TO THE LIMIT
Boyer places 8th at state; Chesterton takes 10th as team
TERRE HAUTE — Lowell senior Jordyn Boyer reached the finish line at Saturday’s girls cross country state meet and collapsed from exhaustion.
Ju st l i ke she had planned.
“I kept telling myself that this was my last high school race,” she said. “And that no matter how I felt, I’m giving it everything I have. I usually do that. But for this one, I was pushing it to the limit.”
Boyer finished eighth with a time of 18 minutes, 34 seconds as the top local finisher at the state meet, held on the Gibson Championship Cross Country Course.
Down the final straightaway of about 400 meters, Boyer said she passed about 10 runners, summoning every last ounce of energy available. That final burst left her in a daze after she finished.
“I couldn’t walk and I was feeling dizzy,” Boyer said. “But I knew I left everything I had out there.”
Greencastle senior Emma Wilson won in 17:53, while Fort Wayne Carroll took the team title with 85 points.
Chesterton was the top local team, finishing 10th with 314 points. Freshman Bailey Ranta led the Trojans, placing 16th in 18:52.
Ranta was also the first freshman to finish, a specific goal she had set before the race.
“I just knew that I had to get out fast,” she said. “And then I kept picking off runners.”
Senior Shelby Bullock finished 48th overall in 19:22 for Chesterton. That was well shy of her regional championship time of 18:49, which was Bullock’s last healthy race.
For the last two weeks, the Purdue commit has been hampered by pain from the sacroiliac joint in her lower back. The injury has limited her practice time and affected her performance at last week’s semistate and Saturday’s state meet.
“Mentally, it’s been difficult,” Bullock said. “I’m obviously not happy with the outcome, but I gave it everything I had.”
Crown Point sophomore Jaelyn Burgos fin- ished 17th in 18:52 and Munster freshman Hannah Robbins finished 21st in 18:53, each earning allstate honors by cracking the top 25.
Valparaiso junior Ava Gilliana was the fifth Region runner in the top 25, overcoming an equipment malfunction to finish 23rd in 18:57.
During the 500-meter straightaway at the start of the race, an opponent stepped on Gilliana’s heel, leaving her shoe half on.
“There was no way to stop and put it back on,” Gilliana said. “I ended up kicking it off rather than having it half on, half off and being uncomfortable.”
Other than taking extra caution near the muddier sections of the course, Gilliana said the missing shoe didn’t affect her.
After frustrating performances at her previous two state meet appearances, Gilliana was thrilled after her third go-round.
“This course has always been a pain in my side,” she said. “I just kept thinking that I belong here. I belong in the top 25 with those girls.”
Dave Melton is a freelance reporter for the Post-Tribune.
Lowell senior Jordyn Boyer, right, passes Fort Wayne Carroll’s Abigail Green to place eighth at the girls cross country state meet on Saturday in Terre Haute.