Calloway, Lady Zs win TRC cross-country titles
Ochoa, Seward, Bradley, Valley’s Miller also make all-TRC team; RHS boys Hiatt, Steininger, Rohr, Valley’s Howes also make all-TRC
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
AKRON –- For somebody who does not love the cross-country course at Tippecanoe Valley High School, Rochester junior Madilyn Calloway sure seems to run it fast.
Calloway won the Three Rivers Conference individual title in 19:21, and she joined three other RHS runners on the all-conference team as the Lady Zs won the team title with 31 points.
Maconaquah was second with 39 points.
Sophomores Araceli Ochoa, Zoe Seward and Kendyll Bradley all joined RHS on the all-TRC team. Ochoa was third in 20:19, Seward was seventh in 20:45, and Bradley was 11th in 22:00.
The top 12 make the all-conference team. Ochoa and Bradley set personal records while Seward ran a season best.
Tippecanoe Valley had an incomplete team, but freshman Chesnee Miller was eighth overall and made the all-TRC team as well.
In the boys meet, RHS was third and Valley eighth in the 10-team field. Junior Peyton Hiatt was the RHS frontrunner, taking sixth in 17:10. Teammates Dylan Steininger (10th place, 17:57) and Chris Rohr (12th place, 17:58) both broke 18 minutes for the first time, and both made the all-TRC team.
Valley’s Matthew Howes, an individual semistate qualifier in both 2018 and 2019, also made the all-TRC team by finishing eighth in 17:30, a 38-second drop from his Valley Invite time.
Wabash won the boys team title with 35 points. Manchester was second with 84 points.
Southwood senior Braden Sweet was the individual champion in 16:20.
Calloway ran a 19:36 in winning the Valley Invitational three weeks before the TRC race. This time, she was even faster. Pursued by Maconaquah freshman Abby Jordan through the first half of the race, she pulled away in the second half of the race and won by 23 seconds in a season-best time.
“I don’t really like this course that much,” Calloway said. “It feels pretty long to me. But it’s alright. It’s not as bad as our home course.”
Of the 57 runners in the race, only Jordan, who ran a 19:44, and Ochoa finished within a minute of Calloway.
“I was expecting to be in the top,” Calloway said. “I was going to try to take it a little easier today, like last year (when) me and Mallory (Hiatt) did a similar thing. Not go all out but also try to stay in the top and try to win it. … I was supposed to run a 6:20 (pace) the first two miles and go all out the last mile, but I saw her next to me, and it made me want to go ahead a little earlier. So I kind of went off the plan and just ran based on how I felt today.”
The accomplishment perhaps was especially noteworthy for Bradley, who is also a defender for the RHS girls soccer team that shared the TRC title with Manchester and Wabash. Five days after RHS clinched their share of that title, she won another conference title in a different team sport.
Other RHS runners included Madison Heinzmann, who just missed the all-TRC team after running a 22:09 and finishing 13th; Elena Bode, who ran a 23:26 and finished 18th; and Elly Fuller, who ran a 26:31 and finished 49th.
“I was fairly confident going in that we were going to be able to pull this off,” Stalbaum said. “However, we did have a tough week of practice. It was one of those situations where you’re trying to train through a little bit now because you have some sectionals and regionals coming up that you want to do really well at. So I was a little nervous that we were going to be a little sore today, and I think we were, but they were able to run through it and run through the soreness and run really well.”
As for Ochoa, Stalbaum raved about her mental toughness.
“She has a high pain tolerance,” Stalbaum said. “So that’s a PR for her, and again this week, a hard week of practice. We ran a three by 2K on Wednesday, which is the hardest workout we do all year. ... They all dread it. They all hate it. We do it on our course, which is a little hilly. I was actually wondering if we were going to have a lot of PRs.”
Bradley’s soccer talents might be a good mix for cross-country, according to Stalbaum. The soccer games are a substitute for the speed workouts that the full-time cross-country runners have to do.
