Boys race into Semi-State

Drew Hanft, Sports Reporter

The Boys Cross Country team raced its way into the Semi-State finals at New Prairie High School on October 24th.  City finished in a very commendable eleventh place at the meet.  The Wolves performance was highlighted by sophomore runner Jacob Adams, finishing with a time of sixteen minutes and fifty-five minutes.  This time was good enough for twenty-first place out of one hundred and forty runners.  The Wolves also had sophomore Bryon Berg finish in the top fifty with a time of seventeen minutes and forty-three minutes good for forty-third place.  This was the first time Michigan City High School has been represented in the semi-state finals since 2008.

Seniors Logan Doperalski and Alejandro Miller described it as a great experience and a nice way to end their cross country careers for MCHS.  Both of the senior runners all directed the credit of this year’s success to Head Coach Mike Liss.  Miller spoke extremely high of his coach.  “He is an unusual compared to some coaches these days because he truly cares about the team and how we perform.”  Both Doperalski and Miller called Coach Liss “the best coach in the DAC.  Everyone is kind of disappointed he’s not coaching track.  He is truly a great coach.” In his four years at MCHS, Coach Liss has made great strides in turning the cross country program around.  The boy’s team advanced to regionals a year ago but did not place.  The two seniors both expect the team to advance to State final next year, expecting yet another great year from Jacob Adams.  The senior runners described Adams as “a very kind person.  He is a funny guy and never has anything bad to say about anyone. He is a good leader even though he is an underclassman.”  Doperalski picked now-sophomore Jacob Walsworth to get voted as a captain next year.  “He is a great runner and would be my pick for captain next season.”  The Wolves should be strong again next season and a State appearance would seem to be in reach because of the strong returning trio of Adams, Walsworth, and Berg.  All three of the current tenth graders were City’s top runners at semi-state meet.  The team is already preparing for the track season and next cross country season.  “We took about two weeks off and now we’re back at it again” said Miller.

The senior duo looks back on their cross country careers and are very pleased with what they have accomplished.  “We are all good friends on the team and we all have a lot of fun together.  Cross Country, believe it or not is one of the hardest sports there are.   You can’t tap yourself out when you need a break.  There are no timeouts” said Miller.  The boys agreed that the most memorable moment of the season was knocking out the always tough New Prairie Cougars.  “Knocking out New Prairie and being so close to Chesterton.  We were able to give them a little bit of a scare.  A lot of schools look down on Michigan City when it comes to athletics.  I feel like we represented our school very well and earned a lot of respect from other schools” said Doperalski.  Miller also gave a special shoutout to freshman Tyler Long for being the only ninth grader to come out for the cross country team.  “He did well for us as a freshman on the junior varsity squad.  He represented us very well in being the only runner we had for the JV team.”

So believe it or not fellow Wolves, cross country is a very difficult sport and definitely deserves more credit than it gets.  “You know before you even begin that you are going to have to fight through pain.  The sport however does build character and you get immediate results.  It is unique because it is a team sport but at the same time it is an individual sport because you are running by yourself.  If you let yourself down you are also going to let your team down” added Miller.  The two seniors concluded by encouraging all to go out for cross country next year if they want to be a part of a winning team.  The Cross Country team will look to build on their success next season and hopefully make a run at a State championship.

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