At the IHSAA Cross Country State Meet in Terre Haute, senior Anthony Didion of La Porte placed 4th with a time of 15:43. Didion didn’t let his team down achieving the honor of gracing the podium one last time for La Porte. The La Porte Boys Cross Country team was just 1 point shy of qualifying for the State Meet losing to Munster at Semi-State.
The La Porte team rallied behind Didion though, coming down to the meet to cheer for their teammate.
Didion said, “I worked so hard for this. It was a full-on effort today. I trained for this for so many years and for the results to finally show makes me feel on top of the world.”
Finishing with a disappointing 18th place was Valparaiso behind Munster in 13th.
Of the overall experience Andrew Jankowski of Valparaiso commented, “This was my first time to run a State Meet for cross country or track and it just felt surreal. I’ve been waiting on the sidelines for the last 3 years and it just didn’t feel real but it was of course, it was very real. We took this seriously and we did our best and gave it the best shot we could.”
Elena Lancioni of La Porte also achieved medalist honors finishing in 3rd with a time of 18:03. She ran the race well and was in the 5th to 6th place throughout the race but managed to pass Rachel Nichwitz of Hamilton Southeastern and Taylor Nicholson of Avon edging both of them out for the 3rd place slot.
Lancioni’s goal all season was to qualify for State as a team. The La Porte Girls Cross County Team achieved top 10 status finishing in 10th with 344 points.
Lancioni said, “It feels great! Today was just a great day. It was such a wonderful experience to run for my team and together as a team today. This was the best experience and one I will remember the rest of my life.”
Portage girls finished 15th out of 24 qualifying schools. Individual qualifiers for Valparaiso Girls Cross Country were 68 Michaels Gadzich 19:28 and 98 Alison Mundell 19:47.