Rochester girls track takes 3rd at Bremen sectional
Calloway, Burkett, Jackson, Bradley, Nelson, Seward among regional qualifiers
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
The Rochester girls track team scored 92 points and finished in third place at the Bremen sectional Tuesday.
Six different Rochester athletes qualified in individual events plus one relay for the Goshen regional next Tuesday.
Junior distance runner Madilyn Calloway was the only Lady Z to advance to regionals in multiple events. She was third in the 1,600 meters and second in the 3,200 meters and also ran a leg on the 4 x 800 relay team that advanced by finishing second.
After the meet, Rochester coach Ryan Helt said that Calloway would be scratched in the 1,600 meters for the regional. That would allow Calloway to have fresher legs for the 3,200 meters, an event in which Helt feels she has a better chance of qualifying for state.
Calloway has never qualified for state in track before, but she was a state qualifier in cross-country in both 2019 and 2020.
The other Rochester athletes moving on included Kenzie Bradley, who was second in the 100; Zoe Seward, who was third behind Culver Academy’s Lexi Allen and Calloway in the 3,200 and who also ran a leg on the 4 x 800 relay; Macie Nelson, who ran a 17.98 in the 100 hurdles to finish third; Kami Burkett, who took third in the long jump with a leap of 14-5; and Kennedy Jackson, who hurled the shot put 36-1 and took third.
Elena Bode and Araceli Ochoa joined Seward and Calloway on the 4 x 800 relay.
Among other area schools competing, Tippecanoe Valley was seventh in the 11-team field with 21 points, Culver was ninth with 10 points, and Caston was 11th with six points.
None of the other area schools produced a regional qualifier. Culver sophomore Taylor Darnell was fourth in the 400 meters in 1:03.20 and will hope for a callback.
Culver Academy won the sectional with 182 points. Runner-up Plymouth had 126.
Culver Academy has won the sectional three of the last four times it has been held.
The top three finishers in each event advance automatically to the Goshen regional on May 25. The next four best efforts among those in the sectionals feeding into Goshen also advance.
Bradley set a personal best of 13.11 in the 100 qualifying round and then followed it up with a 13.14 in the final. That bested her Three Rivers Conference winning time of 13.38 on May 7.
Culver Academy junior Cecille Figueroa won the title in 12.94 seconds.
Bradley also took sixth in the 200.
Rochester coach Ryan Helt said a mild injury concern popped up with Bradley during the meet.
“She ran well,” Helt said. “She did better than she was seeded. She said that was the best 100 meters she’s run in her life. So she did really well. She started to develop a little bit of hamstring tightness after the race. I think that affected her 200, but I think she PR’d in the 200 prelims as well. A good night for her all around.”
Calloway finished behind a pair of Culver Academy runners in Lexi Allen and Celeste Gram in the 1,600 meters. She and Seward ran together as a small pack behind Allen in the 3,200 before Calloway pulled ahead in the final curve to finish in 11:51.77.
Calloway said this was the first time she has run a leg of the 4 x 800 relay, the 1,600 and the 3,200 all in the same meet. She ran the relay and the 800 and the 1,600 at the TRC meet and came away with three blue ribbons.
She said her 4 x 800 leg at the sectional was a PR for that distance. She said she appreciates the competition that Allen provides and the pace that she sets.
“I think that does help me,” Calloway said. “My sophomore year, we were always competitors, closely in cross-country, and then this year in track, it’s helped me race against her. I always love racing against her.”
She said she hopes to “peak” at the regional in the 3,200 meters.
“I’d love to break 11:40,” Calloway said.
Seward, the TRC champ in the 3,200 meters, finished in 12:00.91, a 21-second improvement from her TRC time.
“Madilyn, she inspires me, and she really pushes me, and so does Lexi Allen,” Seward said. “I would love to be up there with her. She’s really fast. Definitely a role model.”
She said she has been dealing with an iron deficiency that affects her race strategy.
“I never do too well when I go out too fast,” Seward said. “I have low iron, so I had to start my races slower. So now, that’s just what I’m used to.”
Nelson ran an 18.96 in the prelims before running a 17.98 in the finals. Triton’s Makenna May won the race in 17.70 seconds, and Manchester’s Zoey Ream nosed ahead of her in 17.94.
Nelson, who also was sixth in the 300 hurdles, said she has been competing in track since she was a sixth-grader. She also plays soccer in the fall and swims in the winter.
She said she prefers the four-step method to hurdling to the three-step method, saying that three-steppers have to get every step “perfect.” She said she wasn’t expecting to advance.
She said confidence is “pretty important” in her event.