“This was the first week she only had two soccer games instead of three,” Stalbaum said. “This was her third race of the season, so she’s got a little race experience finally. And one less soccer game during the week, that’s just that much more energy you have for the weekend. The previous two races she’s ran, she’s been really run down – really tired, not feeling great. … She’s very talented. I would say she’s just as talented as Araceli and Zoe.”
Bradley said she was feeling tired when she crossed the finish line. Ten minutes later, she said she was fine.
“It feels really good considering we won conference for soccer, and then I made the all-conference for cross-country too,” Bradley said.
She said soccer games help get her in shape for cross-country. Two days before the TRC meet, she scored the game-winning goal in a 3-2 win over Twin Lakes. She said she valued making the all-TRC team in cross-country more than scoring a game-winning goal because it was a more difficult accomplishment.
She also said that Calloway, Ochoa and Seward push her to run faster.
“For me, I can have that sprint in my mind,” Bradley said. “I don’t do their workouts. I just do four miles and soccer practice, even if they have a workout.”
Miller kept a consistent pace and stayed in the top 10 throughout the entirety of the race.
“I think she started out slow,” Valley coach Mike Inglehearn said. “She held it well, but I think she started a little slower than what she wanted to, and then somewhere around the two-mile mark, she got stuck in no man’s land between seventh and ninth place. Nobody to push her, so I think that hurt her time-wise.”
Other Valley runners included Ella Myers, who was 19th in 23:30; Maria Henderson, who was 36th in 24:56; and Talia Holder, who was 46th in 26:13.
Sweet, Manchester’s Carter Bedke and the Wabash trio of Zack Reed, Jarrett Wilson and Dave Ford were in the lead pack through the first mile. Hiatt was in a secondary pack behind them.
The lead pack separated itself as they emerged from the woods, and then Sweet separated himself from any of his closest competitors in the third mile.
Hiatt was 11 seconds behind Ford but 16 seconds ahead of Maconaquah freshman Isaiah Wittenberg.
“His goal was to stay with Carter Bedke of Manchester,” Stalbaum said of Hiatt. “That didn’t quite work out. He was complaining that he was very sore today. He looked strong the whole time, but he said after the race that he couldn’t get his legs to really go. So he was stuck in a gear and couldn’t get to the next gear. That was a side effect of hard workouts.”
Steininger and Rohr were caught in another pack with Northfield’s Andrew Burns and Wabash’s Troy Guenin-Hodson.
Steininger said he ran between 40-49 miles per week from mid-June through the end of July.
“I’m really excited,” Steininger said. “I made all-conference my eighth grade year for RRC (Running Rivers Conference). ... I’m looking forward to making semistate with Chris and Peyton hopefully as a team. I think me and Chris really helped each other in that last mile do that. That last mile, we were just chugging at the Northfield guy trying to get past him. It really hurt a lot, but I kept digging trying to help us to go faster.”
Rohr was 14th at the TRC meet last year when it was held at Manchester. So making the all-TRC team was a personal goal. He said he ran about 40 miles a week during the summer, but he said he stopped for a couple weeks during the pandemic. He said the team wasn’t having practices. He called it “de-motivating.”
But once practices started again, he got to running with his teammates again. He said that’s helped a lot.
“I think my second mile is my favorite,” Rohr said. “I’m not sure it’s the best. But I don’t necessarily like the pain, but I like the feeling of working on a good pace and all that.”
The other three Zebra striders were freshmen: Wes Steininger, who like his older brother also set a PR in 19:12 and finished 27th; Lane Shank, who was 59th in 21:18; and Peyton Brooks, who was 77th in 22:41.
Howes has been dealing with shin splints throughout the season, according to Inglehearn. A tough race at Huntington University last week also helped prepare him.
“I think last week ... he had a really good race on a very tough course, and then today improved on that by another 18 seconds,” Inglehearn said. “If he just keeps running like he’s running, he’ll be alright. He’s battled some shin splints there for the last few weeks. I don’t know if they’re better, but I think he’s found a way to run through them.”
