New goals for O’Shea
Ex-hockey player from Wheeler scores different ‘hat’ trick
HAMMOND — Wheeler’s Joel O’Shea isn’t playing hockey this winter so he can focus on cross country, but that didn’t stop the junior runner from scoring a hat trick this week.
After winning Tuesday’s Jack Bransford Classic and Thursday’s Andrean Invitational, O’Shea picked up this third win in five days with a time of 16 minutes, 24 seconds to win Saturday’s Gavit Invitational.
“Everything’s good,” O’Shea said after the race. “Legs are good, mind is good … I’m good.”
O’Shea raced with Valparaiso’s Danny Dalton for much of the race before pulling away in the fifth and final kilometer.
Following O’Shea across the finish line were six Valparaiso runners, leading the Vikings to the team title. Dalton was second overall with a time of 16:37. He was followed by teammates Logan Meeter (17:19), Jack Gabrish (17:20.36), Isaiah Smith (17:20.52), Carlos Martinez (17:21) and Carl Frey (17:27).
“I’m very pleased with how they performed. This was our first 5K of the season and I think it was a great performance by our guys,” Valparaiso’s Aaron Crague said after his first race as the team’s coach. “We have a lot of guys who are still learning. This is a chance for them to learn about what they can do and test their limits a bit.”
Like O’Shea in the boys race, Hanover Central junior Lindsey Kolanowski needed a late push to win. Trailing Andrean’s Kaycee Crist by about 200 meters late in the race, Kolanowski surged into first place, finishing with a time of 20:53.
“I was thinking that I may not be able to catch (Crist) but that I’d get close,” Kolanowski said after the race. “I was just ready to slowly catch her and then really sprint down the end.”
Crist finished in second with a time of 21:09, followed by Rensselaer’s Riley Hickman (21:35) and Griffith’s Trinity Austin (21:49). Another 59er, Kellyn Vale, completed the top five with her time of 21:51, helping Andrean to the team title. The 59ers’ team score of 53 placed them ahead of Hebron (87) and Hanover (95).
“It just kind of came out of nowhere,” Vale said after the race. “We were just ‘on’ and I’m so proud of our team.”
Vale was one of several Andrean runners that passed multiple opponents down the home stretch, moves that likely pushed Andrean ahead in a race that they didn’t appear to be winning.
“I think that was the deciding factor. Every time they got into a battle with somebody, they pulled away from their opponent,” Andrean coach Rick Torres said. “And when we got to the 4K, they just went crazy and start passing people one at a time.”
Wheeler’s Joel O’Shea runs alongside Valparaiso’s Danny Dalton.
Hanover Central’s Lindsey Kolanowski won her second straight invite this week.