Chesterton Cross Country Wraps Up 2020 Season

Chesterton XC adds Regional and Semi-State wins to extraordinary season.

Reese Czarniecki, Sandscript Author

The Chesterton fall sports season has come to an end, with both boys and girls cross country teams showing strong improvement in both overall and individual accomplishments. 

The girls claimed many wins throughout their season. The girls opened up their season starting off strong, winning the Jack Bransford Invitational, hosted by the LaPorte Slicers. Bailey Ranta (18:56.77) and Catherine White (20:07.99) easily made their way into the top ten placing first and second. The Lady Trojans then travelled west, where they earned the runner up title at the Lake Central Rudy Skorupa Invitational, missing first place by two points. Ranta was the individual champion, while White was runner up. 

As the season continued, the girls placed third in the New Prairie invitational, and fourth at the Marion Invitational. The team then raced to the Bob Thomas Invite, hosted by the Lowell Red Devils. The Trojans brought home another win, with Ranta placing second overall. As the season closed out, the girls prepared for the Duneland Athletic Conference Championship. They continued to shine coming out as the DAC Champions, with Ranta not only finishing as the individual champion, but breaking the school record of 18:06 running with a time of 18:04. 

As for their postseason, the girl’s started off winning the New Prairie sectional. Ranta (19:11.3), Bree Gentry (20:16.13), and White (20:28.9) finished in the top ten for the Trojans, placing third, eighth, and tenth. After the sectional win, the girls travelled to the Chesterton regional. They continued to shine claiming another win, which moved them onto semi-state. Ranta (18:33.50) was the overall regional champion. The New Prairie semi-state meet proved to be no issue for the Lady Trojans, as they came out yet again victorious. Ranta (18:32.80) was the regional runner up, helping the team to their victory. The Trojans made history yet again winning semi-state for the first time since 1995. The girls wound up finishing twentieth at the state championship meet.

Although the run at state might not have been what the girls were hoping for, their season in general was a great honor for Chesterton High School. Ranta was named the DAC Most Valuable Runner, and was named a Girls DAC All Conference runner along with Ciara Bonner and Gentry. As for an academic standpoint, Kaitlyn Van Kley and Frances Claney received IATCCC Academic All-State titles. Nalani Malackowski received honorable mention. 

The boys also had an extremely successful 2020 season. They started off the year racing in the Bransford Varsity Invitational, placing third. Cole Dolson (16:45.14) and Josh Dennington (16:58.86) finished in the top ten, placing fifth and seventh overall. The Trojans then moved on to the Lake Central Rudy Skorupa Invitational, placing fourth, and the Marion Invitational, finishing fifth. 

As the season continued, the boys continued to stay steady and consistent. They travelled to Lowell to race in the Bob Thomas Invitational, and finished fifth. Soon after, the boys raced in the New Prairie invitational, and brought the trophy home finishing first overall. Matthew Streeter (16:14.2) and Dolson (16:23.9) contributed to the win placing top ten, fifth and seventh overall. Then came the DAC Conference Championship where like the girls, the boys came out on top. The Trojans finished third in the meet, with two runners in the top ten. Dolson (16:26.8) and Dennington (16:27.4) placed eighth and ninth, helping the Trojans to their bronze medal placing. 

The season soon came to a close, but the boys proved they were here to stay. They claimed their first win in the postseason bringing home the sectional title at the New Prairie Sectional. The Trojans then headed into the Chesterton Regional, yet again being victorious. The boys finished first in the meet, claiming their title as regional champions. Five athletes finished in the top ten for the Trojans, including regional runner up Streeter (16:56.7), Jackson Tuck (17:01.4) placing fourth, Dolson (17:01.4) placing fifth, Evan O’Connor (17:03.5) placing sixth, and Dennington (17:07.7) placing eighth. 

The Trojans continued to shine through the post season winning the New Prairie Semi-State meet. Streeter (16.15.8) finished fourth, helping the Trojans to their overall victory. The team then moved on to the State Championship, where they finished seventeenth. 

With a great overall season, the boys also made history within Chesterton. The 2020 sectional titles made history, making it the first time both teams had brought home a sectional title to Trojan territory since 1998. The boys also had two DAC All Conference runners, Dolson and Dennington.