Boys cross country: Valparaiso wins fourth straight DAC meet title
By Johnny Gorches Star correspondent October 8, 2013 12:26PM
Tyler Gray of Crown Point finishes third at the DAC meet on Saturday at Kesling Park in LaPorte. | Steve T. Gorches/Post-Tribune
Updated: October 14, 2013 8:25AM
LAPORTE — A focus on teamwork paid off big time for Valparaiso, which took the boys team title in Saturday’s Duneland Conference meet at Kesling Park. The Vikings have been dominant in the conference, this being their fourth win in a row at the DAC meet while also going undefeated overall this season.
This is the first time since 1999 that a team has won the DAC meet four straight years (Portage won five straight from 1995 to 1999).
“I’m proud of our seniors; it’s easy to see where everyone is,” Valparaiso coach Mike Prow said.
“Our strategy of ‘together as one’ has been helping us. We struggled at Culver (last weekend) and felt strained, so I told them to race more relaxed today.
“Ari (Coulopoulos) and Andrew (Jankowski) did very well. Our struggles are still there, and we see them as more of something we are not doing rather then something they are doing. Our sixth man (Jacob) Chapman did great as well.”
As usual when Valparaiso wins a big meet — which happens quite often recently — the individual title went to someone from another squad. In this case it was LaPorte senior Anthony Didion capturing his first DAC meet crown.
He’s the fourth LaPorte boy to win the race dating back to 1974 (Mitch Hubner in 2010, Mike Fout in 2006-07 and Kevin Falvey in 1980).
“I’m happy to race and win on my home course,” Didion said. “The air quality today affected my performance; it was very sticky. I have yet to accomplish my (time) goal, but today made me stronger to do so. The team needs to do better, but we are still improving.”
Coulopoulos finished second, three seconds behind Didion, while Jankowski was fourth with 16:21.4.
Crown Point’s Tyler Gray wasthe runner in between those Vikings with 16:16.7. The Bulldogs were second behind Valparaiso, while Lake Central was third.