Boys cross country: Didion cruises at Bob Thomas Invite; Munster wins team title
By Dave Melton Post-Tribune correspondent September 14, 2013 7:58PM
LaPorte's #4 Anthony Didion sprints across the finish line 10 seconds ahead of the other runners, at the Bob Thomas Invitational 5k meet held at Lowell High on 9/14/13. Didion's time was 15:41. | John Booz/for the Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 16, 2013 6:56AM
LOWELL — Before the race even began, LaPorte senior Anthony Didion knew where he was going to make his move during Saturday’s Bob Thomas Invite at Lowell High School.
“I was planning on moving right after the mile, which worked real well, because that’s when you get to see who is going to race with you that day,” said the 2012 state qualifier. “When no one responded, I just kept my pace going. Then it was just a mental game for the other two miles.”
Didion’s gampelan and his execution were excellent, as the Slicers No. 1 runner cruised to a first-place finish with a time of 15:41.
After a hot and humid start to the week, the runners were greeted with what Didion called, “just perfect conditions. The ground was hard, it wasn’t wet; it was nice, cool weather.”
Following Didion across the finish line was a trio of NCC runners. Lowell’s Brian Blaylock set a PR with a second-place time of 15:51, the first sub-16:00 time of his career. A pair of Mustangs were next to cross: junior Ryan Kritzer (15:52) and senior Tom Bolanowski (15:57). Wheeler sophomore Joel O’Shea finished fifth with a time of 16:14.
Led by the duo of Kritzer and Bolanowski, Munster took home the top team honors with a score of 65 points, ahead of three DAC schools: Lake Central (87), LaPorte (93) and Portage (96).
“I hadn’t had anybody break 16 minutes before and to have two guys do it on the same day; that’s pretty good,” Munster coach Aaron Brown said of Kritzer and Bolanowski. “It’s kind of a benchmark, that 16-minute barrier, because then you’re talking about making it to state as individuals.”
Also scoring points for the Mustangs were sophomore Theo Burgwald (16:21, 11th), Manny Lopez (16:45, 22nd) and Jimmy Murphy (16:53, 25th).
“Last year we missed state by one point and a lot of that was because of the tail end of our scores,” Brown said. “They used to be 45 seconds to a minute behind our other guys, but now we’ve shrunk that gap a little bit.”