On a cold fall
afternoon with temperatures in the low 40s, only one thing felt better
wrapped around Shelby Bullock than her mom’s long coat.
That one thing
would be a medal.
junior made the most of her first visit to the Lavern Gibson Championship
Course, finishing 13th in Saturday’s state finals race.
“It wasn’t too
bad,” Bullock said of the weather. “I’d rather have this than 95 (degrees).
Honestly, in my mind, I was thinking top 25, so 13th, I’m super happy. I was
more excited than nervous. Honestly, I loved it. I had no idea of the
course. Racing basically not knowing what’s going was a lot better. There
were really good runners running. I was just out here to have fun to see
what I can do and hopefully I could pull through.”
did, using a calculated approach to the race to put herself in striking
position for a payoff at the end. She finished in 18 minutes, 28.1 seconds,
third among Northwest Indiana runners behind Logan Ferngren of Valparaiso
(eighth) and Lowell’s Jordyn Boyer (ninth).
"I felt really
good,” Bullock said. “I knew it was going to be fast. I held back the first
part of the race, so I didn’t get go out too fast or the last mile was going
to be bad. I knew I had to listen to my body the first mile and take it from
there. I saw (Valpo’s) Ava (Gilliana) at a mile-and-a-half and Jordyn was in
sight, which was good. I wanted to be able to see where thay are.”
The early pace took
its toll on some runners, including Gilliana (46th), an issue Chesterton
coach Maggie Wolgamot thought could arise if they weren’t wise about it.
“I was really
concerned about not starting too fast,” Wolgamot said. “It’s very easy to do
on this course. You’ve got the slight downhill at three-quarters of a mile.
Shelby knew she was within range going in. Just be strong, stay focused. She
fought back. It’s better to pass than be passed.”
performance highlighted a solid showing for Chesterton in its first state
meet since 2010. The Trojans placed 16th of 24 teams with 385 points.
Zionsville (118) topped Carroll-Fort Wayne (129) for the title. Lowell was
11th, Valparaiso 12th, Crown Point 13th and LaPorte 19th.
“We were hoping top
17,” Wolgamot said. “We were ranked 20th. I thought we were better than that
and it turned out we were. They all really performed well on the same day,
which is very exciting. That’s not always the case. They were shockingly
relaxed. They accomplished their goal of making it to state. They were so
excited to be here. With everybody else out there, it was nice to have no
pressure on them for the first time in a while, just do your best.”
After Bullock, Kara
Krol was 85th (19:23.6) and freshman Nalani Malackowski was 110th (19:34.8)
for the Trojans. Rachel Hoffman (159th, 20:19.1) and freshman Taylor Edwards
(171st, 20:33.1) completed the scoring five with Elizabeth Canright 187th
(20:50.7) and Rebecca White 203rd (21:32.8).
said. “This is one race where the spectators can cheer for you the entire
time and they fed off it. Kara had a really strong showing. She picked
people off the second half. Nalanai had a real strong showing. There were no