A trip down memory lane: Former Chesterton star Moskalick coaches Trojans to third place at state
TERRE HAUTE -- Who knows what kind of card player Lindsay Moskalick is, but it sure seems like the Chesterton coach is pretty adept at not tipping her hand.
Cautious to not build up too much hype after the Trojans defended their semistate title a week earlier at New Prairie, she showed a poker face on what the state finals might bring.
She and her team went home with a big pile of chips, in the form of medals Saturday, as Chesterton finished third in the championship meet at Lavern Gibson.
"Going into it, I knew we could probably get in the top five with how well we've been performing all season," Moskalick said. "When we race these teams who are fast, we perform well with them. We've been talking about it since July. Last year was a disappointment after how well we had done. It wasn't what we were capable of doing. Not everybody had a phenomenal race and we still came in and represented the region. It's not what I expected. I think I'm still in shock right now."
Columbus North topped Carmel, 79-92, for the title, with Chesterton next at 221, 11 better than Hamilton Southeastern. The Trojans last medaled in 2003 as state runner-up behind Valpo. Moskalick (then Hattendorf) took fourth individually on the fourth-place state team in 2001.
"To see the girls come in and do what they did, how much hard work they put in, we're talking 20-plus weeks of training, that was phenomenal," she said. "They're going to remember this forever just like I remember when I medaled, so it's sweet."
Bailey Ranta (12th) keyed the showing for the Trojans, exorcising some state meet demons of her own.
"It's surreal," Ranta said. "It still hasn't hit me. It's really just amazing. It's like it's unbelievable."
"Bailey stepped up," Moskalick said. "She did what she needed to. She's learned from what's happened in the past. We always knew she was a top 15 girl. To see her be able to do it her senior year, it shows how awesome she is."
Catherine White (52nd), Grace Carpener (63rd) and Alyssa Dunlap (69th) put the Trojans in a good spot with Ciara Bonner (133rd) also scoring.
"Catherine did awesome," Moskalick said. "What I think really sealed the deal was Alyssa and Grace being so close together. They were with each other the whole time and that's huge."
Valparaiso, Chesterton's foil throughout the season, checked in 13th at 317. The Vikings remained without Anika Anderson and usual No. 2 Cheyanne Stock, who was hurt in the semistate.
"We went from a potential podium team to a top 10 team, so let's just show up girls, we're ready," coach John Arredondo said. "My hat's off to my other girls. They stepped up training this week. They looked at me and said, coach, expectations don't change. I said, all right, girls, let's do it. I thought they ran well.
Chesterton's coaches whoop it up after the
Trojans are announced as the third-place
team at Saturday's state finals.
We did have a lot of interchangeable parts. You take the hand you're dealt. We took the hand we were dealt and did the best we could. We just never had injuries like this at the end. We came down and did what we could."
Behind Kaylie Politza (13th), Elizabeth Ehrhardt was Valpo's No. 2 in 94th with Lilly Maldia 110th, Grace Thomas 122nd and Brooke Byvoets 123rd.
"(Ehrhardt)'s been our six-seven girl, she almost broke 20, then we had a big pack," Arredondo said. "It's sad because a couple girls leaving us. Lilly been with me since middle school. But we'll go home with smiles and singing."
La Porte finished 19th as a team with 426 points, headed by Brenna Sobecki (24th).
"We knew we weren't going to be top a five, top 10 team," Slater said. "You could tell they were kind of like OK about it. The goal was to get her more than anything else."
Freshman Lila Gillisse was second for the Slicers and 58th overall (19:49.7).
"I think every other girl was right where they needed to be; nothing astronomical, nothing awful," Slater said. "A lot of those girls, I don't think they knew what to expect. It's just an overwhelming experience for a lot of people. You just don't know what you don't know. You get out there and it's like, oh boy. It was a fun day, I'm proud of this team. There's a lot of love, a lot of caring. I'm excited to have it finish off the way it did."