Chesterton Tribune



Ranta breaks CHS record; CHS Girls win Duneland Conference

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How close was Saturday’s Duneland Athletic Conference girls cross country meet?

Less than a tenth of a second determined the outcome at Kesling Park.

Chesterton finished in a tie for first place with Valparaiso, both scoring 58 points, but claimed the title by virtue of a better sixth runner score. If Ciara Bonner had not edged Lake Central’s Rachel Narjes for ninth, both clocking 19:42.3, Liz Hibshman’s 23rd-place finish wouldn’t have been such a big deal.

“We’ve been telling the girls all seven count,” Chesterton coach Lindsay Moskalick said. “It was almost like we were fighting the whole time for places. Alyssa (Dunlap) broke the Lake Central pack, which we were talking about with her. Liz coming through as our No. 6 really sealed the deal. She was a JV girl last year. She did what we’ve been telling her she’s capable of all season long.”

As a result, the Trojans won their first DAC championship since 1998, when their coach was a freshman on the team.

“I researched it and found out,” Moskalick said. “There was a year we finished second at state and Valpo won, so we didn’t win (DAC). I was telling the girls, let’s make history.”

Bailey Ranta made her own history, breaking Shelby Bullock’s Chesterton record of 18:06 by clocking in at 18:04.3. The Trojans junior raised her arms and shrieked as she reached the finish line, knowing she’d beaten the time Bullock, now at Purdue, ran in 2017.

“I looked at the time and I had to sprint,” Ranta said. “I actually did it, it was just so emotional. It surprised me. It was just so great. Shelby was a senior when I was a freshman. She was someone I really looked up to.”

Valpo’s Kaylie Politza pushed a hard early pace, forcing Ranta to adjust her strategy, but she got things in order soon enough, eventually winning by 39 seconds.

“At the start, I kind of lost it,” Ranta said. “I had to quickly change my mindset that I can win this. I knew she was going to take off, so I couldn’t let her get that far ahead. I just had to stay with her. I really tried to break her at the 1K. I didn’t look back from there. I just kept pushing it, pushing it. She didn’t come with me, so I just kept going.”

Moskalick could’ve done with a little less drama, but liked how her team responded to the challenge.

“Those low three numbers are going to help you in a meet like today,” she said of Valpo’s 2-3-7 finish. “I think it’s good for (Ranta), healthy competition. Bailey needs that. That’s running. As each meet keeps building, it’s going to be adding more competition to help push her. Kaylie took off pretty quick and I don’t think Bailey necessarily responded until about 1K. She just raced after that.”

In addition to Politza, Valpo had Cheyanne Clark take third and Grace Thomas seventh, but Chesterton put seven in before its fifth.

“We really closed the gap (with Chesterton),” Valpo coach John Arredondo said. “When you’re that close, it sucks. Generally, you’d rather have lost by 20 points than by a tiebreaker. It’s like losing on a last-second shot in basketball. We always preach to the girls that every point counts, but it’s the best we’ve run all year. I hope it’s setting the stage for us to continue. We tend to get better in the post-season and I hope that is the trend.”

DAC Meet


Team Results

1. Chesterton, 58; 2. Valparaiso, 58; 3. Lake Central, 70; 4. Crown Point, 92; 5. LaPorte, 118; 6. Portage, 124; 7. Merrillville, NTS.

Individual Results

1 Bailey Ranta ©, 18:04.3; 2. Kaylie Politza (V), 18:43.7; 3. Cheyanne Stock (V), 19:12.9; 4. Ella Bensz (LP), 19:13.5; 5. Jaelyn Burgos (CP), 19:21.6; 6. Morgan McCulloch (P), 19:32.7; 7. Grace Thomas (V), 19:36.4; 8. Natalie Kransky (LC), 19:39.5; 9. Ciara Bonner ©, 19:42.3; 10. Rachel Narjes (LC), 19:42.3.

Other Chesterton finishers: 11. Bree Gentry, 19:43.1; 18. Catherine White, 20:05.5; 19. Alyssa Dunlap, 20:05.8; 23. Liz Hibshman, 20:27.5; 27. McKenna Handley, 20:34.7.

Junior Varsity

Team Results

1. Lake Central, 30; 2. Chesterton, 48; 3. Valparaiso, 49; 4. Crown Point, 93; 5. LaPorte, 132; 6. Portage, 198; 7. Merrillville, 220; 8. Michigan City, NTS.

Individual Results

1. Emily Thomas (LC), 20:23.7; 2. Nicole Vollrath (LC), 20:34.4; 3. Angela Coulopolous (V), 20:35.1; 4. Isabelle Martisek (LC), 20:43.9; 5. Abby Artherhults (V), 20:46.1.

Chesterton finishers: 6. Frances Clancy, 20:49.6; 9. Addison Leady, 21:02.5; 10. Madison Trumbo, 21:04.4; 11. Nalani Malackowski, 21:13.3; 12. Ali Sierazy, 21:15.1; 13. Grace Carpenter, 21:18.4; 20. Bella Smith, 21:47.5; 29. Olivia Kozak, 22:17.5; 35. Sydney Szabo, 22:22.9; 49. Emma Brown, 22:50.6; 54. Kaielyn Van Kley, 23:07.6; 56. Mal Morrison, 23:12.3; 58. Rachel Cohen, 23:15.5; 61. Coryn Rodriguez, 23;29.5; 62. Kara Haynes, 23:32.3; 66. Justyne Phillips, 23:54.6; 67. Maddie Burns, 23:56.1; 76. Alissa Capehart, 24:21.9; 82. Madison Wunderlin, 24:48.1; 85. Sophie Arthur, 24:56.6; 88. Payton Shideler, 25:18.9; 93. Jordan Huneryager, 25:56.6; 106. Chloe Wisniewski, 29:06.1.


Posted 10/5/2020




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