Before the Valparaiso High School boys and girls cross country teams headed down to the 2012 Indiana State Meet in Terre Haute on Friday, October 26, they were treated to a breakfast and a send-off from fans, friends, and family members of the teams.
“These are some of the finest athletes I’ve had the pleasure of watching over the last few years,” said Barby Alfredson, mother of runner Corey. “They have some of the best coaches, and I’d love to see them win state!”
Kelly Coulopoulos, mother of junior Ari Coulpoulos, said, “We are so proud of the hard work that this team has put in, and they have all been working towards this meet! They know they’re ready and they just have to go out there and get the job done. This is just the Valpo tradition that they get to run this race. It’s an exciting thing to get to be a part of! I am so proud of all of these boys and I couldn’t have designed a better thing for my son to be a part than this cross country team and that is not an exaggeration…I love these boys, the parents, the organization and the coaching. It’s just fantastic!”
Ari is one of two runners from last year’s Top 10 at State to run again this year, joining Hamilton Southeastern’s Troy Reeder.
This is the girls’ team’s 20th consecutive year in the state finals, the second longest streak behind Carmel’s 32. The boys will be competing as a team for the fifth consecutive year.
An emotional Marlene Nosbusch (mother of freshman Sydney) said with happy tears in her eyes, “This is the most wonderful experience my daughter could have coming into high school."
Adam Nellessen, coach of the girls’ squad, explained, “We are just excited, I mean that’s the bottom line. We have a young team, and I’m just happy to be going. Whatever happens, happens. Its experience and we will go from there.”
“We are looking forward to competing with some of the best teams in the state. Even though we feel we have a chance to be one of the top teams, our goal all season has been to finish in the top 5 teams. We like our chances,” explained coach Aaron Crague. “Our guys have been doing really, really well all year and they are healthy, which is a blessing. We’ve got the veterans; we’ve got the experience, so it’s kind of just putting everything together tomorrow. We are going to take our chances and see what we can do.”
Excited head coach Mike Prow had only one thing to say, “We are going to win!”
Good luck to both teams!