rolling through the finish line in Saturday’s Chesterton Regional at Sunset
Hill Farm County Park, one after another.
As the numbers
continued to mount in the chute and recovery area with no sign of Bailey
Ranta, it became clear that something had happened on the course to the
Within a few
minutes, a wobbly Ranta was brought in on a Gator utility vehicle and
treated in the medical tent.
“I saw her off to
the side, being assisted,” Chesterton coach Lindsay Moskalick said. “I think
she stopped and people came to her. Toward the finish, I saw her start to
slow up a little bit and when I didn’t see her in the top 10, I knew
Ranta didn’t feel
well before the race, yet went out hard with eventual winner Ava Gilliana of
Valparaiso and was still third in the final half mile when she broke down.
season, we had a similar situation and she was able to bounce back,”
Moskalick said of a meet in Marion. “She knows what she needs to do. she
does a good job, but I have to keep in mind myself she’s just a sophomore,
she’s a younger girl still learning this role being No. 1 runner. I think
the race went out a little too fast than what they’re used to. I think that
added a little to the outcome of her race, but I don’t think it caused it.
It was just another factor.”
struggles, Chesterton still managed to advance without issue to the New
Prairie Semistate, finishing third with 86 points, behind Valparaiso (46)
and Portage (70). Rensselaer (102) and Wheeler (109) also moved on to the
“The big thing with
coaching cross country is once the gun goes off, you have no control of what
happens, the outcome,” Moskalick said. “You just hope they do what they need
to do and you get the finish you want. I saw it start to happen (with Ranta),
I saw the girls getting in front of her, I said, you guys have got to go
right now, you need to step up. I could see the reaction in their bodies.
“They moved from
there, which is exactly what we needed. We realized we need to up our game
individually if we want to continue our tradition of going to the state
In Ranta’s void,
Bree Gentry paced the Trojans in 13th at 20:15, two spots in front of Ashley
Craycraft (20:17.6). Libby Boster was 18th (20:25.6) and Peyton Westphal
22nd (20:45.3). Kaitlynn Leady (35th, 21:22.5) completed Chesterton’s top
five, followed by Frances Clancy (37th, 21:27).
“Libby Boster, Bree
Gentry did a great job stepping up,” Moskalick said. “We had three in the
top 20, which was awesome. Our sixth stepped up big for us, which is
important when your No. 1 runner isn’t able to finish. You’ve got to be able
to depend on the other six, and I thought they did a great job. They got us
to the next week. We’re moving forward and we know what have to do to make
it to the big dance. (Ranta) bounced back the last time and I know, 100
percent, she will bounce back from this.”
1. Valparaiso, 46;
2. Portage, 70; 3. Chesterton, 86; 4. Rensselaer Central, 102; 5. Wheeler,
109; 6. LaPorte, 158; 7. Morgan Twp., 175; 8. Kouts, 199; 9. Kankakee
Valley, 214; 10. North Judson, 285.
1. Ava Gilliana
(Valparaiso), 18:36.2; 2. Haley Orosz (Wheeler), 18:59.9; 3. Kaitlyn
Mackovyak (Portage), 19:16.2; 4. Emma Hellwege (Wheeler), 19:21.3; 5. Aubree
Foreman (Valparaiso), 19:22.3.
finishers: 13. Bree Gentry, 20:15.0; 15. Ashley Craycraft, 20:17.6; 18.
Libby Boster, 20:25.6; 22. Peyton Westphal, 20:45.3; 35. Kaitlynn Leady,
21:22.5; 37. Frances Clancy, 21:27.0.