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  • Val T.

Rochester boys finish 3rd at sectional, advance to regional

Girls: No RTC area teams advance, but all 10 girls, led by Seward, are from area


Sports Editor, RTC

NORTH MANCHESTER — Rochester first-year cross-country coach Alex Gudeman is getting his runners to believe his training methods work, so much so that junior Wes Steininger wants to break a record that his coach had when he was in high school.

As it turned out, the boys team and two of his girls runners will get an extra week to be practitioners of those methods.

Led by Chris Rohr’s seventh-place finish in 17:13, the Zebra boys finished third out of eight complete teams at the Manchester sectional on Oct. 8 to advance again to regionals.

Other Rochester boys times included junior Wes Steininger, who was 13th in 17:28.1; freshman Grant Bailey, who was 14th in 17:28.7; Adrian Ochoa, who was 21st in 18:23; Reece Johnson, who was 23rd in 18:25; Lane Shank, who was 29th in 18:58; and Tanner Reese, who was 52nd in 22:00.

“The way we’ve structured our training, I’ve been telling them all season you’ve just got to trust the process,” Gudeman said. “We are aiming to run our best races here in October. I think we got a lot of converts today that if they weren't bought in already, the results today definitely convinced them.”

Steininger wants to run faster than Gudeman did in 2011, when he was a Rochester junior.

“I feel very nice,” Steininger said. “So the goal for this year is to break Gudeman’s junior PR, which was 17:07. So from last week, I needed to drop 10 seconds every meet from then until semistate. So as of right now, I’m on the path. I’m very proud of how the way the meet went.”

Steininger has taken responsibility for Bailey’s performance as well. Bailey also plays soccer in the fall, but that season ended four days before the sectional cross-country meet.

“I really am trying to get him to get with me, and with soccer ending, I know that it’s going to be very good for him to get a little bit more grounded with running,” Steininger said. “I’m really hoping that could get him going through that because he’s good through the first mile, it’s after that he needs more of the help, and then especially through that last 800 (meters) when I first start to split off him and where he really needs to get that kick going.”

Steininger said the runners were “running a little bit on empty” during a four-meet stretch in September that included meets at Manchester, Valley, New Prairie and Culver Academy.

Among other RTC area teams, Caston was sixth one week after winning the Hoosier North conference title, Tippecanoe Valley was eighth, and Culver had an incomplete team.

Though Caston did not advance as a team, five Comets did advance as individuals: Austin Dague (17:35), Edison Byrum (17:51), Marshall Finke (19:05), Connor Sommers ((19:42) and A.J. Reyburn (20:04).

Culver’s Destin Green (18:43) and Valley’s Isaac Whetstone (19:19) also advanced as individuals even though their respective teams did not.

Warsaw won the boys race with 34 points. Culver Academy (57), Rochester (78), Manchester (90) and Plymouth (123) also advanced to regional.

Culver Academy’s Hunter Miller was the individual champion in 16:38. Every boy who ran 20:04 or faster advanced, either with a team or as an individual.

In the girls race, no area teams advanced. Valley was sixth, Caston was seventh, and Culver was eighth among eight complete teams. Rochester and Argos had incomplete teams.

Valley and Triton each scored 131 points and tied for fifth place, but Triton won the tiebreaker because they had a sixth runner and Valley did not.

While no RTC area girls teams advanced, all 10 individuals from non-advancing teams were from the area.

They included Rochester’s Zoe Seward (19:05) and Allyson Calloway (22:00); Valley’s Chesnee Miller (20:32), Bailey Bussard (22:28) and McKenna Lowe (23:30); Caston’s Mackenzi Roudebush (23:37) and Alexa Lowe (23:41); and the entire Argos team consisting of Lexi Gibson (21:36), Ava Stackhouse (22:40) and Savannah Lyon (23:04).

Alexa Lowe beat Culver frontrunner Rose Peterson by eight seconds for the final individual spot.

Seward ran a restrained first mile but gained momentum in the second and third miles and finished third in the field of 61 runners. She said she did more of her speed work early in the season and her “thresholds,” or distance work, toward the end of the year.

“She’s been running great in her workouts,” Gudeman said of Seward. “We did some K (1,000 meter) repeats on Wednesday where she was running sub-19 pace, so we knew that low 19s was a definite possibility. She came out here and ran a perfect race strategy-wise. I was telling everyone that the race was going to go out fast just because it was sectional and everyone was excited, and she kept her cool (in the) first mile and wasn’t tempted to go out with everyone.”

Seward said her competitors helped with her own time. Her distance work also helped

“This was probably my best third mile of the season,” Seward said. “I was able to push myself a bit more, and I didn’t get discouraged by the people in front of me. They helped push me. … Celeste (Gram of Culver Academy) 100 percent helps, especially the last 800 because it was something to look at and something to keep me moving, keep me pushing.”

Warsaw also won the girls race with 31 points. Manchester (79), Culver Academy (82) and Plymouth (82) will join Triton at the regional.

Warsaw’s Josefina Rastrelli was the girls individual champion in 18:24. Every girl who ran 23:41 or faster advanced, either as a team or as an individual.

