Gone are the top
two runners over the last four years, but don’t feel sorry for Tim Ray.
The Chesterton boys
cross country coach returns enough experience to leave his team competitive
in the Duneland Athletic Conference and a chance at another trip to the
“We bring back some
experience, but they’ve never led before,” Ray said as he team prepares to
open the season at the NIC Stomp at New Prairie. “The guy who was our MVP
the last four years is gone and the guy who ran second isn’t here either. We
have some guys with an opportunity to step up into a leadership role.”
O’Connor was the Trojans No. 2 finisher in the State Finals last season and
should assert himself as the top guy this year.
had taken the lead right now,” Ray said. “He had a great summer and some
guys are just following his lead. Will Shook, Matthew Van Kley, Matthew
Streeter and Kenny Erow would be our top five right now.”
continues to push to the front, it may be a ‘pack’ mentality for the Trojans
“I’m not quite sure
if we’ll have a true front runner just yet,” Ray said. “Nathan is heading in
that direction. He was our No. 2 guy at the State Meet last year and had a
fantastic spring in track.”
A group of five
more will push for a spot in the varsity line-up.
Ethan Mohoi, Dylan Draves, Austin Johnson and Kyler Hynes are the next
group,” Ray said. “We had a four-year drought where I don’t think they
understood what it took to get to the next level. The past two years, the
guys have understood.
“I think the
seniors know what it takes and know how to finish races.”
In a loaded DAC,
the Trojans should be in the mix.
“There are three
teams that are better than everybody else on paper,” Ray said. “We could
finish anywhere from third to sixth in the DAC and that’s good enough to
give you a chance on Semistate day to get to State. It’ll be a battle for
the last couple of spots.”