• Val T.

Girls: Calloway, Araceli Ochoa return to lead Rochester to 2nd place at Culver Academy Invite;

Smith, Hoover, Montgomery also earn medals


Boys: Steininger brothers, Adrian Ochoa set PRs as Zebras place 5th; Dague, Rohr, Wegner, Dodt claim medals


BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

CULVER –- Madilyn Calloway and Araceli Ochoa were gone, but now they are back.

Kendyll Bradley was there, but then she was gone. Lucy Rangel was in middle school last year, but now she’s here. Zoe Seward needed a rest, but she’s back.

But the Rochester girls cross-country team that was ranked in the top 50 in the state to start the season is all together. Their run for something even better than a 13th place showing at last year’s semistate started at the Culver Academy Invitational Saturday, where the Lady Zs finished second in a field of 24 teams in the closed race.

Among other area girls teams, Winamac was sixth, Pioneer was 19th, and Caston was 22nd.

Meanwhile, the Rochester boys finished fifth in a field of 28 teams in their closed race. Two of the four teams that finished ahead of Rochester are from Ohio.

Among other area boys teams, Pioneer was 15th, Winamac was 18th, and Caston was 26th.

The top 27 teams in the field at Culver Academy were entered in the open division, and every other school was deemed closed. Predominantly, schools in the closed division were schools with enrollments of 1,000 or fewer students.

(Schools in the closed division may enter the runners in the open division, and schools may even break up their teams on a one-time-only basis and put some runners in the open race and some in the closed, but no RTC area team entered a runner in the open race.)

Girls

Calloway ran competitively for the first time since finishing 25th in the 3,200 meters at the IHSAA track state finals at Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis in June.

Recuperating from stress fractures in her foot, she ran a 20:21, which was 90 seconds slower than her personal best time from the 2019 New Prairie semistate. Still, it was fast enough to finish ninth in a field of 220 runners.

Seward, who was back from what coach Eric Linn called a “rest week” at the New Prairie Invitational the previous week, was 11th in a season-best 20:25 and also received a medal. Rangel, a freshman, ran a 21:28 and was 33rd. Ochoa, back from her stress fracture, was 46th in 21:55. Bradley was 64th in 22:36 before zipping off before the awards, so she could play with the Rochester girls soccer team as they played North Miami at home in their Three Rivers Conference finale.

Other Rochester times included Maddie Heinzmann’s 23:16, Elena Bode’s 23:33 and Maddy Brouyette’s 29:49.

“It was awesome having those two back,” Rochester coach Eric Linn said of Calloway and Ochoa. “Just because they are going to push the others around them and bring the others along. I wasn’t expecting Madilyn to be as far up as she was. It’s awesome. That’s all I have to say about it.”

Linn said he’s “not too worried about” this Saturday’s Three Rivers Conference meet at Tippecanoe Valley. The Lady Zs are the reigning champions and ranked No. 54 in the state, per inccstats.com; no other TRC team is ranked higher than No. 94. He also said he’s not too worried about the Manchester sectional on Oct. 9 or the Culver Academy regional on Oct. 16.

“It’s semistate,” Linn said. “How far can we get there?”

In addition to Calloway and Seward, other runners earning a medal by placing in the top 30 included Pioneer’s Violet Montgomery, who was 18th in 20:41; Winamac’s Maggie Smith, who was 19th in 20:44; and Winamac’s Kadence Hoover, who was 20th in 20:46.

Pioneer coach Dakota Williams praised Montgomery, a sophomore, for her reliably good times. He said he would like to see Montgomery run a faster third mile.

“She’s been really consistent this year,” Williams said. “In all of her races, she’s been under 21, anywhere from 20:20 to 20:50 but right in between there too.”

Other Pioneer times included Kylie Farris’ 22:22, Macee Baker’s 25:27, Nicole Quaglio’s 28:08, Amanda Harrington’s 28:35, Madison Coy’s 30:00 and Natalie Quaglio’s 34:06.

