considered, Tim Ray would've preferred no detours in Chesterton's boys cross
country post-season journey.
Short of that, the
Trojans coach was relieved it happened when it did, in Saturday's regional
at Sunset Hill Farm County Park, where his team was still able to manage a
second-place finish behind Valparaiso (34) with 71 points.
"We ran a little
heavy. It felt a little tired, a little slow," Ray said. "For some reason or
another, it just didn't feel like we were clicking like we've been the past
couple weeks. It was a step back from where we've been at, but it's still
not as bad compared to what it's been in the past. We're fortunate to have
one of those teams where we knew if we ran just OK we were still good enough
to get out."
Will Shook paced
the Trojans in fifth in 16:37.8. New Prairie's Tim O'Laughlin won the race
with a 16:12.7.
"Will's had a huge
learning curve," Ray said. "He was a 20-, 21-minute guy as a freshman. He's
steadily gotten better and become our top guy. He's not even sure about
running in the front. He decided to make a move midway through, but he
didn't understand you have to make a definitive mode. When you go, you have
to go. You can't go halfway and say, OK, that's good. You're racing
experienced, really talented guys."
Chesterton, Dylan Draves was 13th (16:51.6) and Cole Dolson (17th, 17:06.9).
"Our one-two has
pretty much been our one-two all year," Ray said. "That's the first time (Dolson)'s
been our No. 3. He ran pretty well. That's what's good when you have some
depth. We have eight guys who are real close, so if one or two have a bad
day, there are others there to pick them up a little bit."
The remaining four
Trojans were well bunched with Adam Juestel 25th (17:17.6), Travis Konarski
26th (17:19.2), Josh Dennington 28th (17:22.4) and Matthew Streeter 30th
"We're figuring out
who we want to run next weekend, so we didn't run one of the freshmen and
gave Dennington a shot," Ray said. "He stepped up and was real close to a
(personal best) as our sixth guy. I don't think they'd admit it outwardly,
but you get in a situation like this where we never said a word about the
regional until this week, that may have indirectly had something to do with
“I have to remember
it's still a pretty inexperienced group. We've got two guys who have raced
an entire post-season and five who haven't."
La Porte (130) and
Wheeler (143) also advanced to the New Prairie Semistate as teams.
"For us, it's
pretty much black and white," Ray said. "As consistent as we have been,
except for this slip-up, if we just have a solid race, not even an
outstanding race, we'll be in the mix for one of those (state-qualifying)
spots. Things can happen on a given day. Somebody can have an outstanding
day and you don't, and you're on the outside looking in. We just have to
rebound a little bit and do what we've been doing all year."
1. Valparaiso, 34;
2. Chesterton, 71; 3. New Prairie, 84, 4. LaPorte, 130; 5. Wheeler, 143; 6.
Kankakee Valley, 145; 7. Morgan Twp., 176; 8. Rensselaer Central, 212; 9.
Kouts, 236; 10. Knox, 282.
1. Tim O’Laughlin
(New Prairie), 16:12.7; 2. Cole Raymond (LaPorte), 16:25.8; 3. Joseph Roytan
(Valparaiso), 16:27.9; 4. Kohler Peterson (Covenant Christian), 16:31.3; 5.
Will Shook (Chesterton), 16:37.8.
finishers: 13. Dylan Draves, 16:51.6; 17. Cole Dolson, 17:06.9; 25. Adam
Juestel, 17:17.6; 26. Travis Konarski, 17:17.6; 28. Josh Dennington,
17:22.4; 30. Matthew Streeter, 17:22.6.