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1978 National Team Championship "Carmel HS, Carmel, Indiana"

Published by
XCNATION.com   Sep 26th 2013, 4:29pm




1977 National Rankings - 1979 National Rankings



By Aron Taylor for XC Nation | email




Carmel HS, Carmel, Indiana


Head Coach Chuck Koeppen



The home of U.S. distance legend Rudy Chapa, Indiana hosts the nation's longest cross country tradition; hosting a one division state cross country championship. Across the State of Indiana perhaps no coach's name reverberate respect and admiration as Chuck Koeppen. The coaching legend has fostered tradition, and honor for more than three decades through the halls of Carmel High.


Chuck Koeppen is methodical and detail oriented, perhaps no coach in the country has as organized and accurate season archives. He knows the names, remembers the stories and the passion of the sport is felt with he speaks about a sport so important to his life. He is Chuck Koeppen, a mentor, a leader, someone who cares about and knows the importance of those moments. In 1981, Chuck Koeppen's Greyhounds would claim the national championship, in 1982, they would repeat.


1. Carmel HS, Indiana

1. South Eugene HS, Oregon

1. York HS, Illinois STORY

4. Cincinnati Colerain HS, Ohio

5. Lakewood HS, Florida

6. Largo HS, Florida

7. Tuba City HS, Arizona

8. Astronaut HS, Florida

9. Pearl River HS, New York

10. State College HS, Pennsylvania

11. Laguna Acoma HS, New Mexico

12. Mission San Jose HS, California

13. Palos Verdes HS, California

14. Tiffin Columbian HS, Ohio

15. Memorial HS, New Jersey


It has been said, where there is smoke there is fire, for Carmel high Chuck Koeppen was that smoke and the fire rested with the mighty Greyhounds athletes. Too numerous to count they carry the banner of excellence and played a part in something truly special. The 1978 Carmel boys squad was led by top runner senior Rod Zochowski who has been described as a wild man with off the chart ability. Junior Bill Shuey was an age group national swimmer but upon entering high school gave up swimming for running. Ran 9:03 two-mile and served as leader of the Carmel team. Shuey went on to become a two-time All-American at Purdue University in cross country as well as holder of several track records for Purdue University. Senior Scott Beasley was the son of Jack and June Beasley. Jack Beasley spent seasons helping organize local road races with Coach Chuck Koeppen. Has been called by Chuck Koeppen as one of the most determined runners he ever had who made the most of everything he was given and called by Coach Koeppen as the All American Kid. Senior Steve Hannah was also a standout who served as the most consistent athlete on the team some might call the anchor. Fred Newlin was a junior and a follower of the Bill Shuey way of running. As Koeppen recalls he followed Shuey everywhere he went and through hard work, motivation and determination made himself a great individual athlete. Newlin went and ran for Butler University. Kurt Scotts father was a local junior high principal. Kurts families were familiar with the Carmel cross country tradition. His brother Charlie, Courtney and eventually Charlie Jr. would run for Koeppen. Tim Robertson came out for cross country after impressing Koeppen in gym class. I said hey how come youre not running cross country. He could not say no, he was chosen ~Chuck Koeppen. Duane Brown was a top varsity scorer and was called by Koeppen as talented as any top athlete who was a dependable member of the team.



Everyone was looking for a niche, for these kids they were a part of something special and meaningful and for them it was their niche. The previous two state championships set the example for them and they really felt that they were a part of a tradition. I think during the summer we did more than anyone else and in the summer we did more than everyone else. These young men never took time off and we trained year around. They loved wearing their Carmel Cross Country shirtin our school if you were a part of our program you were respect and held in high esteem. ~Chuck Koeppen



Courses differ from meet to meet and state to state with the lengths varying from 1.5 miles to 5000 meters. With rare occurrences of courses 3.2 up to 3.5 miles in length within the State of Indiana. In 1978, the distance would be 2.5 miles or 4000 meters. The true measure of a team is not team average or even low scores. The true measure of a team is unity, the pack, and its ability to tread closely upon the annuals of history within their own state and eventually nationally. In 1978, the Carmel team did just that with superb assaults on course records while maintaining championship 1-5 and often 1-7 spreads.



Carmel opened the season with a perfect 15 points at Noblesville. A local dual meet the team tied five runners for first place. Unlike the 1976 and 1977 state championship teams it was here that Koeppen began thinking about the programs first undefeated season. I did not think we had seen a team like that team before, we had a depth that Carmel had not known. I think after the first meet we thought that we had the potential to go undefeated ~Chuck Koeppen



The following week the squad would claim victory at the Pike Hokum Karum. The Pike Hokum Karum was a meet in which two athletes would be paired together in a relay over the 3xmile distance with the two times combined. Bill Shuey and Rod Zachowski won the race with a combined team time of 30:35. Carmel would claim the meet victory with 23 points.