Delaney Strasser was Caston’s frontrunner in 21:36, and she finished in 37th place. Other times included Emma Stinson’s 24:24, Stevanna Young;s 24:44, Maddie Sprow’s 27:17 and Autumn Garling’s 27:35.

Caston coach Blair Zimmerman said the weather had a positive effect on his runners.

“The senior Lady Comets all took advantage of the conditions to run fantastic times,” Zimmerman said in a statement. “Delaney Strasser and Autumn Garling both ran career best times, and Emma Stinson finished in a season best effort.”

Boys

With the course having seemingly dried out after a late night shower, runners pushed the pace as approximately 100 runners ran the first mile in under six minutes.

A fast pack consisting of six or seven runners broke off at the start.

Rochester senior Dylan Steininger was in a second pack right behind Caston’s Austin Dague and right ahead of Manchester’s Raven King. Steininger was the Zebra frontrunner with his 17:32, and he finished 11th in a field of 256 runners. Chris Rohr was mere steps behind Steininger and finished 18th in 17:52 to also win a medal. Peyton Hiatt was 32nd in 18:12, and Wes Steininger, like his brother, set a personal best by taking 35th in 18:18. Adrian Ochoa set a personal best in 19:10 and placed 81st.

Rochester non-scoring times included Reece Johnson’s 20:14, Lane Shank’s 21:05, Jacob Brubaker’s 22:18 and Pablo Lopez’s 22:54.

Dylan Steininger is able to run the consistent pace that Linn had been preaching to the team coming into the race.

“I know he started off a little slow, about 3:20 (for his first kilometer), which is still a faster place than 17:30, which is what he ran,” Linn said. “He averaged out at 3:30, so he kept that pace the entire way, and he did a good job.”

Rochester is ranked No. 107 in the state, per inccstats.com. Wabash is No. 111, and Manchester is No. 114. Therefore, the TRC meet could be closely contested, and every place figures to count. So performances like Adrian Ochoa’s could be important.

“He’s a freshman,” Linn said. “He’s getting used to it. He’s got more experience. … You can see how much he’s grown. … We’re going to see if he can’t get closer to Wes and see if we can’t get Wes closer to the guys in front of him.”

Pioneer was the highest placing Hoosier North team in the boys race and could be the favorite going into this Saturday’s conference meet at Winamac Town Park.

Freshman Leighton Dodt won a medal by taking 27th in 18:06. Other Pioneer times included Jackson Baker’s 18:36, Jack Cooper’s 19:15, Austin Brooke’s 20:24, Ryan Adams’ 22:31, Brandon Cearing’s 22:58, Eli Rans’ 23:22 and Camron Robinson’s 35:12. Carson Meyer missed the meet due to a quarantine.

“It’s his freshman year, and he’s been staying consistently in the 18s,” Williams said of Dodt. “Usually Jackson’s up there. He’s been in the mid-17s, high-17s. Today was a little tough for him. Still good, but we expect him to bounce back next week at HNAC.”

Caston’s Austin Dague was the fastest area individual, taking 10th in 17:27. Other Comet runners included Caleb Stinson’s 20:37, Marshall Finke’s 20:57, Brady Evans’ 22:32, Connor Sommers’ 22:50, Alex Craig’s 23:03 and Max Sommers’ 23:48.

“It's always awesome to have an athlete in the top 10 of such a huge meet,” Zimmerman said in a statement. “Of course we have other meets that are bigger as far as importance, but we rarely run meets bigger in terms of competitors per race … so, it's a huge honor to have athletes finishing so far up in such a huge event.”

Winamac’s Kolbey Wegner was the other area medalist. He took 25th place in 17:56. Teammates’ times included Cristian Cardenas’ 18:15, Tyler Tankersley’s 20:11, Evan Eaton’s 21:08 and A.J. Rimpler’s 23:03.

