By JIM PETERS
The start of the
season, not to mention its location, were both uncertainties for the
Chesterton boys cross country.
So, when the
Trojans took the line Saturday for the Jack Bransford Classic at Kesling
Park, the level of appreciation was different than it's ever been for
assistant coach Tom Moeller.
"We're happy to be
racing, first of all," said Moeller, noting that their regularly-scheduled
meet, the NIC Stomp at Oxbow Park, was cancelled. "We weren't scheduled to
be here, so we were fortunate to get into this race. Kudos to these guys for
putting this on. We ran this race years ago before they moved it to a
Saturday. (The Duneland) conference meet is here, so that was one perk, to
get to see the course."
The race itself was
the only part of the event that looked like normal, given the COVID-19
pandemic safety controls. The course, while spacious, was still taped off to
maintain greater spectator distancing from runners, who masked before and
after their 3.1-mile run. All teams had a representative at the finish line
to help facilitate movement through the chute area.
ďI'm happy that
it's over," LaPorte coach Corbin Slater said. "I was telling the athletes
I'm sorry for not being able to coach too much. There was a lot of thought
going in to trying to make this the best it could be. Early on, we had the
option of running 12 kids and no JV, but I really wanted to get a chance for
those kids who haven't been able to race for months. They deserve it as much
as anyone else. It was really cool to get that many kids out. I thought we
did a really good job of keeping people safe, keeping them separated, kids
wearing masks when they need to. We just had to try and dot all the Iís and
cross all the Tís. It was nice to have some form of normalcy. It couldn't
have been any better."
Chesterton, many of the older runners drove on their own.
"We only had seven
who didn't," Moeller said.
As for the meet,
Chesterton took third (71), behind Crown Point (36) and Lake Central (60).
The Trojans had Cole Dolson (fifth, 16:58.86) and Josh Dennington (seventh,
16:58.86) in the top 10 with Matthrew Streeter 11th (17:18.64).
"There's a couple
good teams here, so at least we let them know we're here, too," Moeller
Guerra won in 15:43.7, his time eclipsing the Kesling Park record of 15:50
previously held by Mike Fout (LaPorte) and Geno Christofanelli (Crown
I think I was pleasantly surprised by the top group, how they hung in
there," Moeller said. "The race went out really fast. The front two kind of
pulled everybody with them. Our guys ran faster than probably they would
have, which makes for a tough race, but they handled it well. Behind the top
three, the rest of the top group ran about what we expected. We haven't run
anything this fast for a while, and it showed. It was nice to run against a
good team and say, OK, do we measure up? I think we felt pretty good that
way. Our top three were in with their top guys."
Jackson Tuck (22nd,
17:48.99) and Evan O'Connor (32nd, 18:09.52) were Chesterton's other scorers
with Reece Erow (37th, 18:17.61) and Josh Tuck 39th (18:23.83).
"We had a freshman
in his first race run an 18:12 and a couple guys PR'd by like a
minute-and-a-half, which is a good testament to their training," Moeller
said. "Once track was cancelled, a lot of people I'm sure had the same
problem we did, but it was like, what's the point? July is really when we
started. You look at practice and see how things are going in practice,
there was nothing outrageous one way or the other. We're happy."
Now with the start
of school at Chesterton being worked into the equation, Moeller is hopeful
they can continue to advance with the season.
interesting from this point," he said. "Half the team won't be in school on
a given day. We try to be pretty diligent about that, setting an example."
AT KESLING PARK (LAPORTE)
1. Crown Point, 36;
2. Lake Central, 60; 3. Chesterton, 71; 4. Munster, 97; 5. LaPorte, 115; 6.
1. Lucas Guerra
(Highland), 15:43.70; 2. Quinton Bock (CP), 16:32.14; 3. Cole Raymond (L),
16:36.92; 4. Anthony Saberniak (CP), 16:39.39; 5. Cole Dolson ©, 16:45.14;
6. Zakaria Mohiuddin (LC), 16:53.42; 7. Josh Dennington ©, 16:58.86; 8.
Hayden Podlin (LC), 17:06.95; 9. Max Lindenmeyer (M), 17:13.02; 10. Nathan
Murphy (CP), 17:14.64.
finishers: 11. Matthew Streeter, 17:18.64; 22. Jackson Tuck, 17:48.99; 32.
Evan OíConnor, 18:09.52; 37. Reece Erow, 18:17.61; 39. Josh Tuck, 18:23.83;
43. Ethan Mohoi, 18:34.89; 45. Lucas Vinet, 18:45.14; 55. Billy Clinkert,
19:18.67; 64. Ian Rutherford, 20:10.02; 66. Francis Fox, 20:52.95.
1. Lake Central,
40; 2. Crown Point, 43; 3. Chesterton, 51; 4. LaPorte, 122; 5. Munster, 148;
6. Highland, 177; 7. Portage, 185.
1. Ryan Schlyer ©,
18:59.17; 2. Trey Scheub (LC), 19:08.77; 3. Trevor Arlington ©, 19:10.08; 4.
Noah Thomas (CP), 19:12.42; 5. Chris Netherton (CP), 19:24.14.
finishers: 10. Max Welbourne, 20:02.67; 17. Brendan Hoch, 20:16.80; 20.
Matthew Long, 20:24.77; 23. Bobby Berger, 20:38.86; 26. Drew Carpenter,
20:48.02; 38. Vince Fox, 21:14.83; 50. Tyler Herzog, 22:10.61; 54. Owen
Daugherty, 22:13.42; 55. Wililam Nowicki, 22:14; 59. AJ Tolin, 22:23.42; 62.
Brayden Mercier, 22:36.11; 64. Nathan Keel, 22:57.74; 66. Ethan Wodrich,
23:20.08; 67. Preston Throw, 23:25.77; 68. Ethan Kroft, 23:30.02; 77. Oliver
Wilgocki, 24:38.52; 78. Sam Haughtington, 24:38.70; 85. Gage Wimmer,
25:58.14; 90. Owen Rutherford, 27:30.15; 95. Hunter Ellis, 31:52.60.