Seward, Rochester boys win Valley Invite title
Valley’s Miller 5th in girls race; Caston girls, boys take 5th
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
AKRON — Both the Rochester girls and boys cross-country teams had something to celebrate at the Tippecanoe Valley Invitational on Sept. 10.
Lady Z senior Zoe Seward won the girls individual title in 20:03, and the boys team won the team title with 58 points.
Seward’s time was 24 seconds slower than her Manchester Invitational time one week earlier, it was 14 seconds faster than runner-up Kadence Fox from Manchester. Fox was the only runner within 30 seconds of her.
Caston was the only RTC area school with a complete girls team, and they finished fifth in the seven-team field with 104 points. Rochester, Tippecanoe Valley and Argos all had incomplete teams.
While Rochester did not have the minimum five runners for a complete girls team, the boys won by four points over runner-up Manchester. Caston was fifth with 120 points, and Valley was 11th with 283 points. Culver had an incomplete team.
Bremen sophomore Matt Urbina was the boys individual champion in 17:43.
Central Noble won the girls team title with 37 points. Manchester was second with 53.
Rochester was running without senior Araceli Ochoa, who won the Zebra Invitational title on Aug. 20 on her home course, and senior Maddie Heinzmann, battling knee soreness.
Seward emerged from the woods and built a considerable lead.
“I think she did really phenomenal,” Rochester interim coach Hannah Seward said of Zoe Seward. “It’s a hot day outside, and it’s hard to pace yourself when you’re in no man’s land there, but she did awesome.”
Other Rochester runners included freshman Allyson Calloway, who was 13th in the field of 59 runners in 23:34, and freshman Kadence Bradley, who was 39th in 26:37.
In the boys race, Rochester’s two fastest runners, runner-up Chris Rohr and fifth-place finisher Wes Steininger, got to the finish line before Manchester’s first runner.
Manchester’s Kyler Dale, Raven King and Lane Stetzel placed sixth, seventh and 11th, respectively, but Rochester freshman Grant Bailey was 12th. Rochester sophomore Adrian Ochoa was 17th and beat Manchester’s fourth runner by 18 seconds.
Rochester’s fifth runner was sophomore Reece Johnson, and his 25th-place finish of 20:28 was good enough to secure the win.
Rohr ran 17:52, nine seconds behind Urbina. Steininger ran an 18:08, Bailey clocked in at 19:14, Ochoa ran a 19:28, and Johnson ran 20:28. Tanner Reese was 42nd in 21:43, and Lane Shank was 52nd in 22:31.
“I wouldn’t say I was surprised, but I am very happy that we won,” Rohr said. “I think going in, we came out here and did what we needed to do.”
Rohr also raved about Bailey, saying that he is at a point that Rohr did not get until the end of his freshman season. He also called Bailey “great to have on the team” and a “great guy.”
“They’ve been putting in the hard work during practice, and they definitely deserved this win,” coach Seward said. “They just did a really good job of staying competitive.”
Hannah Seward, who is Zoe Seward’s older sister and the Rochester Middle School head coach, was filling in for Alex Gudeman, who missed the meet due to family obligations.
Valley sophomore Chesnee Miller had already broken the school record twice this year prior to her home invite. She was not able to repeat the feat this time, but she did finish fifth overall in 20:59.
“She doesn’t run real well on our home course,” Valley coach Mike Inglehearn said of Miller. “I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because we run here everyday. She ran a good meet. Her mile and two-mile were right where we wanted them. Her last mile was a little off. I think she’s got the potential to run with the Manchester girl that was right in front of her (Ayla Cashdollar), which would squeeze her right down around that 20-minute flat… on a flatter course.”
Valley’s next two fastest runners were freshmen. McKenna Lowe was 17th in 23:56, and Ava Minix was 19th in 24:13. Senior Talia Holder was 42nd in 27:25.
Meanwhile, the Valley boys team finished 11th out of 11 complete teams.
Sophomore Isaac Whetstone was 37th out of 87 runners in 21:22 and was the Valley frontrunner.
“He’s been nursing an ankle and hip issue,” Inglehearn said. “He’s still able to run, but he’s got a little hitch in his giddyup. So he should be around 20-something, a low 20, if we can get him healthy.”
Other Valley scoring runners included Eli Sterk, who was 44th in 21:54; Christopher Marquez, who was 62nd in 23:19; Gavin Leininger, who was 81st in 27:59; and Christian Guzman, who was 85th in 32:03.
Michael Leininger rounded out the Valley lineup, taking 87th in 34:46.
“Christopher ran really well today,” Inglehearn added. “I think he’s finally getting into the fact that I’ve got to push myself a little harder to do what I’ve got to do.”
No Caston girls runner finished in the top 24, but five Lady Comets finished between 25th and 33rd places. The group of five finished within 50 seconds of each other, and they led Caston to a fifth-place finish among seven complete teams.
Caston was the only RTC area school with a complete girls team.
That group of five included Mackenzi Roudebush, who was 25th in 24:38.7; Myli Rude, who was 26th in 24:38.8; Alexa Lowe, who was 29th in 25:03; Camila Hernandez-Rios, who was 31st in 25:25; and Stevanna Young, who was 33rd in 25:28.
