By JIM PETERS
For Bailey Ranta,
it's always been a question of mind over matter, as in, if her mind gets in
the way, nothing else is going to matter.
"I have what it
takes physically, I just need to get more out of the mental (side)," the
Chesterton junior said. "I would get nervous and my stomach would hurt.
There's none of that this year."
Just in case Ranta
needed a few reminders along the way, she printed some brief motivational
scripture on her arms, 'God is with me, do not fear,' and 'Trust God's
plan,' a paraphrase of the Biblical verse, Jeremiah 29:11.
helping me not to get ahead of myself, to not get too worked up," Ranta said
after cruising to a 71-second victory with a time of 18:56.77 in Saturday's
Jack Bransford Invite at Kesling Park. "I just had to have a good mindset
and trust my abilities. I have been really using Philippians 4:13, 'I can do
all things through Christ,' which is really helping me. I've been trying to
pray more, trust I have what it takes to be the top dog. Everything happens
for a reason, just trust that it's a setback that's going to make me
stronger in the end; have no regrets, just finish on empty, like Nike says."
Lindsay Moskalick called Ranta 'a completely different girl' from the one
who sometimes let her thoughts get the best of her in the past.
Ranta was followed
by teammate Catherine White (20:07.99), Crown Point's Jaelyn Burgos
(20:12.8) and LaPorte's Ella Bensz (20:13.58).
“It's my first
race, I just wanted to see where I was at compared to all the other
runners," Ranta said. "It's a good start. It helped with my confidence. I
just want to get more out of it. I know I have a lot of room to improve."
While the pandemic
limited her summer competition, she's stayed sharp, training with the likes
of former Chesterton great Cassie Peller.
“It was good to see
her," Ranta said. "Obviously, no one likes (wearing masks and distancing),
but at least we can have a season. I'll do whatever it takes to be back.”
Chesterton used its
front end strength to hold off balanced Lake Central, 48-57. Though only
seven counted toward scoring, the Indians had nine runners in the top 18,
led by Natalie Kransky (eighth).
"Eight of the 12
are new in this position," Moskalick said. "We graduated five from our top
12, but the girls have been training since COVID. They've got a good base.
(This) is just a start for us. Now that we actually have a meet, it's OK,
we're going to have a season. Leading up to this, they were deflated. Now
it's like, it's going to happen."
White headlines the
group of newcomers, a runner who was outside the team's top 12 last season.
Bree Gentry (sixth) is back among Chesterton's supporting cast. She was
followed by McKenna Handley (21st) and Alyssa Dunlap (22nd) with freshman
Ciara Bonner 25th and Allison Leady 30th.
totally come on since last spring before we shut down," Moskalick said. "She
really committed to training. Her workouts are going real well. She's going
to be up there. It's set in stone. Our four, five were newbies. McKenna was
like No. 20 on the team. She just bought in. She did our road race and she
improved over three minutes."
AT KESLING PARK (LAPORTE)
1. Chesterton, 48;
2. Lake Central, 57; 3. LaPorte, 76; 4. Crown Point, 82; 5. Portage, 124; 6.
Highland, 147; 7. Munster, 196.
1. Bailey Ranta ©,
18:56.77; 2. Catherine White ©, 20:07.99; 3. Jaelyn Burgos (CP), 20:12.80;
4. Ella Bensz (L), 20:13.58; 5. Brenna Sobecki (L), 20:34.17; 6. Bree Gentry
©, 20:43.42; 7. Morgan McCulloch (P), 20:50.61; 8. Natalie Kransky (LC),
20:55.61; 9. Emilee Craigin (P), 21:03.36; 10. Addison Roth (LC), 21:05.67.
finishers: 21. Mckenna Handley, 21:38.70; 22. Alyssa Dunlap, 21:38.95; 25.
Ciara Bonner, 21:51.08; 30. Addison Leady, 22:06.49; 33. Frances Clancy,
22:18.05; 35. Alex Reed, 22:37.55; 40. Emma Brown, 23:05.14; 46. Grace
Carpenter, 23:19.70; 49. Nalani Malackowski, 23:32.99.
1. Crown Point, 28;
2. Lake Central, 52; 3. Chesterton, 55; 4. LaPorte, 125; 5. Munster, 141; 6.
1. Madison Trumbo
©, 22:22.92; 2. Melania Adamovic (CP), 22:50.83; 3. Allie Hopkins (CP),
22:56.11; 4. Amanda Spanier (LC), 22:59.95; 5. Lilia Hacker (CP), 23:08.42.
finishers: 9. Bella Smith, 23:42.80; 12. Sydney Szabo, 23:54.99; 16. Abri
Rodriguez, 24:37.11; 17. Coryn Rodriguez, 24:40.64; 18. Mal Morrison,
24:52.42; 26. Kaitlyn Van Kley, 25:17.80; 30. Rachel Cohen, 25:30.27; 41.
Justyne Phillips, 26:59.49; 44. Chloe Wisniewski, 27:22.80; 48. Sophie
Arthur, 27:26.05; 50. Olivia Kozak, 27:35.70; 55. Maddie Burns, 28:02.67;
59. Madison Wunderlin, 28:20.36; 61. Jordan Huneryager, 28:42.74.