Manchester sectional girls results (points in parentheses): Warsaw 31, Manchester 79, Culver Academy 82, Plymouth 82, Triton 131, Tippecanoe Valley 131, Caston 179, Culver 217

Incomplete teams: Rochester, Argos, North Miami

Valley results (131 points, sixth place)

11. Chesnee Miller – 20:32 (10), 21. Bailey Bussard – 22:28 (18), 30. McKenna Lowe – 23:30 (25), 43. Ava Minix – 24:43 (38), 45. Talia Holder – 25:09 (40)

Caston results (179 points, seventh place)

33. Mackenzi Roudebush – 23:37 (28), 34. Alexa Lowe – 23:42 (29), 44. Camila Hernandez-Rios – 24:51 (39), 48. Stevanna Young – 25:41 (41), 49. Jaded Aguilar – 25:53 (42), 54. Madelynn Sprow – 27:12

Culver results (217 points, eighth place)

35. Rose Peterson – 23:49 (30), 55. Kaylee Hamilton – 27:41 (45), 56. Maddy Hamilton – 27:59 (46), 57. Giselle Villegas – 28:00 (47), 59. Maisy McCuen – 29:17 (49), 60. Breana Hamilton – 29:25

Rochester results

3. Zoe Seward – 19:05, 18. Allyson Calloway – 22:00, 52. Kadence Bradley – 26:42

Argos results

15. Lexi Gibson – 21:36, 23. Ava Stackhouse – 22:40, 28. Savannah Lyon – 23:04

Top 10 individuals on non-advancing teams: 1. Zoe Seward (Rochester) – 19:05, 2. Chesnee Miller (Valley) – 20:32, 3. Lexi Gibson (Argos) – 21:36, 4. Allyson Calloway (Rochester) – 22:00, 5. Bailey Bussard (Valley) – 22:28, 6. Ava Stackhouse (Argos) – 22:40, 7. Savannah Lyon (Argos) – 23:04, 8. McKenna Lowe (Valley) – 23:30, 9. Mackenzi Roudebush (Caston) – 23:37, 10. Alexa Lowe (Caston) – 23:41

Champion: Josefina Rastrelli (Warsaw) – 18:24

Manchester sectional boys results (points in parentheses): Warsaw 34, Culver Academy 57, Rochester 78, Manchester 90, Plymouth 123, Caston 134, Triton 215, Tippecanoe Valley 226

Incomplete teams: Culver, North Miami

Rochester results (78 points, third place)

7. Chris Rohr – 17:13 (7), 13. Wes Steininger – 17:28 (13), 14. Grant Bailey – 17:28 (14), 21. Adrian Ochoa – 18:23 (21), 23. Reece Johnson – 18:25 (23), 31. Lane Shank – 18:58, 58. Tanner Reese – 22:00

Caston results (134 points, sixth place)

16. Austin Dague – 17:35 (16), 18. Edison Byrum – 17:51 (18), 33. Marshall Finke – 19:06 (31), 37. Connor Sommers – 19:42 (34), 39. A.J. Reyburn – 20:05 (35), 48. Caleb Stinson – 20:46, 56. Kane Finke – 21:47

Valley results (226 points, eighth place)

36. Isaac Whetstone – 19:19 (33), 44. Christopher Marquez – 20:29 (40), 51. Eli Sterk – 21:15 (46), 59. Gavin Leininger – 23:30 (53), 61. Michael Leininger – 24:42 (54), 62. Christian Guzman – 27:38

Culver results

28. Destin Green – 18:43, 52. Adam Peterson – 21:19, 60. Landon Kuykendoll – 24:00

Top 10 individuals on non-advancing teams: 1. Austin Dague (Caston) – 17:35, 2. Edison Byrum (Caston) – 17:51, 3. Andrew Lane (North Miami) – 18:38, 4. Destin Green (Culver) – 18:43, 5. Marshall Finke (Caston) – 19:06, 6. Avery Piel (North Miami) – 19:16, 7. Isaac Whetstone (Valley) – 19:19, 8. Connor Sommers (Caston) – 19:42, 9. Karter Floor (North Miami) – 19:52, 10. A.J. Reyburn (Caston) – 20:04

Top Left: Caston's Connor Sommers

Top Center: Culver's Destin Green

Top Right: Argos' Ava Stackhouse

Bottom Left: Valley's Talia Holder

Middle Center: Culver Girls Team Maddy Hamilton, Rose Peterson, Maisy McCuen, Breana Hamilton, Giselle Villegas, Kaylee Hamilton

Bottom Center: Four Tippecanoe Valley runners advanced from the Manchester sectional on Oct. 8 to regional. From left – McKenna Lowe, Chesnee Miller, Isaac Whetstone, Bailey Bussard.

Right second from top: Rochester's Adrian Ochoa and Reece Johnson

Right second from bottom: Seven Caston runners advanced from the Manchester sectional on Oct. 8 to regional. From left – A.J. Reyburn, Connor Sommers, Marshall Finke, Mackenzi Roudebush, coach Blair Zimmerman, Alexa Lowe, Austin Dague, Edison Byrum.

Right bottom:The Rochester boys cross-country team finished third out of eight complete teams at the Manchester sectional on Oct. 8 and advanced to regional. From left – Lane Shank, Chris Rohr, Reece Johnson, Wes Steininger, Grant Bailey, Adrian Ochoa.

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