Non-scoring Caston runners included Madelynn Sprow, who was 49th in 28:31, and Jaded Aguilar-Rios, who was right behind Sprow in 50th in 29:09.
Caston also finished fifth in the more crowded boys race.
Within reach of a lead pack that also included Bremen’s Matt Urbina, Rohr and Bethany Christian’s Jesse Bontrager, Comet senior Austin Dague was fourth overall in 18:06.
Teammate Edison Byrum also finished in the top 10, taking 10th in 18:54.
Other Caston runners included Marshall Finke, who was 23rd in 20:22; Connor Sommers, who was 29th in 20:53; Kane Finke, who was 60th in 23:11; Braden Rush, who was 69th in 24:43; and A.J. Reyburn, who was 78th in 26:28.
“You know, they put in a lot of hard work today,” Caston coach Blair Zimmerman said of his runners. I wasn’t sure what the rest of the field was going to look like, but it’s just gotten more and more competitive every season. Really proud of the effort they put in, and if that effort was fifth-place finish, then I’ll take it because I know they’re not leaving anything out on the course.”
All three Argos girls runners finished in the top 21.
Freshman Lexi Gibson was 16th in 23:39, sophomore Savannah Lyon was 20th in 24:18, and sophomore Ava Stackhouse was 21st in 24:24.
Argos does not have a boys cross-country team.
Culver had an incomplete boys team and no girls team.
Culver senior Destin Green spent his day towards the front of the pack and finished a step ahead of Caston’s Byrum in ninth place in 18:52.
Adam Peterson was 45th in 21:58, and Owen Falk was 76th in 25:52.
Culver did win the boys middle school title with 22 points. The top three runners in the middle school boys race – Geoff Standfast, Tommy Standfast and Brady Standfast – were all from Culver. They ran 11:16, 11:38 and 11:47, respectively.
Tippecanoe Valley Invitational girls results (points in parentheses): Central Noble 37, Manchester 53, Bremen 93, Triton 103, Caston 104, Northfield 117, John Glenn 149
Incomplete teams: Rochester, Valley, Argos, Jimtown, Bethany Christian
Caston results (104 points, fifth place)
25. Mackenzi Roudebush – 24:38.7 (17), 26. Myli Rude – 24:38.8 (18), 29. Alexa Lowe – 25:03 (21), 31. Camila Hernandez-Rios – 25:25, 33. Stevanna Young – 25:28, 49. Madelynn Sprow – 28:31, 50. Jaded Aguilar-Rios – 29:09
1. Zoe Seward – 20:03, 13. Allyson Calloway – 23:34, 39. Kadence Bradley – 26:37
5. Chesnee Miller – 20:59, 17. McKenna Lowe – 23:56, 19. Ava Minix – 24:13, 42. Talia Holder – 27:25
16. Lexi Gibson – 23:39, 20. Savannah Lyon – 24:18, 21. Ava Stackhouse – 24:24
Tippecanoe Valley Invitational boys results (points in parentheses): Rochester 58, Manchester 62, Bethany Christian 75, Central Noble 91, Caston 120, Bremen 139, John Glenn 143, Northfield 183, Triton 270, Jimtown 279, Valley 283
Incomplete teams: Culver, Smith Academy
Rochester results (58 points, champions)
2. Chris Rohr – 17:52 (2), 5. Wes Steininger – 18:08 (5), 12. Grant Bailey – 19:14 (11), 17. Adrian Ochoa – 19:28 (16), 25. Reece Johnson – 20:28 (24), 42. Tanner Reese – 21:43, 52. Lane Shank – 22:31
Caston results (120 points, fifth place)
4. Austin Dague – 18:06 (4), 10. Edison Byrum – 18:54 (9), 23. Marshall Finke – 20:22 (22), 29. Connor Sommers – 20:53 (28), 60. Kane Finke – 23:11 (57), 69. Braden Rush – 24:43, 78. A.J. Reyburn – 26:28
Valley results (283 points, 11th place)
37. Isaac Whetstone – 21:22 (36), 44. Eli Sterk – 21:54 (43), 62. Christopher Marquez – 23:19 (59), 81. Gavin Leininger – 27:59 (71), 85. Christian Guzman – 32:03 (74), 87. Michael Leininger – 34:46
9. Destin Green – 18:52, 45. Adam Peterson – 21:58, 76. Owen Falk – 25:52
The Rochester boys cross-country team won the Valley Invitational title with 58 points on Sept. 10. Front, from left – Reece Johnson, Adrian Ochoa. Back – Grant Bailey, Chros Rohr, Wes Steininger, Lane Shank, Tanner Reese.
Top left: Tippecanoe Valley Invitational girls winner Zoe Seward from Rochester (20:03) Top Middle: Rochester's Wes Steininger Top Right: Tippecanoe Valley's Chesnee Miller Bottom Left: Tippecanoe Valley's Christoher Marquez Bottom Middle: Caston's Camila Hernandez-Rios Far Right Middle: Caston's Austin Dague Far Right Bottom: Culver's Destin Green