Rohr, Steininger, Bailey make all-TRC, lead Zebras to 3rd place
Rochester’s Seward, Valley’s Miller make girls all-conference team
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
AKRON — The Rochester girls and boys cross-country teams’ reigns atop the Three Rivers Conference ended at the conference meet at Tippecanoe Valley on Oct. 1, but four individuals – three boys and a girl – made their all-conference teams.
The Rochester boys finished third, but senior Chris Rohr, who was seventh in a field of 62 runners in 17:34; junior Wes Steininger, who was right behind Rohr in eighth in 17:36; and freshman Grant Bailey, who was 12th in 18:03, all made the all-TRC team.
“They’re always pretty near next to each other on all our workouts and races like today,” Rochester first-year coach Alex Gudeman said of Rohr and Steininger. “I think Chris would probably tell you that he’s a little disappointed in his time today. I don’t think he’s been feeling the best mentally or physically this week. Not his best race, but the good news is we got at least two more races here to improve on that.”
Wabash won the team title with 34 points, 15 fewer than runner-up Maconaquah. Rochester had 62 points.
Tippecanoe Valley was seventh out of seven complete teams with 183 points and had no all-conference runners.
Maconaquah’s Isaiah Wittenberg was the individual champion in 16:54.
In the girls race, Maconaquah had six of the top 10 striders and won with 22 points. Manchester was second with 60 points. Valley was fifth with 94 points. Rochester, limited to three runners with Araceli Ochoa and Maddie Heinzmann out due to injury, had an incomplete team.
Rochester senior Zoe Seward and Valley junior Chesnee Miller both returned to the all-TRC team. Seward was third in 19:47, and Miller was sixth in 20:50.
In addition to Rohr, Steininger and Bailey, other Rochester times included Adrian Ochoa, who was 17th in a personal best 18:46; Reece Johnson, right on Ochoa’s heels in 18th in a personal best 18:48; and Lane Shank, who was 29th in 19:30.
Bailey sliced 24 seconds off his Culver Academy Invitational time from one week earlier. He said he went too hard at the start of the race, and that sapped him toward the end. Still, he was “glad” with how he raced.
“It’s pretty cool,” Bailey said of making the all-TRC team. “But if I don’t keep working at it, I’m not going to go anywhere. So I’m going to try to work on it a little more and try to get better and get up with Wes. I think that would be cool because I look up to him.”
Ochoa and Johnson also keep lowering their times.
“Big PR for Reece, slight PR for Adrian,” Gudeman said. “I think Reece is a lot happier than Adrian about it. I think if you look back at them as middle schoolers, Reece was never anywhere near Adrian. So the talent level is a lot higher for Adrian. I think this maybe will light a little fire under him for sectional and regional, or at least I hope it does. Because Adrian is capable of running a lot closer to Grant than he does to Reece. But you can’t be upset about a PR.”
As for Valley, Isaac Whetstone was the frontrunner, taking 33rd place in 19:47. Eli Sterk was 49th in 21:40, Christopher Marquez was 50th in a personal best 21:57, Gavin Leininger was 55th in 23:33, Michael Leininger was 61st in 26:52; and Cristian Guzman, who was 62nd in 28:06.
Whetstone’s personal best came one week earlier at the New Haven Invitational, when he ran a 19:42 on the course at Huntington University.
“He had another good run today,” Valley coach Mike Inglehearn said of Whetstone. “If he can do that again next week, I think he can squeeze out as an individual onto regionals.”
In addition to Seward, other Lady Z times included Allyson Calloway, who was 15th in 22:46 and whom Gudeman later called the “queen of consistency;” and Kadence Bradley, who was 21st in a personal best 24:07.
Seward had won the Valley Invitational on the same course three weeks earlier. Her TRC time was 16 seconds faster.
“The race went out particularly fast today, both on the girls and boys sides,” Gudeman said. “I think that hurt some of our top runners a little bit. That doesn’t suit Zoe’s strength, especially going out fast. She does best if she can go out and get an even split. But even with that, she still posted her second best time of the season, so I’m real, real happy with that effort, especially right now. It means we’re trending in the right direction
Miller has been Valley’s frontrunner in every race this season. Her teammates included Bailey Bussard, who was 16th in 22:51; McKenna Lowe, who was 25th in 24:53; Talia Holder, who was 29th in 25:52; and Ava Minix, who was 36th in 27:30.
Miller’s goal was to beat Manchester’s Ayla Cashdollar, according to Inglehearn. She did that by 21 seconds. Bussard’s time was also a personal best.
“That is a career PR for her,” Inglehearn said. “There again, these two are running really well at the top. And they keep doing this going into next week, I think we’ll be looking pretty good.”
