Chesterton Tribune

Troop and Zosso break sectional records; Trojans finish third

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When Joe Troop took the baton for the final leg of the 1,600-meter relay several seconds behind Portage’s Alvin Best, a Chesterton boys track coach yelled, “If he catches him, he’s the greatest runner ever!”

It almost happened. Troop gobbled up a large portion of the deficit, getting within a couple strides of Best before his open 400 rival held him off in the final straightaway to win the race.

“It was instinct. Someone was in front of me. It’s not good to have anyone in front of me,” Troop said. “I think (Best) heard footsteps. I just didn’t have anything left.”

With good reason. Prior to the final race of Thursday’s Portage Sectional, Troop had run a two-minute split on the Trojans’ 3,200 relay, which broke eight minutes (7:59.55) for the first time in a comfortable victory. He ran a trial and final in the 100, where he finished third, then wowed the crowd with a 48.29 in the 400, breaking a meet record set in 1981 by Kankakee Valley’s Bryan Leturgez.

"That’s not coaching. That has nothing to do with me or anybody else,” Chesterton head coach TR Harlan said. “He’s just a kid who gets it. It’s fun to watch. We didn’t even know what the record was. Our only goal, as funny as it may sound, was to run next to Alvin. We didn’t know how Joe would react, running the 100s. Our goal was just to get in the fast heat (for regionals) and let him take a shot. I was standing at the 100 mark and I thought Alvin had just gone out slow. He ran a 49.6 and we would’ve been happy with that. It’s a great rivalry (with Best). We’d like nothing more than to see the two of them standing next to each other on the (state awards) podium. They have the potential to do it.”

Leturgez, who went on to compete in three Winter Olympics as a bobsledder, ran a 48.4 that stood for over three decades.

“I got out of the blocks really fast,” Troop said. “After the first 100, I settled down. I was taking it really easy. That’s why I had so much kick at the end. To be honest, I was really surprised. I didn’t think I’d bust 49 until the very end, but I think I knew it was coming. I ran a 49.11 (at regionals last year), so I knew it was within reach.”

The 400 wasn’t the only record broken by the Trojans, though Troop had 30 years on Justin Zosso’s pole vault of 15 feet, 6 inches. That effort topped Zosso’s own mark estabished just last year.

“I’ve been pushing for 16 -- that’s my main goal,” Zosso said. “I’ve been hitting it at practice. I hadn’t PR’d since indoors (15-7). It was pretty good weather. I like it warm. The only problem was a little crosswind, but I pushed through it.”

Zosso’s performance wasn’t without drama. He was a vault from no-heighting, missing his first attempts at his opening height, 13-6.

“It was a little scary,” Zosso said. “I was shallow my first two vaults. We just pushed the standards up and I was OK.”

“Justin just does what Justin does,” Harlan said. “He took one attempt at 16 feet on a new pole and shut it down.”

Troop teamed with Billy Biehl, Austin Palombizio and Tyler Rusboldt on the 3,200 relay that started the meet off with 10 points.

“They pretty much ran alone,” Harlan said.

Rusboldt shook off not feeling well after the relay to claim second in the 1,600.

“We just told him to go get top four,” Harlan said. “That’s all we were worried about. It sounds stupid, as well as we did, and we had an unbelievable day, but our goal was literally just to get guys to next week.”

Elsewhere for Chesterton, Richie Ruff was took second in both hurdles races with a 41.04 PR in the 300s. Jacob Andrews placed fourth in the 110s.

“Richie had a great day,” Harlan said. “He and Jake getting out in the highs was great.”

Chesterton also had double qualifiers in the 1,600, where Kevin Kennedy backed Rusboldt in fourth, the 400, where Jordan Napier followed Troop in fourth, the pole vault, where Nick Raffin claimed fourth, joining Zosso, and the shot put, where Sean Matheny and Trever Walker went two-four.

“It was awesome getting two guys out in the shot,” Harlan said. “That was great for them. They both had their best throws.”

Other Trojans qualifiers were Andrew Kearney (third, 3,200), the 400 relay of Tyler Colvin, Kevin Webb, Ryan Knightly and Dylan Pasley (third, 45.11), and high jumper Mason Chronowski (fourth).

“Andrew ran a great time (10:00.77) basically running by himself after the Valpo guys took off,” Harlan said. “The four-by-one was a full second faster, which is awesome for them. The four-by-four ran with the area’s best team, were close to the state standard and ran three seconds better. That’s only the second time Mason’s cleared six feet so he’s starting to get it. Brad Adkins made it to the long jump finals and went eight inches farther than he’s gone all year.”

The only downer of the meet for Chesterton was Biehl’s disqualification in the 800, where he had finished second.

“They said he took too many steps inside the white line on the turn,” Harlan said. “It’s not something we can argue with. You give us those points and we finish four behind Valpo and I don’t think there was anybody here thinking we had a chance to do that before the meet.”

Valpo topped defending champion Portage and the Trojans for the title, 139-132-127.

“I couldn’t be happier for the kids,” Harlan said. “I’m proud of ‘em. They bought into what we were trying to do, which was get them ready for the end of the year. They did what we asked and on the first big night of the year, they came up aces.”

IHSAA Sectional


Team Results

1. Valparaiso, 139; 2. Portage, 132; 3. Chesterton, 127; 4. LaPorte, 107; 5. New Prairie, 35; 6. Wheeler, 34; 7. Michigan City, 29; 8. Washington Twp., 17; 9. South Central, 3.

