At this point in the season, with a growing importance to each meet,
Chesterton girls cross country coach Brian Carden is still waiting, though
he knows time is of the essence.
"We still need to get our face in there a little more," Carden said after
Saturday's Duneland Athletic Conference Championships. "I'm not worried
about the times as much as I am staying in contact with the race a little
better, competing. If we do that, the times will drop and we'll do better.
We've got to quit being content."
The Trojans finished sixth with 126 points, well off the pace of first-time
champion LaPorte (48), Portage (49) and Lake Central (75). Defending
champion Valpo (92) was fourth and Crown Point (101) fifth.
"We knew it would be tough," Carden said. "It's conference. You try to get
fired up for it, but the other teams are definitely fired up, too. We had a
nice bunch, but we need to move up about 30 seconds. Our top two were OK,
but we don't have that low number. They definitely ran better than (at
Culver Academy). We showed improvement, and that's the direction we've got
Freshman Lindsey Nielsen led the Trojans, finishing 16th in 20:24.7,
followed by Haley Cushway (20:26.3).
"We were hoping to sneak them in to all-conference, but it didn't happen,"
Erin Socha placed 28th (20:52.7), Josie Tolin 32nd (21:03.4) and Kaylee
Slont 33rd (21:06.2) to complete Chesterton's top five. Kassidy Scott came
in 37th (21:46.6), just ahead of Kelly Arlow (21:48.2). Leah Sink was
runner-up in the JV race with a time (20:56.1) that would've put her fourth
for Chesterton in the varsity race.
"Leah's slowly bouncing back," Carden said. "She'll be there in the
post-season. We were playing around with the lineup a little bit."
Chesterton's next race will be the Oct. 16 sectional at Sunset Hill Farm.
"Itíll be tough advancing," Carden said. "We don't have the luxury of saying
we'll be in the top three. We're probably four or five, which should be OK
all the way to semistate. We've still got a few weeks to do some things."
LaPorte's Elena Lancioni became the first girl to win three DAC titles,
cruising to a 37-second victory in 18:38.2.
Girls Cross Country
Duneland Athletic Conference Championship
AT KESLING PARK, LAPORTE
1. LaPorte 48, 2. Portage 49, 3. Lake Central 75, 4. Valparaiso 92, 5. Crown
Point 101, 6. Chesterton 126, 7. Merrillville 212, . Michigan City 239.
1. Elena Lancioni (LP) 18:38.2, 2. Kayla McGurk (CP) 19:05.3, 3. Kailee
Schoof (LP) 19:18.3, 4. Michaela Gazdich (V) 19:22.2, 5. Sarah Hunsley (LC)
19:26.5, 6. Rebecca Timm (P) 19:40.2, 7. Alison Mundell (V) 19:52.9, 8. Kyra
Ball (P) 19:54.9, 9. Megan Zajac (LC) 19:58.7, 10. Haley Orshonsky (P)
19:59.2, 11. Kristin Cave (LP) 19:59.4, 12. Rhyan Sloan (P) 20:07.8, 13.
Paige Pizer (P) 20:12.6, 14. Erin Reynolds (P) 20:15.5, 15. Marie Didion
(LP) 20:24.6, 16. Lindsey Nielsen (C) 20:24.7, 17. Haley Cushway (C)
20:26.3, 18. Alyssa Gerick (LP) 20:27.4, 19. Jade Tazbir (LC) 20:29.5, 20.
Sydney Vandersteeg (LC) 20:33.5.
Other Chesterton finishers: 28. Erin Socha (C) 20:52.7, 32. Josie Tolin (C)
21:03.4, 33. Kaylee Slont (C) 21:06.2, 37. Kassidy Scott (C) 21:46.6, 38.
Kelly Arlow (C) 21:48.2.