Valpo Boys, Portage Girls, La Porte’s Didion, Lancioni Winners at Cross Country Regionals

Valparaiso boys did it once again! With only two meets remaining until the 2013 cross country season is over, Valpo’s “Pack” won the Regional title with a low score of 35 points.

Vikings’ coach Mike Prow said today’s 40 degree temperatures were ideal for racing. Racing conditions for the Regional meet were sunny with very low wind, a drastic difference from the soggy Sectionals race.

Prow spoke of Ari Coulopoulos’s second place finish saying, “Ari has proven that he has great lungs and can go out with the lead runners. We generally like our top guys to stay together as a pack up until the first half of the race or at the 2-mile [mark], then they have a green light to go out. But he stayed in there with the lead runner [Didion] today."

He continued, “What’s nice about the lead runners is that they stay in there with each other and encourage each other. The guys from different teams end up becoming friends over the years and they encourage each other to stay in the race. Of course when it counts they want to beat the other guy.”

Prow added, “Today’s race is a stepping stone for our team. We want faster times and this is when our guys realize that at the end of the race they might still have a little bit more in the tank, so to speak, and learn that they will be able to give more at Semi-State next week. We want them to keep getting stronger and build up to that race. These guys have run on this course, some of them a dozen times, and it’s to their advantage. They know what they need to do and we are going to keep working on our execution.”

Coulopoulos commented, “My goal next week is to win. I didn’t plan on going out with Didion during the race in the beginning, but I wanted to see if I could stay in there with him and I did.” La Porte’s Anthony Didion is winding down his season with yet another Championship title under his belt, coming in as Regional Meet Champion. Didion’s time was just under 16 minutes at 15:50. Didion’s focus is not on himself though, but on his team.

Didion said, “Right now I want to concentrate on our team. We don’t want to happen what happened last year, we want to finish the season strong and get to State as a team.”

Top 20 Regional Champions:
1 Anthony Didion, La Porte 15:50
2 Ari Coulopoulos, Valpo 15:54
3 Joel O’Shea, Wheeler 16:20
4 Andrew Jankowski, Valpo 16:22
5 David Kampf, New Prairie 16:28
6 Ben Savage, Morgan Township 16:35
7 Braden Griffin, La Porte 16:35
8 Mitch Wilborn, Chesterton 16:36
9 Danny Dalton, Valpo 16:37
10 Sam Miller, La Porte 16:37
11 Corey Alfredson, Valpo 16:37
12 Travis Conley, Kankakee Valley 16:43
13 Bryan Flannery, South Central 16:51
14 Kevin Hickey, Valpo 16:53
15 Gavin Gresham, Michigan City 16:58
16 Kevin Kenney, Chesterton 17:00
17 Jacob Chapman, Valpo 17:02
18 Jacob Adams, Michigan City 17:08
19 Dakota Merkel, La Porte 17:08
20 Lucas Sullivan, Portage 17:10

Top 5 schools advancing to Semi-State:
1 Valparaiso 35
2 La Porte 52
3 Portage 114
4 Chesterton 119
5 New Prairie 125

Portage took home the Regional title for the girls. After placing 2nd as a team at Sectionals, the girls came out strong believing they could be Regional Champions.

Portage Coach Melissa Miller said, “We pulled it off. Our girls did a great job today. They ran as a pack and they really worked hard in practice to accomplish this.”

Elna Lancioni of La Porte was the Regional Meet Champion with a time of 18:30. Meet runner-up was New Prairie’s Rachel Thompson with a time of 19:10 followed by Valparaiso’s Alison Mundell for 3rd with a time of 19:23

Top 20 Regional Champions:
1 Elena Lancioni, La Porte 18:30
2 Rachel Thompson, New Prairie 19:10
3 Alison Mundell, Valpo 19:23
4 Kyleigh Werner, South Central 19:25
5 Kailee Schoff, La Porte 19:29
6 Michaela Gadzich, Valpo 19:29
7 Kyra Ball, Portage 19:31
8 Kelsey Tyler, New Prairie 19:36
9 Paige Pizer, Portage 19:36
10 Kelly O’Shea, Wheeler 19:38
11 Rhyan Sloan, Portage 19:40
12 Rebecca Timm, Portage 19:50
13 Mickayla Wenzel, West Central 19:59
14 Haley Orshonsky, Portage 20:03
15 Alyssa Gerick, La Porte 20:09
16 Lindsey Nielsen, Chesterton 20:13
17 Hope Myroup, New Prairie 20:14
18 Kristin Cave, La Porte 20:15
19 Erin Reynolds, Portage 20:18
20 Aurora Bonner, Valpo 20:27

Top 5 schools advancing to Semi-State:
1 Portage 45
2 La Porte 55
3 Valparaiso 73
4 New Prairie 86
5 Chesterton 107