Maconaquah’s Abby Jordan stormed away from the field and won the individual title in 19:12, topping a field of 39 runners. She was 17 seconds faster than runner-up Kadence Fox of Manchester.
In the middle school races, the Northfield girls and Wabash boys won Running Rivers Conference titles. The Valley girls were third, and the Valley boys were sixth. Rochester had incomplete girls and boys teams.
Gudeman was asked about low numbers at the middle school level. “That’s priority number one,” he said. “We’ve got to shake things up. You know, there’s not a whole lot I could do with it. I got this job in July. If I was here last year, I’d be more upset with how things turned out this year, but next year, I know it’s all on me, and I intend to make some changes.” Gudeman said he will lean on the husband and wife team of John and Alysha Wachtmann, both of whom teach in the middle school and both of whom are former collegiate runners at Taylor University, to help.
Three Rivers Conference girls results at Tippecanoe Valley (points in parentheses): Maconaquah 22, Manchester 60, Northfield 81, Wabash 91, Valley 94
Incomplete teams: Rochester, North Miami, Southwood, Whitko, Peru
Valley results (94 points, fifth place)
6. Chesnee Miller – 20:50 (5), 16. Bailey Bussard – 22:51 (14), 25. McKenna Lowe – 24:53 (22), 29. Talia Holder – 25:52 (25), 36. Ava Minix – 27:30 (28)
3. Zoe Seward – 19:47, 15. Allyson Calloway – 22:46, 21. Kadence Bradley – 24:07
All-TRC girls (top 12): 1. Abby Jordan (Maconaquah) – 19:12, 2. Kadence Fox (Manchester) – 19:29, 3. Zoe Seward (Rochester) – 19:47, 4. Zoie Laber (Maconaquah) – 19:51, 5. Lucy Loshnowsky (Maconaquah) – 20:40, 6. Chesnee Miller (Valley) – 20:50, 7. Chloe Jordan (Maconaquah) – 21:06, 8. Ayla Cashdollar (Manchester) – 21:11, 9. Samantha Jones (Maconaquah) – 21:34, 10. Aubrey McClain (Maconaquah) – 21:39, 11. Madeline Moore (Northfield) – 22:02, 12. Ella Gahl (Northfield) – 22:16
Three Rivers Conference boys results at Tippecanoe Valley (points in parentheses): Wabash 34, Maconaquah 49, Rochester 62, Manchester 77, Northfield 139, Peru 172, Valley 183
Incomplete teams: North Miami, Southwood, Whitko
Rochester results (62 points, third place)
7. Chris Rohr – 17:34 (7), 8. Wes Steininger – 17:36 (8), 12. Grant Bailey – 18:03 (12), 17. Adrian Ochoa – 18:46 (17), 18. Reece Johnson – 18:48 (18), 29. Lane Shank – 19:30
Valley results (183 points, sixth place)
33. Isaac Whetstone – 19:47 (27), 49. Eli Sterk – 21:40 (36), 50. Christopher Marquez – 21:57 (37), 55. Gavin Leininger – 23:33 (39), 61. Michael Leininger – 26:52 (44), 62. Cristian Guzman – 28:06
All-TRC boys (top 12): 1. Isaiah Wittenberg (Maconaquah) – 16:54, 2. Dave Ford (Wabash) – 17:11.35, 3. Kaden Vogel (Wabash) – 17:11.39, 4. Jonas Church (Wabash) – 17:17, 5. Kyler Dale (Manchester) – 17:29, 6. Raven King (Manchester) – 17:32, 7. Chris Rohr (Rochester) – 17:34, 8. Wes Steininger (Rochester) – 17:36, 9. Daylen Schrock (Maconaquah) – 17:37, 10. Kaden Miller (Maconaquah) – 17:42, 11. Isaiah Cordes (Wabash) – 17:49, 12. Grant Bailey (Rochester) – 18:03
Rochester boys runners, from left, Wes Steininger, Grant Bailey and Chris Rohr all made the all-conference team at the Three Rivers Conference meet at Tippecanoe Valley on Oct. 1. Steininger was eighth in 17:36, Bailey was 12th in 18:03, and Rohr was seventh in 17:34.
Top Left: Rochester’s Zoe Seward finished third in 19:47 at the TRC meet at Tippecanoe Valley on Oct. 1 and made the all-conference team.
Top Middle: Valley’s Chesnee Miller finished sixth at the TRC meet in 20:50 to make the all-TRC team for the third straight year.
Top Right: Rochester's Adrian Ochoa
Bottom Left: Valley's Michael Leininger
Bottom Middle: Valley's McKenna Lowe
Bottom Right: Rochester's Allyson Calloway