When you can trot
out arguably two of the top guys in the State, the expectations are high.
The Chesterton boys
cross country team opens its season on Saturday when they travel to New
Prairie for the NIC Stomp.
Coach Tim Ray will
have two of the top guns in the race with seniors Jakob Kintzele and Andrew
“Our one and two
are pretty good,” Ray said. “It’s probably the best 1-2 punch we’ve had in
my 20 years here.”
fifth in the 3,200 at the IHSAA Track State Finals last year and broke the
school record by five seconds.
“Jakob has a lot of
confidence right now,” Ray said. “He could not win a post-season meet and go
down as the best distance runner the school’s ever had. Just based on his
times and achievements. There could be 7-10 runners from our Semistate that
could finish in the top 15 at the State Finals.”
Smenyak set a PR by
seven seconds in the 1,600 last spring.
where he is at,” Ray said. “He doesn’t have to be worried about being the
top guy. He can just go out and run and build upon what we are doing in
With two top
runners, the Trojans success will depend on the “pack” of runners that
“Those top two guys
lead by example and they always have. The rest of those guys know that on
race day, there are going to be two low sticks,” Ray said. “Our success will
come down to our three through 10 guys. They’ll be able to run a little more
relaxed and we can let them run more as a pack than we have in the past.”
In that group, Ray
is watching Will Shook, Matthew Van Kley, Nathan O’Connor, Dylan Olson,
Timber Whittemore, Kenny Erow and freshman Matthew Streeter.
“The pack will be
the deciding factor every time out,” Ray said.
The Trojans will
meet plenty of challenges through the regular season before they even get to
“Out of the top 12
teams back in our Semistate, only about 12 guys that ran last year are
gone,” Ray said. “Everybody is loaded and just about everybody in the DAC is