The Culver Academy Invitational was held for the first time since 2019. The event was canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

CULVER ACADEMY INVITATIONAL GIRLS CLOSED RACE RESULTS (POINTS IN PARENTHESES; TOP FIVE TEAMS PLUS ALL AREA TEAMS): 1. West Lafayette 94, 2. Rochester 144, 3. Kouts 160, 4. Western 189, 5. Manchester 190, 6. Winamac 196, 19. Pioneer 489, 22. Caston 535

Rochester results (second place, 144 points)

9. Madilyn Calloway – 20:21 (7), 11. Zoe Seward – 20:25 (9), 33. Lucy Rangel – 21:28 (29), 46. Araceli Ochoa – 21:55 (41), 64. Kendyll Bradley – 22:36 (58), 83. Maddie Heinzmann – 23:16, 91. Elena Bode – 23:33, 210. Maddy Brouyette – 29:49

Winamac results (sixth place, 196 points)

19. Maggie Smith – 20:44 (16), 20. Kadence Hoover – 20:46 (17), 32. Kelsey Wegner – 21:27 (28), 56. Alexis Sheets – 22:13 (51), 94. Bethany Poor – 23:35 (84), 116. Ariana Gualajara – 24:16, 144. Lily Bennett – 25:08,154. Kingsley Kroft – 25:39, 170. Kate Collins – 26:37

Pioneer results (19th place, 489 points)

18. Violet Montgomery – 20:41 (15), 59. Kylie Farris – 22:22 (54), 151. Macee Baker – 25:27 (122), 198. Nicole Quaglio – 28:08 (148), 202. Amanda Harrington – 28:35 (150), 211. Madison Coy – 30:00, 219. Natalie Quaglio – 34:06

Caston results (22nd place, 535 points)

37. Delaney Strasser – 21:36 (32), 124. Emma Stinson – 24:24 (107), 134. Stevanna Young – 24:44 (114), 180. Maddie Sprow – 27:17 (140), 186. Autumn Garling – 27:35 (142)

CULVER ACADEMY INVITATIONAL BOYS CLOSED RESULTS (POINTS IN PARENTHESES; TOP FIVE TEAMS PLUS ALL AREA TEAMS): 1. Madeira 132, 2. West Lafayette 143, 3. Medina 148, 4. Brown County 163, 5. Rochester 169, 15. Pioneer 434, 18. Winamac 482, 26. Caston 608

Rochester results (fifth place, 169 points)

11. Dylan Steininger – 17:32 (11), 18. Chris Rohr – 17:52 (18), 32. Peyton Hiatt – 18:12 (32), 35. Wes Steininger – 18:18, 81. Adrian Ochoa – 19:10 (73), 125. Reece Johnson – 20:14, 171. Lane Shank – 21:05, 207. Jacob Brubaker – 22:18, 220. Pablo Lopez – 22:54

Pioneer results (15th place, 434 points)

27. Leighton Dodt – 18:06 (27), 53. Jackson Baker – 18:36 (50), 85. Jack Cooper – 19:15 (77), 134. Austin Brooke – 20:24 (116), 211. Ryan Adams – 22:31 (164), 223. Brandon Cearing – 22:58, 229. Eli Rans – 23:22, 255. Camron Robinson – 35:12

Winamac results (18th place, 482 points)

25. Kolbey Wegner – 17:56 (25), 34. Cristian Cardenas – 18:15 (34), 121. Tyler Tankersley – 20:11 (104), 173. Evan Eaton – 21:08 (145), 226. A.J. Rimpler – 23:03 (174)

Caston results (26th place, 608 points)

10. Austin Dague – 17:27 (10), 148. Caleb Stinson – 20:37 (127), 163. Marshall Finke – 20:57 (137), 212. Brady Evans – 22:32 (165), 217. Connor Sommers – 22:50 (169), 225. Alex Craig – 23:03, 236. Max Sommers – 23:48





The Rochester boys cross-country team scored 169 points and finished fifth in a field of 28 teams at the Culver Academy Invitational’s closed race Saturday. Bottom, from left – Adrian Ochoa, Lane Shank, Wes Steininger, Reece Johnson. Back – Pablo Lopez, Jacob Brubaker, Chris Rohr, Peyton Hiatt, Dylan Steininger.



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