A week later in the Carmel 4-way league meet a similar outcome occurred with the Greyhounds again decimating the competition. They won with 20 points as the team covered the 2.5 mile course with a 13:06 average. Individual placers: 2. Rod Zachowski, 12:57; 3. Scott Beasley, 13:04; 4. Bill Shuey, 13:10; 5. Kurt Scott, 13:11; 6. Steve Hannah, 13:11; 7. Fred Newlin, 13:13. Future state champion Kerry Dickson would claim the individual title in 12:54.



The first major invitational of the season opened the Carmel Invitational. Carmel covered the 2.5 mile course to score 16 points and a 67:53 total team time. Individually they placed 1. Rod Zachowski, 13:17; 2. Steve Hannah, 13:25; 3. Bill Shuey, 13:29; 4. Scott Beasley, 13:42; 6. Fred Newlin, 13:50; 7. Kurt Scott, 14:00. Three days later competed in a league dual meet against Brebeuf winning with 18 points.



The largest in-season meet of the year, the Ben Davis Invitational featured state powerhouse Decatur Central. Carmel rose to the occasion to win 40-51 behind and impressive and dominant team performance in which all five competitors were under 12:50 for 2.5 miles. Finishing 2, 3, 7, 8, 19 the times were Zachowski 12:23, Bill Shuey 12:25, Scott Beasley 12:35, Steve Hannah 12:36, Duane Brown 12:49. Varsity runners Fred Newlin and Kurt Scott did not compete in this meet.


The Lawrence North course record was 13:17 and served as a dominant measure of excellence for the Hamilton County. Yet the Carmel team would score a perfect 15 points behind all five scorers breaking the previous course record. Scott Beasley came home in a dead heat tie against teammate Bill Shuey, both completing the course in 13:05. Kurt Scott finished 3rd in 13:11, Duane Brown 4th in 13:12, and Fred Newlin 5th in 13:14. A dominant team performance as they averaged 13:09 over the 2.5 mile course, well under the previous record of 13:17 and without their number one runner Rod Zachowski and fellow top five varsity scorer Steve Hannah.


Long before the Washington/Oregon Borderclash was the Ill-Iana Classic, an Indiana verses Illinois borderwar. Each year Koeppen would travel to the bi-state super meet with the hopes of facing the best that Illinois had to offer. Finishing second in 1977 Koeppen wanted to win the coveted traveling trophy. The National Championship and all-time great Deerfield, Illinois teams had won the meet in 1976 and 1977 besting the eventual Indiana State Champions Carmel convincingly. What became clear to Koeppen was that the road to the National Championship traveled through Illinois and the Ill-Iana Classic. The course was settled in North Creek Meadow Forrest Reserve just outside Chicago, Illinois. Called by many the finest meet of the year the meet featured play by play scoring. One of the, if not the first meet ever that featured scoring updates following each mile of the meet. Race Director Skip Stolley was called by Koeppen, a class act who did a great job for cross country. Stolley would go on to work for a major national shoe company.


Back in those days they had this traveling trophy. It was a massive and beautiful trophy. After two years of the trophy residing in Illinois we wanted it back. Those Deerfield teams were amazing to watch, in '76 and '77 I thought we had pretty good teams but each year Deerfield defeated us easily. We knew that to be great we would have to win this meet and that is what we tried to do, so there were big hopes for that 78 meet ~Chuck Koeppen


To the cheers of the Greyhound faithful the team scored 108 points to claim victory over several top five Illinois teams convincingly. Second place would go to Maine East (149) with 3rd going to Fremd (4th at the Illinois State meet). Over a moderate to difficult 3-mile course junior Bill Shuey came in 6th in 14:55; 10. Rod Zachowski 14:59; 29. Fred Newlin 15:23; 31. Scott Beasley 15:27; 33. Steve Hannah 15:29; 41. Kurt Scott 15:38; Duane brown 15:44.



The road to the Indiana State Championships and what hoped to be three in a row would finish through the Conference, County, Sectional, and Regional Championships. The Olympic Conference Championship featured Huntington North, Muncie Northside, Haworth, Madison Heights, and Muncie Southside. Muncie North was the consistent challengers to Carmel and eventually 6th at the State Championship. The race held at Grandview Golf Course in Anderson, Indiana. Carmel would score 26 team points and finish six in the top twelve. Rod Zachowski placed second over the relatively flat golf course in what was said to be a perfect day in 12:40. The individual title went to Bob Gross who would end up 7th in the state meet behind Zachowski claimed victory in 12:32.1. Scott Beasley finished in 4th in 12:52; 5. Bill Shuey 12:58; 6. Steve Hannah 12:59; 9 Fred Newlin 13:02; 12. Kurt Scott 13:08. We knew Muncie North was tough, anytime you beat them it was a big deal.  ~Chuck Koeppen



The Hamilton County Championships featured six teams with Carmel, Heights, Nobelsville, Sheridan, Southeastern and Westfield. Held at Forrest Park Golf Course it featured a flat cast 2.5 mile championship race. Carmel would claim the team honors with 20 team points and all seven varsity scorers in the top 10. Individual finishers; 2. Rod Zachowski 12:17; 3. Steve Hannah 12:33; 4. Scott Beasley 12:33; 5. Fred Newlin 12:41; 6. Kurt Scott 12:48; 7. Robertson 12:52; 9. Duane Brown 13:06. Carmel covered the relatively flat golf course 2.5 mile course in a meet record 12:34 average. 


