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Boys cross country: Valparaiso wins third straight regional

Valparaiso runner LandDavisleads his teammates Andrew Lyp (right) Xavier Reed toward finish line New Prairie cross country regional Saturday Rolling

Valparaiso runner Landon Davison leads his teammates Andrew Lyp (right) and Xavier Reed toward the finish line of the New Prairie cross country regional on Saturday in Rolling Prairie.| Joe Raymond ~For the Post-Tribune

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Updated: November 15, 2012 6:49AM



NEW CARLISLE — When the postseason arrives for Northwest Indiana boys cross country teams and individuals, there’s one strategy that tends to work — follow the green.

That would be the green uniforms of Valparaiso, which has dominated in recent years, and Saturday at the New Prairie Regional was no exception as the Vikings rolled to a third straight and 11th overall regional title with 28 points, well ahead of second-place LaPorte’s 85 points.

In fact, the Vikings are so dominant that the goal was not only to win, but try for the regional record for low score.

“We had our eye on that 26 or 25 point record,” a relaxed and happy Valparaiso coach Mike Prow said. “It was really nice that all of the guys seemed to feel fine going into it. We had an awesome workout on Thursday that got us focused and get us closer to where we need to be next week.”

Closer? Placing three runners in the top six is pretty good already. That includes winner Peyton Reed, who just missed his personal record with 15:37, two seconds from his PR set in the sectional on Tuesday.

And how can Valparaiso get any “closer” when the next three runers after Ari Coulopoulos in third and Taylor Bisacchi in sixth finished 10th, 11th and 12th with the seventh runner right behind them in 13th.

“Our guys at 10, 11 and 12, I’d like to get them closer to Bisacchi, but it’s nice that they were together,” said Prow, always thinking about the pack.

Alec Kostelnik of Morgan Township was five seconds behind Reed in second. He admitted that his goal was to look for green.

“The plan going in was to stay with Valpo pack,” Kostelnik said. “That worked out well since they were next to us (at the starting line). It was tough in the woods. They worked together to surge and try to leave me behind.”

That was around New Prairie’s trademark “Agony Hill” where Reed and Coulopoulos went up hard up the hill. But Kostelnik recovered to finish a spot ahead of Coulopoulos, a reversal from last year’s regional.

Other teams advancing were Portage, Chesterton and Wheeler. Kostelnik’s teammate, freshman Ben Savage, was one of two individuals to advance, finishing eighth with 16:07.5. The other was Boone Grove’s Jon Hogg, who finished 15th, just like at sectional.



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