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  • Val T.

Seward finishes 7th, Montgomery 11th at Culver Academy Invite

Rochester boys finish 5th; Dodt, Rohr, Meyer, Byrum, Steininger finish in top 30


BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

CULVER — Rochester senior Zoe Seward now knows that she will be running for herself once the cross-country postseason starts.

How she stacks up began at the Culver Academy Invitational on Sept. 24, where she finished seventh in a field of 186 runners in 19:58 in the girls closed race, which is for girls who attend schools with smaller enrollments.

Among area teams, Kouts won the girls closed title with 47 points, Caston was 17th with 423 points, Pioneer was 18th with 436 points, and Culver was 23rd in the 23-team field with 585 points.

Northwestern’s Hannah Moore was the girls closed individual winner in 18:48. Kouts won the team title with 47 points.

Rochester and Argos had incomplete teams. In addition to Seward, other Rochester runners included Allyson Calloway, who was 39th in 22:37, and Kadence Bradley, who was 169th in 29:27.

Rochester coach Alex Gudeman said afterward that he was hoping that Araceli Ochoa and Maddie Heinzmann would be back for the Three Rivers Conference meet in a week. If they return, that would give the Lady Zs the minimum five runners. Ochoa, who won the Zebra Invitational on Aug. 20, has been out with a leg injury, and Heinzmann has been dealing with pain in the same knee in which she tore her ACL playing basketball last November.

“Same issue, different leg,” Gudeman said of Ochoa, who was shut down in 2020 due to a stress fracture.

Gudeman also said that Heinzmann would focus on rehabbing her knee and sit out the state tournament. That means Rochester will not have a complete girls team for the state tournament.

Kendyll Bradley, a member of the girls teams that won TRC titles in 2020 and 2021, is not running cross-country this fall and is focusing on soccer, where she is a team captain.

Argos also had an incomplete girls team. Freshman Lexi Gibson was 57th in 23:32, and sophomore teammate Savannah Lyon was 73rd in 23:58.

Seward and Pioneer’s Violet Montgomery both received medals for finishing in the top 30. Montgomery was 11th overall in 20:31.

“I was really happy with the way Zoe went out,” Rochester coach Alex Gudeman said. “She went out real smart. She wasn’t tempted to go out with the leaders, which is something we’ve been working on. And then, yeah, she really pressed that second mile and passed a lot of girls, so I was really impressed with her second mile. I think once all the soreness comes out of our legs, we’ll be able to hold that a little better our third mile. So, yeah, really excited with how she ran today.”

Among area boys teams, Rochester was fifth in the field of 29 complete teams in 196 points, Pioneer was 12th with 338 points, and Caston was 14th with 381 points.

Four Culver runners also participated. Destin Green was the frontrunner, placing 36th in 18:13.

Area runners who earned a medal for finishing in the top 30 in the field of 247 runners included Pioneer’s Leighton Dodt, who placed seventh in 17:10; Rochester’s Chris Rohr, who was 12th in 17:35; Pioneer’s Carson Meyer, who was 14th in 17:40; Caston’s Edison Byrum, who was 18th in 17:46; and Rochester’s Wes Steininger, who was 28th in 18:03.

Brown County won the team title with 116 points, 10 fewer than runner-up Rensselaer. Brown County’s Chase Austin won the individual title in 16:14 and was one of five runners in the field to break 17 minutes.

“We ran pretty tired today, and you can tell with some of the results, especially our top runners,” Gudeman said. “They’ve been doing a lot of mileage and probably a few more workouts than they are used to, at least more than they were used to last year. So September has been a really tough training month for us. In October, we start bringing it down and tapering a little bit, and I don’t think it could come a week too soon. We are ready for some reduction in mileage and workouts and try to get some of that soreness out of our legs and ready to do our best at conference and sectionals.”

The course at Culver Academy was slightly rerouted due to construction on the grounds. This was the 40th Culver Academy Invitational. No area runners or schools competed in either the girls open or boys open races, which is for schools with larger enrollments and those smaller schools that elect to compete.

The Culver Academy Invitational has been held annually except for 2020, when it was canceled due to the pandemic.

Culver Academy will also host the regional on Oct. 15.

