RHS girls, boys advance to cross-country regionals
7 Caston runners, 5 Valley runners, 2 Argos runners move on
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
NORTH MANCHESTER –- Though their accomplishments were similar, how the Rochester girls and boys cross-country teams advanced to regionals by finishing in the top five at the Manchester sectional Saturday were a little different.
But the end result was the same. The bus will be loaded on the way to the Logansport regional this Saturday.
The RHS girls placed third in the field of eight teams. The RHS boys were fifth. The top five teams in each gender advanced.
The RHS girls and boys were the only advancing teams to make it to regional. In addition, 14 area runners advanced as individuals.
Warsaw won both the girls and boys team titles for the 10th straight year. Culver Academy was second in both meets.
While Warsaw had five of the top 10 runners in the boys race, the margin in the girls meet was toenail thin: Warsaw and Culver Academy each had 41 points, and Warsaw was only declared the winner based on the sixth runner’s tiebreaker.
RHS junior Madilyn Calloway finished second in 19:24 in the girls race. That was 49 seconds behind champion Lexi Allen from Culver Academy.
In the boys race, Warsaw senior Jacob Kissling rolled to the title in 16:28. RHS junior Peyton Hiatt was eighth overall in 17:15.
While Allen jumped to an early lead and stayed in front throughout, Calloway started in third place behind Allen and Warsaw’s Wini Barnett.
Calloway caught up with Barnett by the second mile, and by the third mile, she crossed the finish line alone in second place.
In addition to Calloway, other RHS runners included Zoe Seward, who was seventh in 20:30; Araceli Ochoa, who was 16th in 21:11; Kendyll Bradley, who was 22nd in 22:22; Maddie Heinzmann, who was 26th in 22:54; Elena Bode, who was 30th in 23:29; and Elly Fuller, who was 48th in 27:24.
The Caston girls placed sixth but advanced four runners to regional, including Delaney Strasser (23:00, 28th place), Emma Stinson (24:25, 35th), Stevanna Young (24:47, 37th) and MaKayla Lee (24:56, 38th). Lee, a senior, is headed to regionals for the first time after getting the 10th individual spot.
The other Caston scoring runner was Bryn Brumett, who ran a 26:48 and was 44th.
Valley was seventh, but freshman Chesnee Miller and sophomore Ella Myers got out. Miller ran a 21:16 and was 17th overall. Myers ran a 23:47 and finished 33rd. Other Valley runners included Maria Henderson, who was 40th in 25:21; Talia Holder, who was 45th in 26:56; and Ava Craig, who was 46th in 27:08.
RHS coach Scott Stalbaum said the strategy for the girls was to try and take out the first mile slowly and then pick up the pace for each succeeding mile in the 3.1-mile race. Only Seward had her fastest time of the season Saturday.
“This week, the entire girls team, we were trying to work on being stronger the second half of the race, so we actually slowed it way down the first mile in an attempt to kinda like, ‘Alright, I don’t feel as bad when I get to the mile mark. I got some energy left. Hopefully, I can put down my run and run these next two miles faster than my first mile,’” Stalbaum explained. “We had very mixed results. About half the team did great, and the other half of the team did not get any faster like I would have hoped,” Stalbaum said.
“That’s not the way we race most of the year. But it’s a good way to race. You look at the Olympics, and (assistant) coach (Alex) Gudeman talked to the team about this this week, every Olympic record over the mile, people run the second half of the race faster than the first half. Olympic athletes get faster as they go. We’ve been getting slower as we go. Most high schoolers, they’re not really mentally disciplined yet to do that. We tried it. It didn’t go that well for everyone. The two people that did the best at it today were Calloway and Zoe Seward. They both cut down all their miles. Some people stayed just even. And some people slowed down still. It was worth a shot to see what that was like.”
Castron coach Blair Zimmerman said Strasser has been “striving to push forward” and done “a phenomenal job.” Meanwhile, Lee achieved a long set-upon goal.
“MaKayla has been striving all four years to make it to regional, and that was her one big goal for the season was to be a regional runner this year, so I’m proud of all three of them (Stinson, Young, Lee),” Zimmerman said. “They pushed hard, and they’ve ran really well and have been improving meet over meet. I just can’t be more proud of them.”
