Chesterton Tribune



Trojan Boys track team finishes a CHS-best 4th at State Finals

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Even the athletes responsible for the best state finals performance in program history didn’t believe it.

“I was not even expecting to make the top 10 as a team,” senior Darren Corzan said just after the team standings were announced. “That’s awesome.”

Competing at the IHSAA Boys Track and Field State Finals on Friday at Indiana University, the Trojans scored 37 points to finish fourth, higher than any Chesterton team has before.

“Much like it has the last few weeks, everything came together at the right time,” Chesterton coach Bryan Nallenweg said. “There wasn’t a single race today where we did not run our personal-best and season-best times. When everything comes together like that, great things happen. I couldn’t be prouder of how the guys competed.”

It started in the 400-meter relay, as the group of sprinters that has been Chesterton’s strength all season finished third with a time of 41.45 seconds. Seniors EJ Biokoro and Darren Corzan teamed with juniors Louie Razo and Braden Corzan to set a new school record in that event.

“I was astonished by the time we ran,” Darren Corzan said. “But I was still amazed that we managed to get third place. I really thought we could’ve won it.”

“We broke the school record and I feel like it won’t be broken for a long time,” Braden Corzan added.

In the individual events, Braden Corzan finished sixth in the 100 (10.81) and also finished third in the 200 (21.65). He was one-tenth behind Biokoro in that race, with Biokoro taking second to finish ahead of his teammate for the first time this postseason.

“I wasn’t surprised -- EJ’s fast,” Braden Corzan said. “He’s faster than me at the moment. I was more happy than I was surprised. I wanted him to do well in his last high school race.”

Biokoro let out a loud yell as he crossed the finish line, but he said that was more about the time he ran than gaining the bragging rights in the fierce -- but friendly -- rivalry he’s had with his teammate all season long.

“I was pretty excited, I’d never broke 21 (seconds) until now,” Biokoro said. “It was my last high school meet. I had to go all out.”

In the final event of the day, Biokoro and the Corzan brothers teamed with freshman Luke Villarreal in the 1,600 relay. Although that group fell outside of all-state consideration in 12th place with a time of 3:21.52, they still had their best performance of the spring.

“It went a lot better than last week,” said Darren Corzan, who competed in that race for the first time at the regional meet one week prior. “My handoff was extremely bad because I’d never done it before. We practiced that a lot this week and I felt pretty good. I could feel myself dying out at the end of the second turn but I held up pretty well.”

Along with his third-place finish as part of the 400 relay, Razo added a medal in the long jump, finishing fourth with a leap of 22 feet, 10.75 inches.

“I’m in-between on that,” Razo said of his reaction to the long jump. “I had a higher goal for myself than fourth. But I was seeded fifth and last year I got 10th, so finishing six places better is an accomplishment.”

Three individual medals and a fourth in one relay and a fifth in a field event at the state meet served as the final chapter for the talented group of athletes that assembled in Chesterton’s sprint group.

“Our sprinters have been absolutely wonderful,” Nallenweg said. “They have outperformed what we as coaches thought they could do. That’s just a testament to how hard they’ve worked starting right after football season.”

It wasn’t just the sprint and field events where Chesterton reached the podium, though. Junior Jakob Kintzele finished fifth in the 3,200 with a time of 9:11.49 after using last week’s regional meet to prepare himself for the state finals.

“Everyone was shocked when I ran a 4:35 through the first mile at regionals,” he said. “But that was the plan all along to prepare for faster races like this.”

Kintzele spent much of the season running the 3,200 by himself, well ahead of the field. But he knew the state meet would be different.

“I was excited to have competition to run with,” he said. “I had a lot of energy that I didn’t during the other races. I was getting tired in the last mile -- it was definitely tough. But once we got to the last 800 (meters), I was confident. I had a strong finish.”

Two more Trojans were among the field of competitors on Friday as senior Ben Raffin finished 14th in the pole vault (13-6) and senior James Van Drie finished 25th in the discus (138-11).



Posted 6/5/2017




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