“As soon as you lose (confidence), you start doing five-strp or slowing down, so it doesn’t really work very well,” Nelson said.
The 4 x 800 relay team shaved 15 seconds off its TRC time from 11 days earlier and ran a 10:43.76. Culver Academy won the race in 10:14.32.
Burkett, who is about three months removed from meniscus surgery on her knee, edged Plymouth’s Summer South with an inch to spare. She also was fourth in the 200 in 28.65 seconds and will hope for a callback.
Jackson’s shot put heave was a personal best and behind only Sydney Rice of Plymouth (38-3 ¾) and Culver Academy’s Madison Miller (36-10 ¾).
Bode and Ochoa finished fifth and seventh, respectively, in the 800. Ochoa was also fifth in the 1,600.
Emily Basham was fifth, one spot ahead of Nelson, in the 300 hurdles. Ella Brooks was eighth in the 100 hurdles.
The 4 x 100 relay consisting of Bradley, Burkett, Lilly Watson and Savanah Eccles was fourth in 53.48 seconds. Nelson, Basham, Ochoa and Isabel Dunwoody took fifth in the 4 x 400 relay
Senior Sidney Wagner, a Trine basketball recruit, placed in three events and was Valley’s top scorer. She was eighth in the 400 meters and sixth in both the high jump and pole vault.
She ran the 400 in 1:06.46 and cleared 7-6 in the pole vault and 4-8 in the high jump.
Freshman Ava Smith was Valley’s top sprinter, taking fifth in the 200 meters in 28.71 seconds.
“I was really impressed with her,” Valley coach Jenny Moriarty said. “She ran with confidence today and impressed us. She keeps improving, and we’re excited to see what the next three years will be like with her.”
Freshman Erika Henderson was eighth in the 300 hurdles in 56.40 seconds.
Valley was also sixth in the 4 x 100 relay in 55.58 seconds. That team consisted of Wagner, Mallory Durkes, Molly Moriarty and Smith.
In addition to Wagner, Valley also got points in the field events from throwers Chloe Shepherd and Durkes. Shepherd was fifth in the discus with a throw of 96-3, and Durkes was seventh in the shot put with a heave of 30-8 ½.
Injuries to Chesnee Miller and Delaney Wagoner inhibited the team in the longer distance events, according to coach Jenny Moriarty.
She said the athletes wanted to compete, even in the light of the death of Valley sophomore Brendyn Stump just one day earlier.
“We made practice optional for them, just for the fact that we didn’t know where things were at that time,” Moriarty said. “But they all came out. Some ran. Some just wanted to be there and talk. And I talked to them, and I said, ‘You know, I want you all to do it, but I’m not going to force anyone to do anything.’ But they all came out. They all had things written – B, or number four or BStrong written across their arms.”
Moriarty said the Rochester team handed her a baton that said “BStrong” and “No. 4” in honor of Stump.
“It was hard, I know, when Ella (Myers) and Delaney (Wagoner) walked off after the 800, that was a hard one. People (showing) very, very great sportsmanship and very caring community and people saying positive things. And that was good, but it was hard to hear it too because it’s still very fresh. I know Monday was really hard. Today was a little bit better for them at school with things, but it’s still very fresh, still hard. That sophomore class is a very tight group.”
Though the Culver Academy duo of Maggie Bialek and Madison Rivera took to the lead and finished 1-2, Darnell took fourth in 1:03.20, just 0.56 seconds behind Kailea Kerr of Manchester.
Darnell also placed in the 200, taking seventh in 29.62 seconds.
The Culver 4 x 400 relay also finished sixth in 4:48.04. Darnell ran the opening leg, and Tiara Howard, Myah Maroules and Giselle Villegas joined her. Howard, Maroules and Villegas are all freshmen.
Culver did not enter a runner in the 800, 1,600 or 3,200 meters or the 4 x 800 relay. They did not score a point in the field events.
All Culver athletes who competed were either freshmen or sophomores.
Delaney Strasser sat behind the pace exhibited by the Culver Academy duo and Rochester’s Calloway in the 1,600 but finished in 6:22.38 to take seventh place.
Caston got another distance point from sophomore Mackenzi Roudebush, who claimed eighth in the 3,200 in 14:31.38.
Emma Stinson, the team’s top hurdler, was seventh in the 100 hurdles in 19.95 seconds.
Stinson also helped Caston record a point in the 4 x 100 relay by taking eighth. That team consisted of Bailey Turnpaugh-Stevens, Hannah Kirisits, Megan Brown before Stinson took the baton for the anchor leg.
Caston did not score in the field events.