Valley coach Mike Inglehearn said he wanted Miller to have a good race to prepare herself for regional. While Miller is going to regional for the first time, Myers is headed to regional for the second straight year.
“She had her gall bladder out last December, and it’s still affecting,” Inglehearn said. “But it’s starting to get better, and we’ve noticed that she’s improved each meet since they’ve figured out what was going on.”
The initial lead pack included four Warsaw runners, two Culver Academy runners, Manchester’s Carter Bedke and Hiatt.
Hiatt crossed in 17:15. Chris Rohr was 22nd in 18:16, and Dylan Steininger was 25th in 18:25. Freshman Wes Steininger was 35th in 19:20, Peyton Brooks was 53rd in 22:58, and Lane Shank was 55th in 23:27.
“The biggest problem for our boys team right now is both Peyton Brooks and Lane Shank are both banged up a little bit,” Stalbaum said. “Our fifth and sixth freshman boys. We need to get them healthy last week. … The teams we’re looking at next week to try to beat are Manchester, Eastern (Greentown) and Carroll (Flora). Those are the three teams we’d have to beat. In order for that to happen, our fifth runner has got to get faster, and right now, the biggest problem is that neither our fifth or sixth are really all that healthy right now.”
The Caston boys, who won the Hoosier North title one week earlier, settled for sixth, but Austin Dague (18:12, 19th place), Edison Byrum (18:49, 30th) and Caleb Stinson (19:43, 39th) advanced as individuals.
Cass County individual champ and 2019 semistate qualifier Micah Colvin missed the meet due to a knee injury that was exacerbated during the Hoosier North meet one week earlier.
“Last week was a wild-card,” Zimmerman said of Colvin. “We’d run projections, and he knew that his placing, even injured, was going to be a requirement to win that conference championship. And so he went out there knowing that he was risking his postseason, and he just felt it go during the race, and he told me after the race, ‘Coach, I’m done.’ I’m really proud of him. I’m proud of the sacrifice. That’s an absolute mark of a leader to see that a job needs done and to do it no matter what the personal cost is. Obviously, I would have loved for him to run out here today. I would have loved to have seen the team advance in spite of not having him and then him in a position to where he recovered enough to run at regionals.
“You always wish for things like that to not happen, especially in somebody's senior year.”
Valley’s Matthew Howes ran a 17:37 and advanced as an individual after finishing 12th overall. Chase Miller, who ran a 19:15, and Evan Myers, who ran a 20:35, also advanced as individuals. Myers beat teammate Jace Holloway by 20 seconds for the final individual spot.
Overall, the Valley boys placed seventh.
Chase Miller is “peaking at the right time,” according to Inglehearn. With Howes, the adjustment for next week will be more tactical.
“He went out faster than he should have,” Inglehearn said of Howes. “I think that was the big issue today. But he ran well. We just need to get him slowed down in that first mile so he can have a quality second and third mile.”
Two Argos seniors also advanced as individuals. Jack McIntire ran an 18:48 and moved on after finishing 29th, and Zak Heiman was 40th in 20:12.
