Pacing Himself: Plainfield’s Dalton Kane works to race in top form when meets count the most
By Mike Beas
The top runner for Plainfield’s boys cross country team is taking a more cautious approach to his final season as part of the Quakers program.
Dalton Kane experienced hamstring issues during the sectional meet last year and knows sitting out some of this year’s regular season races is best.
“It’s very tough. As a high school senior, you want to go out there and compete. You train for a long time, so you want to see success,” Kane said. “But I have a lot of trust in what we’re doing. We want to go out there and work hard, but we don’t want to dampen my season.”
Kane’s junior season included crossing the finish line first at the Mid-State Conference Championships at Franklin in a personal best time of 15:53. Later at the South Putnam sectional, Kane was running the race when he aggravated his left hamstring.
“It was a rough course with some uneven ground. I hit a rough patch, and my hamstring got real tight,” Kane said. “I went on to run the regional and semistate, and it was really uncomfortable.”
Kane placed 11th at sectional and went on to take eighth at the Ben Davis regional and 22nd at the Shelbyville semistate. He accomplished this despite not being able to follow through with his usual training leading up to the latter two events.
The senior’s best time this season is 16:19 when he finished third at the Brownsburg Invitational Sept. 7. He didn’t participate in the Ben Davis Invitational a week later, but he’s looking forward to upcoming competitions such as the Mid-State Conference meet and the Nike Twilight event.
“There are a few factors that go into it,” Kane said about the events he runs during the regular season. “The main one is how important is the meet for (preparing) for the postseason.”
Plainfield is one of 13 boys cross country squads scheduled to run at the Brownsburg sectional Oct. 12. Plainfield coach Joe Hoffman is confident Kane will do whatever necessary to be in top form at the point in the season when the stakes are highest.
“Dalton has a tremendous work ethic. He is fully invested in training and is willing to do whatever he has to do to run fast,” Hoffman said. “I think he’s always been into running and has had a desire to excel. He has grown a lot as a runner, how to train and how to do it the right way.”
Kane carries a 3.7 grade point average and would like to major in mechanical engineering in college. He began running cross country in sixth grade as a social outlet. The sport began taking on greater meaning in recent years.
“As I’ve grown older and older, it’s more of an open space for me,” Kane said. “It’s a way for me to escape what’s going on around me.”
After suffering an injury last cross country season, Plainfield senior Dalton Kane adjusted his training and sat out some competitions this season to run in top shape when meets count the most. (Photo by Rick Myers)