Three-tenths of a second.
The blink of an eye or the snap of the fingers.
That was the difference between a trip to the State Finals and a
disappointing ride home from Saturday's New Prairie Semistate for Mitch
The Chesterton junior finished 22nd in 16:29.4. Frankfort's Cody Bray, who
placed 21st in 16:29.1, claimed the last individual qualifying spot for next
Saturday in Terre Haute.
"Mitch was real solid," Trojans coach Tim Ray said. "We knew coming into the
year that he's always been real solid. It was one of those things where we
were counting on him as the season progressed to be in the mix. We knew if
we came in and had a good race that maybe he could qualify."
Chesterton's team bid for state wasn't nearly as close, though the
ninth-place finish didn't leave Ray disappointed in their effort.
The Trojans scored 248 points, with Lowell taking eighth on a sixth-man
tie-breaker. Munster took the sixth and final team spot at 181. Valparaiso,
the top local team, posted a 128, good for third behind West Lafayette (89)
and Warsaw (108).
"We ran our best race of the year," Ray said. "Our focus was on this race.
It doesn't take long to figure out that there are certain circumstances that
aren't under our control. All we can do is run, do the best we can do. We
ended a lot of races this season feeling, 'Uh, what the heck?' We finally
ended a race feeling good about what happened, no matter the results."
Chesterton put four runners in the top third of the field of 179. Kevin
Kenney was the second Trojan across, 30th in 16:46.1 with Jonah Noel 54th
(17:22.9) and Parker Whitmore 59th (17:25). The Trojans were minus No. 5
runner Alex Genetski due to a stress fracture, in addition to Tyler Vore,
whose injured ankle, it was recently determined, was actually broken.
"Jonah, another senior, had his best race of the year," Ray said. "Parker
stepped up and ran a really solid race as well."
Other Chesterton runners were Brad Adkins (86th, 17:45), Matt Johnson
(107th, 18:10.7) and Robert St. Pierre (123rd, 18:44.7).
"The way I look at it, outside of Tyler and Kevin, there weren't any other
seniors in our top group," Ray said. "We've got some young guys who can
hopefully be good in the future."
Warsaw's Ellis Coon edged Anthony Didion of LaPorte for the individual title
IHSAA New Prairie Semistate
AT NEW CARLISLE
1. West Lafayette 89, 2. Warsaw 108, 3. Valparaiso 128, 4. Crown Point 141,
5. Lake Central 161, 6. Munster 181, 7. LaPorte 182, 8. Lowell 248, 9.
Chesterton 248, 10. Hobart 265, 11. Portage 276, 12. Frankfort 336, 13. New
Prairie 348, 14. Western 349, 15. Lafayette Jefferson 375, 16. McCutcheon
384, 17. Kokomo 392, 18. Winamac 410, 19. Rochester 430, 20. Twin Lakes 521.
1. Ellis Coon (Wa) 15:45.5, 2. Anthony Didion (LP) 15:46.6, 3. Cooper
Williams (WL) 15:50.1, 4. Ryan Kritzer (Mu) 15:55.2, 5. Brian Blaylock (Lo)
15:57.6, 6. Ari Couolpoulos (V) 16:02.2, 7. Robert Duke (Eastern-Greentown)
16:09.5, 8. Matt Grider (We) 16:11.6, 9. Tyler Gray (CP) 16:12.2, 10.
Matthew Fahs-Brown (Manchester) 16:12.9, 11. David Kampf (New Prairie)
16:15.9, 12. Jeremy Breedlove (K) 16:19, 13. Brent Dunn (Ho) 16:19, 14. Jake
Cohen (WL) 16:23, 15. Zach Hupp (LC) 16:24.4, 16. Tommy Bolanowski (Mu)
16:25.2, 17. Andrew Jankowski (V) 16:25.7, 18. Ryan Kepshire (CP) 16:26.7,
19. Sal Cordova (Bishop Noll) 16:27.5, 20. Tyler Kramer-Stephens (LC)
Chesterton finishers: 22. Mitch Wilborn (C) 16:29.4, 35. Kevin Kenney
(C) 16:46.1, 66. Jonah Noel (C) 17;22.9, 72. Parker Whitmore (C) 17:25, 107.
Brad Adkins (C) 17:45, 142. Matt Johnson (C) 18:10.7, 162. Robert St. Pierre