Chesterton Tribune

 

 

CHS Boys Cross Country begins Saturday

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By TR HARLAN

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 State Finals.

“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.”

Senior Nathan O’Connor was the Trojans No. 2 finisher in the State Finals last season and should assert himself as the top guy this year.

“Nathan O’Connor 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.”

While O’Connor continues to push to the front, it may be a ‘pack’ mentality for the Trojans this year.

“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.

“Adam Juestel, 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.”

 

 

 

Posted 8/17/2018

 
 
 
 

 

 

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