Other Valley runners included Chase Miller, who was 36th in 19:49; Brady Rodgers, who was 39th in 19:55; Evan Myers, who was 45th in 20:21; Jace Holloway, who was 52nd in 20:50; and Grayson Sriver, who was 86th in 24:34.
The Manchester sectional is this Saturday. Rochester, Valley, Caston, Culver and Argos are among the area schools scheduled to compete.
Pioneer and Winamac will run at the Logansport sectional.
The top five teams and top 10 individuals on non-advancing teams will run at the Logansport regional Oct. 17.
TRC GIRLS CROSS-COUNTRY RESULTS (POINTS IN PARENTHESES): Rochester 31, Maconaquah 39, Manchester 63, Northfield 118, Whitko 129, Peru 147
Incomplete teams: Valley, North Miami, Southwood, Wabash
Rochester results (31 points, champions)
1. Madilyn Calloway - 19:21 (1), 3. Araceli Ochoa - 20:19 (3), 7. Zoe Seward - 20:45 (7), 11. Kendyll Bradley - 22:00 (9), 13. Maddie Heinzmann - 22:09 (11), 18. Elena Bode - 23:26, 49. Elly Fuller - 26:31
8. Chesnee Miller - 21:22, 19. Ella Myers - 23:30, 36. Maria Henderson - 24:56, 46. Talia Holder - 26:13
All-TRC: 1. Madilyn Calloway (Rochester) - 19:21, 2. Abby Jordan (Maconaquah) - 19:44, 3. Araceli Ochoa (Rochester) - 20:19, 4. Josie Briner (Manchester) - 20:26, 5. Karli Miller (Maconaquah) - 20:35.0, 6. Lauren Driscoll (Maconaquah) - 20:35.7, 7. Zoe Seward (Rochester) - 20:45, 8. Chesnee Miller (Valley) - 21:22, 9. Mara Zolman (Northfield) - 21:51, 10. Kaylee Lane (North Miami) - 21:52, 11. Kendyll Bradley (Rochester) - 22:00, 12. Anna Markham (Manchester) - 22:01
TRC BOYS CROSS-COUNTRY RESULTS (POINTS IN PARENTHESES): Wabash 35, Manchester 84, Rochester 100, Southwood 123, Peru 126, Maconaquah 145, Northfield 154, Valley 161, Whitko 251, North Miami 286
Rochester results (100 points, third place)
6. Peyton Hiatt - 17:10 (6), 10. Dylan Steininger - 17:57 (10), 12. Chris Rohr – 17:58 (12), 27. Wes Steininger - 19:12 (25), 59. Lane Shank - 21:18 (47), Peyton Brooks - 22:41
Valley results (161 points, eighth place)
8. Matthew Howes - 17:30 (8), 36. Chase Miller - 19:49 (33), 39. Brady Rodgers - 19:55 (35), 45. Evan Myers - 20:21 (40), 52. Jace Holloway - 20:50 (45), 86. Grayson Sriver - 24:34
All-TRC: 1. Braden Sweet (Southwood) - 16:20, 2. Zack Reed (Wabash) - 16:38, 3. Carter Bedke (Manchester) - 16:47, 4. Jarrett Wilson (Wabash) - 16:58, 5. Dave Ford (Wabash) - 16:59, 6. Peyton Hiatt (Rochester) - 17:10, 7. Isaiah Wittenberg (Maconaquah) - 17:26, 8. Matthew Howes (Valley) - 17:30, 9. Andrew Burns (Northfield) - 17:56, 10. Dylan Steininger (Rochester) - 17:57, 11. Troy Guenin-Hodson (Wabash) - 17:57, 12. Chris Rohr (Rochester) - 17:58
Seven runners representing Rochester High School – four girls and three boys – made the all-Three Rivers Conference team at the conference meet at Tippecanoe Valley High School Saturday. Front, from left – Zoe Seward, Kendyll Bradley, Madilyn Calloway, Araceli Ochoa. Back – Dylan Steininger, Peyton Hiatt, Chris Rohr. The RHS girls won the TRC title while the RHS boys finished third.