Individual Results

(Top 4 finishers in each event and any additional finishers to meet the regional-qualifying standard advance to the May 24 Valparaiso Regional)

3,200 RELAY -- 1. Chesterton (Billy Biehl, Austin Palombizio, Tyler Rusboldt, Joe Troop) 7:59.55, 2. LaPorte 8:06.52, 3. Valparaiso 8:12.53, 4. Wheeler 8;35.17, 5. Portage 8:51.25, 6. Michigan City 9:26.97.

110 HUR -- 1. Andrew Kittridge (V) 15.08, 2. Richie Ruff (C) 15.63, 3. Josh Marciniak (V) 15.66, 4. Jacob Andrews (C) 16.18, 5. Kyle Carter (P) 16.41, 6. Taylor Sebben (P) 16.46.

100 -- 1. Jeron Blake (P) 11.19, 2. Scott Schreiber (LP) 11.31, 3. Troop (C) 11.56, 4. Pat Reilly (V) 11.64, 5. My-ishmail Pearson (V) 11.71, 6. Alex Sanchez (P) 11.89.

DISCUS -- 1. Josh Gondeck (MC) 134-6, 2. Logan Fischer (P) 134-3, Nikolas Ackerman (LP) 131-5, 4. Lonnie Pappas (V) 126-9, 5. Thomas Duff (P) 126-0, 6. Paul Runyan (V) 125-8.

1,600 -- 1. Mitch Hubner (LP) 4:17.43, 2. Tyler Rusboldt (C) 4:23.78, 3. Ahmad Aljobeh (V) 4:26.65, 4. Kevin Kenney (C) 4:27.02, 5. Xavier Reed (V) 4:28.62, 6. Dustin Balboa (P) 4:37.98.

400 RELAY -- 1. LaPorte (Jared Reed, Payton McCoy, Schreiber, Nicholas Tobar) 44.11, 2. Valparaiso 44.14, 3. Chesterton 45.11, 4. Michigan City 45.51, 5. Wheeler 46.47, 6. New Prairie 46.87.

400 -- 1. Troop (C) 48.29 (MEET RECORD), 2. Alvin Best (P) 49.62, 3. McCoy (LP) 51.07, 4. Jordan Napier (C) 51.68, 5. David Clegg (P) 51.93, 6. Nick Hartman (V) 52.06.

300 HURDLES -- 1. Othie Freeny (P) 39.62, 2. Ruff (C) 41.04, 3. Marciniak (V) 41.2, 4. Lorenzo Wells (P) 41.6, 5. Dane Eckweiler (Wh) 41.65, 6. Stephen Mattasists (NP) 42.51.

800 -- 1. Hubner (LP) 1:54.25, 2. Kyle Nurse (Wh) 1:57.33, 3. Ian Silver (NP) 1:57.73, 4. Kevin Hickey (V) 2:00.25, 5. Palombizio (C) 2:00.37, 6. James Mills (Wh) 2:00.37.

200 -- 1. Blake (P) 22.73, 2. McCoy (LP) 23.01, 3. Pearson (V) 23.54, 4. Anthony Catchings II (MC) 23.79, 5. Quin Geans (V) 24.08, 6. Joe Nugent (WT) 24.26.

3,200 -- 1. Peyton Reed (V) 9:35.56, 2. Aljobeh (V) 9:50.75, 3. Andrew Kearney (C) 10:00.77, 4. Max Zmija (P) 10:02.99, 5. Nick Cinko (Wh) 10:12.82, 6. Nathan Gerick (LP) 10:19.58.

1,600 RELAY -- 1. Portage (Best, Blake, Clegg, Alex Sanchez) 3:21.92, 2. Chesterton 3:22.65, 3. Valparaiso 3:24.32, 4. LaPorte 3:31.81, 5. Wheeler 3:34.73, 6. Michigan City 3:41.72.

SHOT PUT -- 1. Joey Little (P) 57-9, 2. Sean Matheny (C) 51-1, 3. Fischer (P) 49-0 3/4, 4. Trever Walker (C) 48-11, 5. Kody Kleine (NP) 48-5 3/54, 6. Kevin Kreighbaum (MC) 47-3 1/4.

HIGH JUMP -- 1. Jordan Romanov (V) 6-2, 2. Thamarr McGee (WT) 6-1, 3. Elijah Owen (LP) 6-0, 4. Mason Chronowski (C) 6-0, 5. Nathaniel Kujuwa (NP) 6-0, 6. Jacob Borders (LP) 5-10.

POLE VAULT -- 1. Justin Zosso (C) 15-6 (MEET RECORD), 2. Muyenda Burnett (V) 13-6, 3. Mitch Rodriguez (P) 13-0, 4. Nick Raffin (C) 13-0, 5. Todd Suttor (NP) 12-6, 6. Jacob Chapman (V) 11-6.

LONG JUMP -- 1. Schreiber (LP) 22-3 3/4, 2. Jason Roman (P) 21-6, 3. Rashaan Coleman (P) 21-2 3/4, 4. Burnett (V) 19-8 1/2, 5. Derrick Brewer (NP) 19-8 1/2, 6. Justin Garrett (LP) 19-6 1/4.


Posted 5/18/2012