MANCHESTER SECTIONAL GIRLS RESULTS (POINTS IN PARENTHESES; TOP FIVE TEAMS ADVANCE TO REGIONALS): Warsaw 41, Culver Academy 41, Rochester 72, Manchester 112, Plymouth 143, Caston 172, Tippecanoe Valley 173, Triton 175
Rochester results (72 points, third place)
2. Madilyn Calloway - 19:24 (2), 7. Zoe Seward - 20:30 (7), 16. Araceli Ochoa - 21:11 (16), 22. Kendyll Bradley - 22:22 (22), 26. Maddie Heinzmann - 22:54 (25), 30. Elena Bode - 23:29, 48. Elly Fuller - 27:24
Caston results (172 points, sixth place)
28. Delaney Strasser - 23:00 (26), 35. Emma Stinson - 24:25 (33), 37. Stevanna Young - 24:47 (35), 38. MaKayla Lee - 24:56 (36), 44. Bryn Brumett - 26:48 (42)
Valley results (173 points, seventh place)
17. Chesnee Miller - 21:16 (17), 33. Ella Myers - 23:47 (31), 40. Maria Henderson - 25:21 (38), 45. Talia Holder - 26:56 (43), 46. Ava Craig - 27:08 (44)
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS ON NON-ADVANCING TEAMS: 1. Jocelynn Faulkner (Triton) - 20:58, 2. Chesnee Miller (Valley) - 21:16, 3. Kaylee Lane (North Miami) - 22:39, 4. Allison Bowman (North Miami) - 22:55, 5. Delaney Strasser (Caston) - 23:00, 6. Anela Hill (Triton) - 23:31, 7. Ella Myers (Valley) - 23:47, 8. Emma Stinson (Caston) - 24:25, 9. Stevanna Young (Caston) - 24:47, 10. MaKayla Lee (Caston) - 24:56
Individual champion: Lexi Allen (Culver Academy)
MANCHESTER SECTIONAL BOYS RESULTS (POINTS IN PARENTHESES; TOP FIVE TEAMS ADVANCE TO REGIONALS): Warsaw 27, Culver Academy 63, Plymouth 72, Manchester 116, Rochester 136, Tippecanoe Valley 168, Caston 176, Triton 208
Rochester results (136 points, fifth place)
8. Peyton Hiatt - 17:15 (8), 22. Chris Rohr - 18:16 (22), 25. Dylan Steininger - 18:25 (25), 35. Wes Steininger - 19:20 (34), 53. Peyton Brooks - 22:58 (47), 55. Lane Shank - 23:27
Valley results (168 points, sixth place)
12. Matthew Howes - 17:37 (12), 33. Chase Miller - 19:15 (32), 42. Evan Myers - 20:35 (40), 43. Jace Holloway - 20:55 (41), 45. Brady Rodgers - 21:13 (43)
Caston results (176 points, seventh place)
19. Austin Dague - 18:12 (19), 30. Edison Byrum - 18:49 (29), 39. Caleb Stinson - 19:43 (38), 48. Eric Reidenbach - 21:46 (44), 52. Alex Craig - 22:43 (46), 54. Brady Evans - 23:27, 56. Connor Sommers - 24:17
29. Jack McIntire (Argos) - 18:48, 40. Zak Heiman (Argos) - 20:12
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS ON NON-ADVANCING TEAMS: 1. Matthew Howes (Valley) - 17:37, 2. Austin Dague (Caston) - 18:12, 3. Jack McIntire (Argos) - 18:48, 4. Edison Byrum (Caston) - 18:49, 5. Chase Miller (Valley) - 19:15, 6. Brandon Kitch (Triton) - 19:17, 7. Tyler Gladieux (Triton) - 19:29, 8. Caleb Stinson (Caston) - 19:43, 9. Zak Heiman (Argos) - 20:12, 10. Evan Myers (Valley) - 20:35
Individual champion: Jacob Kissling (Warsaw) - 16:28
The Rochester girls cross-country team finished third at the Manchester sectional Saturday to earn a spot at this Saturday’s regional. The regional will start at 10:30 a.m. at Logansport High School. From left - Elly Fuller, Elena Bode, Zoe Seward, Maddie Heinzmann, Araceli Ochoa, Madilyn Calloway, Kendyll Bradley.
The Rochester boys cross-country team finished fifth at the Manchester sectional Saturday to earn a berth at this Saturday’s regional at Logansport High School. The regional will start at approximately 11:15 a.m. Front, from left - Peyton Brooks, Lane Shank, Wes Steininger. Back - Chris Rohr, Peyton Hiatt, Dylan Steininger.
Tippecanoe Valley cross-country runners advancing to this Saturday’s regional at Logansport include, from left, Evan Myers, Ella Myers, Matthew Howes, Chase Miller, Chesnee Miller.
Caston runners advancing to this Saturday’s regional at Logansport High School include, from left, Emma Stinson, Stevanna Young, MaKayla Lee, Delaney Strasser, Edison Byrum, Austin Dague and Caleb Stinson.