Just a year ago,
Catherine White’s name was pretty far down the list on Chesterton’s girls
cross country roster.
It doesn’t take
nearly as long to find the Trojan junior anymore.
A productive spring
and summer have vaulted White from the reserve ranks to the No. 2 spot on
one of the area’s top teams.
“During the whole
quarantine, I guess I had a lot of time on my hands, so I put the time into
my running,” White said after finishing second to teammate Bailey Ranta in
Saturday’s Rudy Skorupa Invitational at Lake Central. “There wasn’t really
much else to do. The more time I invested in it, I was seeing results, and I
wanted to do better. My sister (Rebecca, a 2018 Chesterton graduate) was on
varsity, we’re competitive, so we always want to try to get ahead of each
other. It made me really want to get on varsity.”
It’s been a rapid
rise for White, the Trojans’ 15th runner last season. She didn’t do cross
country until high school and was a sprinter/high jumper in middle school
“I was right on the
bubble for varsity last year, so this year, I’ve got to do it,” White said.
“The coaches are wonderful. I love them and the team so much. Everyone is so
supportive. They had a plan for us. We just have to trust the plan and
follow it. It’s been a lot of fun, to see what I can do, and just the fact
we get to have a season. I’m just kind of doing my thing. If I start to feel
nervous, I just tell myself, it’s just a race, it’s not life or death.”
Moskalick noticed White during the winter, though she didn’t have the chance
to see the results as COVID-19 wiped out track.
“She was really
starting to come on, so we were bummed we didn’t have a season,” Moskalick
said. “She was hungry, she had been training hard. When we went on our COVID
break, she continued to train and followed the training when we started in
May. After her sophomore year, she just decided she wanted to be good. She
really just emerged as a really solid No. 2 with each race, She’s going to
get more confidence in herself. She’s so driven, it’s going to be fun to
watch what she does this season. She definitely has some talent and the work
Her improvement is
also a lift to Ranta, the Trojans front-runner who hit the line in 19:04.
White was a tick under 20 minutes with another junior, Bree Gentry, fifth.
“I really like that
she’s with me now,” Ranta said of White. “Catherine’s been working hard this
summer. She’s a good No. 2 for us. God forbid anything happens to me, I have
a good backup. She’s been a good leader as well, helping out the team a lot.
I was asking her, what made you want to step it up? She said, I just want to
work myself harder. She maybe wants to run in college, too.”
Ranta, running a
cross country race at L.C. for the first time, had no trouble navigating the
“It was just the
one hill on the back, it wasn’t anything I couldn’t adapt to,” she said. “I
knew it was going to be flat. You just open your stride more. I just tried
to follow coach’s plan, do what she had me do. She had me break away at a
Chesterton’s one-two-five finish, the host Indians edged the Trojans 41-43
for the title, a bump for L.C. given the absence of No. 2 runner Taylor
“We had a lot of
talks after last week, what we need to do, what we need to improve on,”
Indians coach Morgan Kleinaman said. “We also talked about stepping up to
make up for (Kosiek). Like the first weekend, we had to go out and show who
we are. The home course was obviously a big pride thing. I was so pleased
with all of them without having Taylor.”
paced L.C. in third, just behind White. Rachel Narjes was sixth and Abigail
Martisek ninth, freshman Addison Roth 11th and Carly Davis 12th.
“They have been so
interchangeable,” Kleinaman said. “Coming into the season, we assumed (Kransky)
would be No. 1 since she was No. 2 most of last season. We told her, you’ve
got to go out and show you’re that No. 1 runner, be competitive with the
other No. 1s from other schools. She hung with them. We’ve always had such a
good pack, we’ve always wanted that top runner to get those low points and
the pack keeps close distance to them. Just go out and compete. That was
some of our downfall last week. We didn’t compete. The DAC schools have a
healthy competition. We knew going into the season how close it was going to
be. Normally, we don’t see Chesterton until Lowell. It’s nice to see them
Despite the narrow
loss, Moskalick was glad to be in the meet since Chesterton was originally
scheduled to be off.
“It was going to be
a non-race weekend,” she said. “With meets, we don’t know what’s going to be
canceled. We wanted to get a race. We had no seniors. Everyone in the race
was junior, sophomore, freshman. The top three (Ranta, White and Gentry) are
all juniors. With their experience, they’re going to be a force to reckon
with for 1-2-3 punch.
L.C. made up its
ground on Chesterton’s four and five, which were 14th and 21st,
“Ciara (Bonner) and
Alyssa (Dunlap) are brand new,” Moskalick said. “Each race, they’re going to
get better and better. I think they learned, OK, we need to get out a little
more aggressively. They’re going to learn how important each race, how
important each person is. Even six, seven, they are as important as everyone
else. They can help all of our scores.”
(30th) and Addison Leady (34th) completed the Trojans’ top seven.
Luke Skorupa Invite
AT LAKE CENTRAL
1. Lake Central,
41; 2. Chesterton, 43; 3. Valparaiso, 88; 4. Crown Point, 100; 5. LaPorte,
117; 6. Portage, 157; 7. Munster, 222; 8. Highland, 223; 9. Illiana
1. Bailey Ranta ©,
19:04.0; 2. Catherine White ©, 19:59;0; 3. Natalie Kransky (LC), 19:59.0; 4.
Brenna Sobecki (LP), 20:11.0; 5. Bree Gentry ©, 20:18.0; 6. Rachel Narjes
(LC), 20:18.0; 7. Jaelyn Burgos (CP), 20:20.0; 8. Ariana Steele (LP),
20:22.0; 9. Abigail Martisek (LC), 20:24.0; 10. Cheyanne Stock (V), 20:30.0.
finishers: 14. Ciara Bonner, 20:45.0; 21. Alyssa Dunlap, 21:07.0; 30.
McKenna Handley, 21:33.0; 34. Addison Leady, 21:42.0; 42. Madison Trumbo,
22:07.0; 43. Alex Reed, 22:22.0; 55. Emma Brown, 23:12.0.
1. Chesterton, 28;
2. Crown Point, 56; 3. Lake Central, 64; 4. Valparaiso, 105; 5. LaPorte,
124; 6. Munster, 187; 7. Portage, 195.
1. Marie Weber
(LC),22:06.0; 2. Amanda Spanier (LC), 22:19.0; 3. Ali Sierazy ©, 22:30.0; 4.
Nalani Malackowski ©, 22:33.0; 5. Nora Filler (IC), 22:36.0.
finishers: 6. Bella Smith, 22:37.0; 8. Grace Carpenter, 22:55.0; 10. Liz
Hibshman, 23:07.0; 14. Sydney Szabo, 23:18.0; 25. Abri Rodriguez, 23:52.0;
26. Coryn Rodriguez, 23:57.0; 29. Olivia Kozak, 24:04.0; 31. Maddie Burns,
24:14.0; 34. Rachel Cohen, 24:27.0; 44. Justyne Phillips, 24:50.0; 70.
Sophie Arthur, 26:39.0; 71. Jordan Huneryager, 26:48.0; 77. Chloe
Wisniewski, 27:10.0; 79. Madison Wunderlin, 27:19.0.