KOUTS | Like many other times throughout her high school career, it was the Jordan Chester Show on Tuesday.
The Boone Grove senior set a Porter County Conference meet record in the 800-meter run with a time of 2 minutes, 24.28 seconds, won 1,600 and 3,200 runs, and anchored Boone's 3,200 relay win. Then she went ahead and won the PCC's Mental Attitude award, to boot.
But though Chester's come-from-behind anchor leg set the tone for Boone Grove early in the meet, it was Hebron that kept pressure on the rest of the pack throughout.
Paced by key wins from Paige Hickenbottom in the 200, 400, Long Jump, as well as Hickenbottom's anchor in the 1,600 relay, Hebron, considered by most to be the favorite coming in, cruised to the PCC title at Kouts with 155 points. Morgan Twp. finished second with 116 and, paced by Chester, Boone Grove finished third with 96.
Chester said getting out to a quick start in the 3,200 relay set the pace for the rest of the event.
"My four-by-800 team was just awesome today," Chester said. "We were coming into the last turn and it was a really good race. They just pushed me, and everyone just had that great momentum today - and that's what pushed me the rest of the meet."
Chester passed Hebron's Laura MacNeill on the final straightaway to give Boone a win of less than 2 seconds.
A four-year state medalist in cross country, and three in track heading into the home stretch of her high school career, Chester said the light at the end of the tunnel is bittersweet.
"It's kind of disappointing that it's coming to an end, but I'm looking forward to college and hopefully making it to the state meet this spring," said Chester, who will attend Grand Valley State this fall. "I wasn't too pleased with some of my times today, but the weather was humid and hot -- you deal with what you've got. I just tried to drink more water than usual. You can't really prepare for it after the bad weather we've had (this spring)."
True to form, Chester gave credit to her parents for her medal that has more to do with her off-the-track accomplishments than what she does between the lanes.
"It means a lot. I've always been taught by my parents to have great mental attitude skills," Chester said. "Every time someone comes off the track, you have to congratulate them because track is the toughest sport ever. I've always learned to do that from my parents."
Other notables at Kouts included Morgan Twp.'s Trina Coleman, who won the high jump and 100-meter hurdles; and South Central's Katie Bekavac set a meet record in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 46.80.