BOYS TRACK

Munster distance star Bolanowski knows the sport

2013-04-24T17:15:00Z 2013-04-26T00:47:03Z Munster distance star Bolanowski knows the sportAl Hamnik al.hamnik@nwi.com (219) 933-4154 nwitimes.com
April 24, 2013 5:15 pm  • 

MUNSTER | Tommy Bolanowski is the newspaper on your front porch each morning, donuts at a construction site, Vince Scully doing Dodgers' games.

There are just some things you can count on.

That's what Bolanowski means to the Munster track program, where the junior co-captain is among the area's top runners in the 800 meters (2:06.9), the 1,600 (4:26) and the 3,200 (10:17).

"He's very consistent, very even-keeled," coach John Stamper said. "Determined. Steady. It's the mentality of the distance runners. They're all focused. They're all internally motivated.

"Tommy's 4:26 is an impressive time but I don't see any reason why physically he can't run a 4:0-something mile in time. He's big and strong and he's got a motor that doesn't seem to get tired."

The honors student was a state qualifier last season, placing 24th in 4:27.33. Ten of the top 23 finishers, including the winner, graduated.

"This year, I'd like to see him break 4:20 and next year 4:0-something," Stamper said. "I think he can run much faster."

Bolanowski, like any serious track performer, scouts his competition's strengths, weaknesses and trends. He keeps a mental notebook on top individuals in his races.

"I use that to my advantage to maneuver around intelligently and not just race as hard as I can until I die," he said. "You have to have that instinct, know what you have to do.

"You have to know their strategy as well."

Bolanowski said consistency is key to being a good runner. He is shooting for that elite group of local distance stars such as Lowell's Kyle Eller and Valparaiso brothers Peyton and Xavier Reed.

"I definitely think I can compete with them," he added. "I'm ready to race against them."

Bolanowski made it to state with the Munster cross country team as a freshman and just missed going as an individual last fall, finishing 16th at semistate — 1.7 seconds shy of advancing.

Don't talk about motivation. He's already read that book.

"I'm definitely aiming for a medal at state (track). I'm not going to say I can't do it," Bolanowski said. "I have confidence that within this year and next year, I can get down to state and get a few medals — maybe even a state championship."

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