ALL SPORTS CHAMPS
NCC ATHLETE OF
PREP CROSS COUNTRY: Looking to bounce back
August 13, 2012North Central Conference
by Beau Wicker
Logansport boys cross country coach Chuck LaDow can’t help but wonder what might have been.
The Berry coach thought his squad would be loaded and had a chance to reach the state finals as a team before a series of setbacks.
LaDow thought he had runners who could finish 1-2-3 in both the North Central Conference and sectional meets. But juniors Tate Gellinger and Travis Palmer are out with injuries, and sophomore Dom Patacsil has moved to the West Lafayette school district.
Gellinger missed the track season last spring with an injury and is out at least to start the season with another one.
“Tate had a hernia during track and he came back this summer and tried to increase his mileage too much and now he has acute tendinitis in his Achilles and is not running at all,” LaDow said.
Palmer survived a scary car accident this summer and will miss the cross country season for all intents and purposes.
“Travis is of course going to be out for the season. He could be back in late September but is not going to have any kind of fitness at all,” LaDow said.
The Logan coach expects Patacsil to excel at West Lafayette.
“It’s a shame because he ran 20 seconds faster than Kyle [Overway] as a freshman,” he said. “He has the potential to be that standout that most coaches only get once in a lifetime.”
LaDow said the Berries can still have the talent to salvage a strong season. He thinks they can defend their sectional title and be one of the top contenders at the NCC meet. He said it might take some help from some youngsters.
“You don’t want to put pressure on a 14-year-old freshman to run a 17:20 to win conference, but that’s where we’re at,” he said.
Logan’s top two runners entering the season are juniors Kyle Jordan and Alex Calisto, a duo that could have been very strong 4-5 runners if the setbacks hadn’t occurred.
“Very realistically we could have had five guys running sub-17 and two guys sub 16:30,” LaDow said. “That’s an easy ticket to the state tournament.”
LaDow said Gellinger could possibly return and still has time to regain his form and fitness. He added two freshman “thoroughbreds,” Jesus Oliver and Jacob Graf, could be contributing to the varsity at some point this season.
Seniors Audie Kaufman and Derek Beckler have put in a lot of work this summer and are running well according to the Logan coach, and senior Zeke Alvarez should be in contention to compete for the No. 1 spot.
John Shafer and Sam Crain are also in the varsity mix.
There are a total of 32 boys on the roster.
“We still have a strong enough team to defend our sectional title and qualify for semistate,” LaDow said.
way around. They’re working hard and they’ll see some improvements.”