The finish was almost inconsequential.
It was the site of Saturday's race more than the outcome of it that really
mattered for Chesterton’s girls cross country.
The Trojans punctuated their season with a 16th-place showing in the state
finals at the Lavern Gibson Championship Course.
“I think at the finish they were a little overwhelmed by how many good
runners there are at the state meet,” coach Brian Carden said. “I told them
they weren’t only up against the best runners in the state, some of them
A record-setting race saw the top five finishers break Ashley Erba's record
of a year ago, and the defending champion from Warsaw didn't even head the
list. Mishawaka's Anna Rohrer, who beat Erba at the New Prairie
Invitational, did it again, pulling away in the K. She crossed in 17:13.2
for a surprisingly decisive 16-second win.
“We told them to be careful the first 1,000 (meters),” Carden said. “It was
going to be fast no matter what, so don't get carried away. Don't go out and
run with people who are trying to win. I was a little nervous about the
start line because we were right against the fence, but I told them to run
straight to the yellow flag and see what happens.”
Over three hours from home, Chesterton finished just two points behind the
school that’s just 10 minutes away, coming in at 407 to Valparaiso’s 405 for
15th. Portage, the other local team in the field, came in 21st at 455.
Carmel rolled to its third straight title, posting a scant 66 that was less
than half of runner-up West Lafayette (147).
“I really thought they ran fine,”Carden said. “I projected top 15. I didn't
tell the girls that. I told them top 10. It was still another solid day.
We're happy. They performed as solid as the last three weeks if not a little
better in some cases.”
Chesterton's first two finishers were the usual suspects -- Haley Cushway
(90th, 20:02.9) and Hannah Hoffmann 102nd, 20:11). Melanie Buckmaster was
111th in 20:16.9, five spots ahead of Samantha Giordano (116th, 20:19.6).
Rosie Biehl completed the scoring five, crossing 118th in 20:22.5. Leah Sink
(131st, 20:37.2) and Kassidy Scott (157th, 21:11.8) also ran for the
“Haley ran tough,” Carden said. “Hannah didn't want to say anything, but she
had a sore ankle. Sam, Mel, Rosie, they all were solid as they've been. I
think Leah, the freshman, was overwhelmed by state. She was a little upset,
but it was a great experience. Let it fuel her for hopefully three more
Carden loses four of his top seven in Hoffman, Buckmaster, Giordano and
Biehl, but believes the team can build on the state berth.
“It’s a good end to the year,” he said. “We had four seniors, but there was
a team of young'ns who wanted to be there. Hopefully, we'll be back next
year. It's a goal that looks like we can do, as long as they do their
homework, put the miles in.”
Cross Country State Finals
AT TERRE HAUTE
1. Carmel, 66; 2. West Lafayette, 147; 3. Columbus North, 158; 4. Franklin
Central, 160; 5. Hamilton Southeastern, 173; 6. Carroll (Fort Wayne), 174;
7. Eastern (Greentown), 206; 8. Northridge, 228; 9. Fishers, 300; 10.
Westfield, 320; 11. Avon, 337; 12. Terre Haute, 359; 13. Bloomington South,
388; 14. Fort Wayne Concordia, 390; 15. Valparaiso, 405; 16. Chesterton,
407; 17. Homestead, 408; 18. Penn, 413; 19. Warsaw, 420; 20. Huntington
North, 422; 21. Portage, 455; 22. Terre Haute South, 542; 23. Bloomington
North, 639; 24. Evansville Reitz, 691.
1. Anna Rohrer (Mishawaka), 17:13.2; 2. Ashley Erba (War), 17:29.2; 3.
Bobbie Burgess (WL), 17:51.6; 4. Mackenzie Caldwell (CN), 17:55.8; 5.
Bethany Neeley (E), 18:04.2; 6. Anna Aldrich (Fremont), 18:11.5; 7. Sarah
Billingsley (Oldenburg Academy), 18:21.9; 8. Kendra Foley (Noblesville),
18:25.4; 9. Abigail Hostetler (Fremont), 18:29.6; 10. Rachel Nichwitz (HSE),
18:29.9; 11. Amanda Farrough (South Bend Clay), 18:30; 12. Gina Genco (Carm),
18:31.3; 13. Rachael Soliman (CN), 18:31.8; 14. Jessica King (HSE), 18:35.3;
15. Emma McAnally (Indianapolis Cathedral), 18:35.6; 16. Elena Lancioni (LaPorte),
18:35.9; 17. Kelcy Welch (Carm), 18:38.8; 18. Sienna Crews (Heritage Hills),
18:41.1; 19. Haley Harris (Carm), 18:45.5; 20. Alex Warzyniak (BS), 18:48.5;
21. Madison Woods (Pe), 18:48.5; 22. Taylor Austin (Griffith), 18:48.9; 23.
Samantha Woodford (Plainfield), 18:52; 24. Samantha Roush (Columbia City),
18:53.2; 25. Marina Konow (FWC), 18:54.4.
Chesterton finishers: 90. Haley Cushway, 20:02.9; 102. Hannah Hoffmann,
20:11; 111. Melanie Buckmaster, 20:16.9; 116. Samantha Giordano, 20:19.6;
118. Rosie Biehl, 20:22.5; 131. Leah Sink, 20:37.2; 157. Kassidy Scott,