New goals for O’Shea

Ex-hockey player from Wheeler scores dif­fer­ent ‘hat’ trick

Post-Tribune - - Sports - BY DAVE MEL­TON

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.

| DAVE MEL­TON/FOR SUN-TIMES ME­DIA

Hanover Cen­tral’s Lind­sey Kolanowski won her sec­ond straight in­vite this week.

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