The Pike Cross Country Sectional Championships featured over 25 teams as the section championships resembled a state championship. Held at the Pike high school grounds the course was flat with a lot of loops surrounding the school. Under a light rain and 48-degree temperatures the Carmel boys made a statement as they placed five in the top ten! Senior Rod Zachowski won in a meet record 12:14 over the 2.5-mile course. Teammate Bill Shuey JR finished 4th in 12:27; 6. Scott Beasley SR 12:31; 7. Fred Newlin JR 12:32; 9. Steve Hannah SR 12:35. The team average of 12:27 may be one of the top team averages in national history over 2.5 miles (4000 meters) of any difficulty.



We were a very good team and what we faced that day were some tremendous individuals. The only guys in front of us were guys who were top 10 in state. Our guys wanted each meet a domination and the kids wanted to be the top five every meet. They were ready for this tournament and nothing else matters except the IHSA State Tournament to those kids. ~Chuck Koeppen



Following the Pike Sectional Championships Carmel traveled to the Tipton Invitational three days later scoring 31 team points in order to face some top teams. The meet was held during the State Championship Tournament at the Tipton Golf Course in Tipton, Indiana. A flat and fast 2.5-mile course, the meet record was broken by Lafayette Jeffersons Kerry Dickson, eventual state champion in 12:17. Carmel senior Rod Lakowski finished in 3rd in 12:37 also under the previous course record mark of 12:40.9. Steve Hannah finishes in 5th in 12:50 with teammate Fred Newlin 6th in 12:52. Duane Scott and Scott Beasley would finish 8th and 9th each recording 13:00 over the 4000-meter course. Following the Tipton Invite, they traveled three days later to the IHSA Regional Championships.


The IHSA Regional Championships would be the equivalent of a super state championship. A huge championship race where 16 teams collide in what can be viewed as League conquest, Carmel still competed well winning with 59 points and four in the top twenty. The meet was held at Richland, Indiana on the Glen Miller Golf Course; a hilly and moderately difficult course that was traversed twice during the 2.5-mile race. Rod Zachowski placed 7th in 12:27; 13. Fred Newlin 12:41; 14. Steve Hannah 12:41; 17. Scott Beasley 12:43; 30. Bill Shuey 13:02.



The competition was dominant, the individual winner David Hilton from Cascade in 12:17 and Brad Sisson, Brad Jones were all eventual state champions. Our runners were running against the best the state had to offer. We ran neck and neck with the top runners in the state. As a reflection of our team score it is clear that the teams we faced here were the teams that eventually gave us trouble at state. ~Chuck Koeppen



Saving the best for last, coach Koeppen led the Carmel squad into the state championships primed for a third state championship in as many years, and importantly a National Championship. Held at the South Grove Golf Course in Indianapolis, Indiana the course was a moderately flat and yet challenging 4k. Featuring 10,000 spectators the atmosphere was electric and teams felt as though it could be a world championship event. Carmel scored 63 points to dominate the runner up Norwell 126. Rod Zachowski would run 12:20.5 to finish first in team scoring. The rest of the team finished as follows, Bill Shuey JR 12:37.6; Scott Beasley SR 12:38.1; Steve Hannah SR 12:41.9; Fred Newlin JR 12:50.6.



It was our third win in a row no one had done that in the State of Indiana since the 1950s when Anderson won 7 in a row. We were so excited to win the meet so convincingly. These guys were not going to be denied. Coaching is my life I was blessed to have a coach in high school I just loved. I found success in leading and guiding cross country runners. A drive and passion created within me regarding this sport. I believe cross country builds teamwork, a brotherhood, family, and in the end we became best friends. We are a band of brothers and we go to war for each other, all for one and one for all. I always told my team that if we believed we cant be beat than we couldnt be beat. I will be coaching and involved within the sport for the rest of my life. ~Chuck Koeppen


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3 comment(s)
David Taylor @XCnation
MIke, while I admire your passion for your 78' team, I am also hoping you take a few moments to look at the Carmel team as well as a few others that were ranked ahead of you.
Mike Newman
Since I ran on the 1978 York team, I have always felt that this rating was a sham. Yes, Carmel was a good team but they would not have beaten us. They did beat Fremd and Maine East at Illiana. Those teams placed 4th and sixth at the IL 2A meet to us...and we beat them pretty convincingly. I wish they would have had NXN back then... the "rankings" would have changed. That's not talk...it's just a fact.
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