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Running to the Max: Munster's Lindenmayer wins first race since being diagnosed as type-1 diabetic

CROWN POINT -- Back in the spring, Max Lindenmayer started feeling out of sorts.

The Munster distance runner was fighting extreme fatigue, which was ruining his workouts. His sleep was erratic, due to cramping and the need to go to the bathroom several times a night.

"I was losing 10 pounds overnight," Lindenmayer said. "I'd be going to bed weighing 145 and waking up 135. I was going on runs, and it was extremely hard. I couldn't keep up. I was like, why am I running bad? I couldn't figure out why."

After going to see his doctor, he was encouraged to take a glucose test, which revealed an A1C of 18.5, more than twice what it should be. On May 12, Lindenmayer was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, a condition that usually manifests itself early in life.

"You're typically born with it or you get it at a young age," he said. "I just randomly got it."

Life has changed dramatically for Lindenmayer over the last three months, but the good news is the Mustangs' senior leader is back running like his old self. He opened the season Saturday by winning the Crown Point Invitational at Lemon Lake in 16 minutes, 43.71, overtaking Bulldogs sophomore Weston Hulen with about 300 meters to go.

"My first mile, it was 5:20," he said. "It was pretty tough, uphill. The back end, I started falling off a bit. I got to the two mile, 11 flat, I started making my move. It's uphill before the final stretch, I got caught. It was a little nerve wracking. He had a good amount of meters on me, but I started making my move on the downhill. I had a little left in the tank. I've put in the mileage. I really worked out this summer."

The win was especially meaningful for Lindenmayer since it was his first race since his diagnosis. He wears an insulin patch on one arm and a glucose monitor on the other.

"I've been running with it," he said. "I just had to race. My sugar went a little low, so I ate a Cliff bar 20 minutes before the race. I had to change my diet. It's got to be on point. I still eat pizza, fried chicken, everything. I don't drink pop in general."

While it's certainly not ideal, Lindenmayer has taken on a positive perspective about it all.

"I'm going to have it for the rest of my life," he said. "If I got it at 3, my parents would be babying me, it would've been a lot harder. I'm a pretty disciplined guy. Getting it at 17, being mature, I'm able to handle it."

Crown Point edged Lake Central, 63-70, for the team title, led by Hulen (16:47.32), its top runner throughout the summer.

"They got out. They put their nose up front and they were able to work around in the middle of the race and finish pretty high up," Bulldogs coach Erik Forehand said. "Weston did a great job of finishing his race. He was fifth or sixth most of the race. He had such a huge spring, going 9:46 (in the 3,200). That's pretty common with freshmen. They typically come in, they don't have a lot of training under their belts, but once they're able to get a full calendar year, they can improve a lot."

Nathan Murphy was seventh, Jacob Bell 11th and Cameron Zimmerman 16th for CP.

"This was our first 5K," Forehand said. "We treated it as a glorified time trial; go out there, see what we can do amongst competition. It's a long season. We're really trying to be patient this year. Last year, we had our foot on the gas pedal in July. I gambled, probably incorrectly, that we wouldn't have a full season, so I wanted to make sure the kids were really fit and could perform at a high level early on in the season. We did well. We were able to maintain fitness, but we didn't really improve too much. It was more about hanging on. This year, we're trying to set the tone pretty early on, see where we're at, work and hopefully improve from here to Oct. 30. I feel comfortable saying we're going to have a state meet and it's going to be Oct. 30."

Lake Central, senior-heavy a year ago, put five in the top 19, led by Vince Vanderveen in eighth (17:16.36).

Hanover Central had Bryce Noble and Ryan York go three-five, sandwiching Illiana Christian's Brady Vroom.

Munster's Max Lindenmayer won Saturday's Crown Point Invitational at Lemon Lake. It was the Mustangs senior's first race since being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes on May 12.

Weston Hulen of Crown Point and Brady Vroom of Illiana Christian finished second and fourth, respectively, in Saturday's Crown Point Invitational at Lemon Lake.

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