Cross country state: Lowell’s Kyle Eller tops region boys
By Dave Melton Post-Tribune correspondent October 27, 2012 8:06PM
Updated: November 29, 2012 6:58AM
TERRE HAUTE — While Lowell’s cross country team made history on Saturday by competing in its first-ever state finals, there was one Devils’ runner who garnered most of the post-race accolades.
Senior Kyle Eller completed his stellar high school career with a time of 15:35 and a fifth-place finish.
“It was tough,” Eller said between heavy breaths soon after finishing. “I was just running my own race. I tried to stick with the front pack; I was within reach of them for the first kilometer and then they kicked it.”
Barr-Reeve’s Connor Sorrells won the boys’ race with a time of 15:21, overtaking Fort Wayne Concordia’s Zachery Panning in the final kilometer. Panning ended as the runner-up, a position that Eller held early on.
“I was in second place for a little bit,” Eller said. “For the first two kilometers I was behind a huge pack because I was drafting off of them. Around the two-kilometer mark is when I picked it up a bit. I tried to kick past them when I got the wind at my back”
Challenging wind: A strong, cold wind blowing out of the north was a tough opponent for all of the runners. A talent-laden field was even more challenging, as Morgan Township senior Alec Kostelnik discovered.
“I felt absolutely terrible down the stretch,” said Kostelnik, whose time of 15:42 earned him 11th place. “No matter how you run this race, those last 400 meters are going to kill you. I knew I was near the top 10 when I took a peak back and saw a group of five or six behind me. I knew I really had to hammer it out.”
Like Eller, Kostelnik’s performance on Saturday completed an impressive high school career which included a 10th-place finish with a time of 15:45 at last year’s state meet.
“It wasn’t exactly what I wanted place-wise, but I ran as hard as I could,” he said. “That’s all I can do. I can’t really be disappointed in that.”