Culver Academy Invitational girls closed results (points in parentheses): Kouts 47, Winamac 86, Northwestern 155, Carroll (Flora) 175, Manchester 197, DeMotte Christian 219, Fort Wayne Concordia 229, Fairfield 244, South Adams 244, Rensselaer 267, North Judson 282, Triton 286, Lewis Cass 320, John Glenn 341, Victory Christian Academy 384, Eastern (Greentown) 410, Caston 423, Pioneer 436, Bloomfield Hills (MI)-Cranbrook 447, West Central 568, Marquette Catholic 573, North Miami 575, Culver 585

Caston results (423 points, 17th place)

65. Myli Rude – 23:52 (55), 86. Alexa Lowe – 24:32 (72), 88. Camila Hernandez-Rios – 24:34 (73), 123. Jaded Aguilar-Rios – 25:52 (103), 149. Maddie Sprow – 27:41 (120)

Pioneer results (436 points, 18th place)

11. Violet Montgomery – 20:31 (8), 31. Paula Fernandez – 22:25 (28), 162. Grace Alpha – 28:34 (127), 171. Hannah Zeigler – 29:46 (134), 180. Madison Coy – 31:59 (139)

Culver results (585 points, 23rd place)

106. Rose Peterson – 25:00 (87), 148. Maisy McCuen – 27:29 (119), 150. Maddy Hamilton – 27:49 (121), 161. Kaylee Hamilton – 28:30 (126), 167. Grace Barth – 29:19 (132), 176. Amiyah Williams – 31:21

Rochester results

7. Zoe Seward – 19:58, 39. Allyson Calloway – 22:37, 169. Kadence Bradley – 29:27

Argos results

57. Lexi Gibson – 23:32, 73. Savannah Lyon – 24:01

Culver Academy Invitational boys closed results (points in parentheses): Brown County 116, Rensselaer 126, Northwestern 137, Maconaquah 180, Rochester 196, Manchester 221, Lafayette Central Catholic 287, Fort Wayne Concordia 301, Kouts 320, South Adams 324, Rossville 329, Pioneer 338, Tipton 359, Caston 381, West Central 387, Winamac 409, Bloomfield Hills (MI)-Cranbrook 424, Carroll (Flora), 431, South Central (Union Mills) 433, Fairfield 453, Westville 548, John Glenn 564, Northfield 567, Victory Christian Academy 570, Eastern (Greentown) 626, North Judson 649, Triton 698, Peru 742, South Bend Career Academy 750

Rochester results (196 points, fifth place)

12. Chris Rohr – 17:35 (11), 28. Wes Steininger 18:03 (27), 42. Grant Bailey – 18:27 (39), 59. Adrian Ochoa – 19:01 (54), 72. Reece Johnson 19:10 (65), 121. Lane Shank – 19:56, 176. Tanner Reese – 21:27

Pioneer results (338 points, 12th place)

7. Leighton Dodt – 17:10 (7), 14. Carson Meyer – 17:40 (13), 67. Jack Cooper – 19:09 (60), 115. Austin Brooke – 19:50 (101),192. Elliot Cooper – 21:54 (157)

Caston results (381 points, 14th place)

18. Edison Byrum – 17:46 (17), 33. Austin Dague – 18:10 (32), 102. Marshall Finke – 19:35 (91), 132. Connor Sommers – 20:22 (116), 143. Caleb Stinson – 20:45 (125), 144. A.J. Reyburn – 20:46, 202. Kane Finke – 22:14, 212. Max Sommers – 22:44, 228. Braden Rush – 24:00, 238. Brady Evans – 24:32

Culver results

36. Destin Green – 18:13, 198. Adam Peterson – 22:01, 227. Owen Falk – 23:59, 242. Landon Kuykendoll – 25:16



The Rochester boys cross-country team finished fifth in the boys closed race at the Culver Academy Invitational on Sept. 24. From left – Adrian Ochoa, Wes Steininger, Grant Bailey, Chris Rohr, Reece Johnson, Lane Shank, Tanner Reese.



Kane Finke Carson Meyer Chris Rohr Maisy McCuen Camila Hernadez-Rios

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