd, 17:07.8) and Andrew Kearney (63rd, 17:17.2). Alex Genetski (99th,
17:46.8) and Emmitt Sullivan (117th, 18:16.5) completed Chesterton's
scoring. Joe Larimer finished 125th (18:28.6), while Evan Mazurkiewicz, a
consistent top three runner much of the season for the Trojans, came across
second to last in the field of 153 at 20:47.2.
"If the race was 2K, I'd be a very happy person," Ray said. "We knew we had
to get out and we did. Our No. 1 (Kenney) had a good race, not a great race.
Our No. 2 had a good race, Mitch got out strong. Andrew, Alex, even our six,
seven guys, they all had good races."
The exception was Mazurkiewicz, who has been slowed in the postseason by
something Ray nor anyone else has been able to pinpoint.
"He's been our No. 3 all year, except the last weeks," Ray said. "He's used
an inhaler, taken blood tests. Something's not right and we just don't know
what it is. Halfway through, he has an attack or whatever it is and ends up
falling back. It's too bad. Evan feels awful about it. He was one of those
23-minute (5K) guys as a freshman who was 16:45 at the (New Prairie)
Invitational. But it's a team effort. The team didn't advance."
Valparaiso defended its title, topping Warsaw, 45-50. McCutcheon (189),
Hobart (189) and West Lafayette (207) also advanced. Morgan Township's Alec
Kostelnik overtook Warsaw's Jacob Poyner in the final 800 meters to take
individual honors in 15:45.9.
(Top 6 teams and
15 individuals qualify for the State Finals Saturday in Terre Haute)
1. Valparaiso, 45; 2. Warsaw, 60; 3. McCutcheon, 189; 4. Hobart, 189; 5.
West Lafayette, 207; 6. Lowell, 209; 7. Munster, 210; 8. Crown Point, 211;
9. LaPorte, 230; 10. Portage, 231; 11. Lake Central, 249; 12. Wheeler, 279;
13. Chesterton, 302; 14. Rochester, 306; 15. Culver Academies, 384; 16.
Western, 402; 17. Lafayette Jefferson, 405; 18. Frankfort, 501; 19. Twin
Lakes, 514; 20. Carroll (Flora), 551.
1. Alec Kostelnik (Morgan Township), 15:45.9; 2. Jacob Poyner (War), 15:49;
3. Kyle Eller (Lo), 15:57.8; 4. Robert Murphy (War), 15:59.4; 5. Ellis Coon
(War), 16:03.4; 6. Ari Coulopoulos (V), 16:03.9; 7. Taylor Bisacchi (V),
16:07.4; 8. Nickolas Arndt (New Prairie), 16:12.2; 9. Anthony Didion (LP),
16:13.5; 10. Landon Davison (V), 16:14.1; 11. Brent Dunn (Hob), 16:15.5; 12.
Peyton Reed (V), 16:18.3; 13. Cooper Williams (WL), 16:18.8; 14. Joel O'Shea
(Wh), 16:20; 15. Alex Ray (CP), 16:20.6; 16. Tom Bolanowski (Mu), 16:22.3;
17. Jacob Wickes (Mc), 16:24.9; 18. Pat Dalton (V), 16:24.9; 19. Brian
Blaylock (Lo), 16:30.7; 20. Kevin Kenney, (C) 16:31.6.
Other Chesterton finishers: 52. Mitch Wilborn, 17:07.8; 63. Andrew Kearney,
17:17.2; 99. Alex Genetski, 17:46.8; 117. Emmitt Sullivan, 18:16.5; 125. Joe
Larimer, 18:28.6; 152. Evan Mazurkiewicz, 20:47.2.