BOYS CROSS COUNTRY | STATE PREVIEW

Dunn and his young Brickies not in awe of state CC meet

2011-10-28T22:00:00Z 2011-10-30T12:35:09Z Dunn and his young Brickies not in awe of state CC meetBy Al Hamnik al.hamnik@nwi.com, (219) 933-4154 nwitimes.com
October 28, 2011 10:00 pm  • 

The New Prairie Cross Country Semistate, complete with its hills, grassy plains, river beds and woods, has been called a mini-state meet.

It's a challenging course that will bring you to your knees quicker than cramps.

So imagine how stoked Hobart sophomore Brent Dunn was after finishing ninth in 16:04.5 last Saturday — shattering his previous personal best by 41 seconds.

He admitted praying hard over that final mile.

"I kept repeating, in my head, the (Bible) verse: 'Everything is possible through Christ, who strengthens me.' And he did. That's pretty much all I had left," Dunn said.

"I don't think anybody really had him pegged to finish that well," coach Ty Artherhults said. "He had it made up in his mind that he was going to get into the top 15 and he did it.

"And he made it look easy, actually."

Dunn leads the young Brickies at today's IHSAA state meet in Terre Haute. It's the program's first appearance at state since 1972.

"Because he's so mature and levelheaded, I don't see him freaking out when he gets on the starting line," Artherhults said.

The talented squad includes lone senior Chad Brooks (16:48), Alex Cordova (16:45), Zach Spain (16:53), John Petroskey (16:56), Collin Allen (16:56) and Alek Seeley (17:40).

"Cordova is out (ill), but we still want get top 15 as a team," Dunn said. "We have a fun group. They all do their best and never give up.

"We're hoping next year to do even better at state, possibly getting top five."

Dunn missed three weeks earlier this season with a stress fracture in his right foot and it drove him absolutely batty having to watch from the sideline.

"I wasn't worried about myself as much as I was the team," he said. "It was hard knowing we could've won some meets easily instead of losing by just a couple of points.

"I knew there was next year for me. But Chad just came out this year because he knew we had a lot of potential."

Dunn said the stress fracture is completely healed.

"Humble is the word. He's very humble and not cocky in any way," Artherhults said. "It's funny because to all the kids on the team, he's sort of like their little god.

"They all see him as the star, and I don't think he ever thinks of himself that way."

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