RENSSELEAR | Alec Kostelnik toured the track at the Rensselaer Sectional effortlessly in the 3200 run, lapping a few runners on his final time around. The Morgan Township junior made it look easy as he breezed to the win in the 3200 after capturing the 1600 earlier on Thursday night.
“I feel like I’m ready to compete next week at the Valparaiso Regional with the big dogs, so I‘m pretty excited about that,” Kostelnik said.
Rensselaer will also be looking forward to next week as the Bombers won the title for the third time in four years with 102 points to runner-up Hebron’s 83. Defending champ Kankakee Valley was third with 74.
The Bombers, who won in 2009 and ’10, won the title with its depth.
“The big thing was everybody came together,” Rensselaer coach Dan Yeager said. “We’ve been pretty decent all year, but it wasn’t everybody putting it together all on the same night, so that was huge for us.”
Josh Balviich won the 200 and finished second in the 100, while Tanner Odle was a surprise fourth in the high jump.
“Josh was seeded sixth in the 200, and he ends up wining it tonight,” Yeager said, “but that was because he was mad that he lost the 100, which he was seeded first for. That was huge.
“Our younger guys stepped it up, too. They’ve been hit or miss all year, so the last couple weeks they’ve been performing a little bit better, and it all came together right at the end for us.”
The top four finishers in each event qualified for next Thursday’s Valparaiso Regional.
Kostelnik won the 1600 in 4:23.08, edging Hebron’s Jason Egolf, who won the event last year. Egolf, a two-time state qualifier, won the 800 for the second year in a row, and he was on the Hawks’ winning 3200 relay, to finish a solid night.
“I just kind of gut it out the rest of my races after the four-by-eight,” Egolf said. “It feels great. Now I’ve just got to advance out of the regionals to state. You know, the third time is the charm, right?”
Kostelnik will likely concentrate on the 3200 next week, but he hasn’t made the decision yet.
“I’ll see how far I can make it with that,” he said. “I feel like I’m stronger in that event than I am in the mile.”