BREMEN GIRLS TRACK SECTIONAL RESULTS: Culver Academy 182, Plymouth 126, Rochester 92, Manchester 73, Triton 57, Bremen 34, Tippecanoe Valley 21, North Miami 11, Culver 10, Whitko 9, Caston 6
Regional qualifiers (top three) plus all Rochester, Tippecanoe Valley, Caston and Culver scorers (top eight)
1. Figueroa (CGA) – 12.94 seconds, 2. Kenzie Bradley (RHS) – 13.14, 3. Hazen (CGA) – 13.22
1. Figueroa (CGA) – 26.48 seconds, 2. Schrameyer (PLY) – 27.27, 3. Hazen (CGA) – 27.44, 4. Kami Burkett (RHS) – 28.65, 5. Ava Smith (TV) – 28.71, 6. Kenzie Bradley (RHS) – 29.05, 7. Taylor Darnell (CUL) – 29.62
1. Bialek (CGA) – 1:00.72, 2. Rivera (CGA) – 1:01.95, 3. Kerr (MAN) – 1:02.64, 4. Taylor Darnell (CUL) – 1:03.20, 8. Sidney Wagner (TV) – 1:06.46
1. VerMeulen (CGA) – 2:29.01, 2. Strogilos (CGA) – 2:31.62, 3. Lane (NM) – 2:39.62, 5. Elena Bode (RHS) – 2:44.50, 7. Araceli Ochoa (RHS) – 2:45.80
1. Allen (CGA) – 4:56.67, 2. Gram (CGA) – 5:23.47, 3. Madilyn Calloway (RHS) – 5:30.97, 5. Araceli Ochoa (RHS) – 5:54.05, 7. Delaney Strasser (CAS) – 6:22.38
1. Allen (CGA) – 11:05.01, 2. Madilyn Calloway (RHS) – 11:51.77, 3. Zoe Seward (RHS) – 12:00.91, 8. Mackenzi Roudebush (CAS) – 14:31.38
100 m hurdles
1. May (TRI) – 17.70 seconds, 2. Ream (MAN) – 17.94, 3. Macie Nelson (RHS) – 17.98
300 m hurdles
1. Kaylor (PLY) – 50.73 seconds, 2. May (TRI) – 51.80, 3. Weiss (PLY) – 52.91, 5. Emily Basham (RHS) – 54.24, 6. Macie Nelson (RHS) – 55.42, 8. Erika Henderson (TV) – 56.40
4 x 100 m relay
1. Culver Academy (Gibbs, LaBella, Hazen, Figueroa) – 50.75 seconds, 2. Plymouth – 51.73, 3. Manchester – 51.94, 4. Rochester (Kenzie Bradley, Kami Burkett, Lilly Watson, Savanah Eccles) – 53.48, 6. Valley (Sidney Wagner, Mallory Durkes, Molly Moriarty, Ava Smith) – 55.58, 8. Caston (Bailey Turnpaugh-Stevens, Hannah Kirisits, Megan Brown, Emma Stinson) – 58.05
4 x 400 m relay
1. Culver Academy (Rivera, Bird, Bialek, Spiller) – 4:07.83, 2. Plymouth – 4:24.43, 3. Manchester – 4:24.73, 5. RHS (Macie Nelson, Emily Basham, Araceli Ochoa, Isabel Dunwoody) – 4:48.00, 6. Culver (Taylor Darnell, Tiara Howard, Myah Maroules, Giselle Villegas) – 4:48.0
4 x 800 m relay
1. Culver Academy (L. VerMeulen, Strogilos, Heim, M. Vermeulen) – 10:14.32, 2. Rochester (Zoe Seward, Elena Bode, Araceli Ochoa, Madilyn Calloway) – 10:43.76, 3. Manchester – 10:53.46
1. Garriott (MAN) – 15-8, 2. Spiller (CGA) – 15-6 ½, 3. Kami Burkett (RHS) – 14-5
1. Marohn (PLY) – 5-2, 2. Spiller (CGA) – 5-1, 3. Rhoades (WHI) – 4-8, 6. Sidney Wagner (TV) – 4-8
1. Rice (PLY) – 115-4, 2. Littleton (CGA) – 109-8, 3. Miller (CGA) – 108-3, 5. Chloe Shepherd (TV) – 96-3, 6. Kennedy Jackson (RHS) – 88-2
1. Rice (PLY) – 38-3 ¾, 2. Miller (CGA) – 36-10 ¾, 3. Kennedy Jackson (RHS) – 36-1
1. White (BRE) – 9-0, 2. Kaylor (PLY) – 8-6, 3. Bialek (CGA) – 8-6, 6. Sidney Wagner (TV) – 7-6
Kennedy Jackson Zoe Seward