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  • Val T.

Shepherd, Miller, Alber win titles in Valley’s final TRC track meet

Rochester girls, boys finish 4th


Sports Editor, RTC

Luhnow Shepherd Keranko Miller Nelson

WABASH — Tippecanoe Valley junior Chesnee Miller won the 800 meter title for the second straight year, but it was the Rochester girls and boys track teams who were the top area team finishers as both took fourth at the Three Rivers Conference meet at Wabash High School Friday.

Meanwhile, Tippecanoe Valley’s girls and boys teams each finished fifth in their final TRC meet.

Maconaquah won both the girls and boys conference crowns. The Maconaquah girls scored 111.5 points, 11.5 more than runner-up Whitko. The Maconaquah boys scored 156 points while runner-up Manchester had 109.

There were three individual conference champions – two girls and one boy – among RTC area athletes, all from Valley.

Freshman Betty Shepherd won the 300 hurdles in 50.02 seconds, coming from behind to pass Southwood’s Aleia Sweet and Manchester’s Ava Egolf in the final 50 meters. Shepherd was also third in the 100 hurdles.

Miller’s 800 time was in a school record 2:28.97. Boxed in behind three competitors after one lap, Miller found space along the outside at the halfway mark and extended her lead before eventually holding off Maconaquah’s Zoie Laber, who was second in 2:30.92, and Wabash’s Cali Kugler, who was third in 2:31.31.

Miller’s performance came shortly after she placed second in the 400 meters in 1:01.90. Whitko’s Gwen Howard overtook her in the final 20 meters to win in 1:01.23. Miller was also second in the long jump behind Whitko’s Emerson Harper with a leap of 15-9.


In the boys shot put, Valley’s Dalton Alber was in a tight duel with Peru’s Braxton Strong before Alber came out on top with a throw of 45-6 while Strong threw 45-3. Alber’s teammate and fellow junior Cameron Mason was fifth with a throw of 40-10.

Rochester girls

The high scorer for the Lady Zs for the meet was senior Macie Nelson, who placed second in the pole vault after clearing 8-0 and fourth in the 100 hurdles in 17.50 seconds. She finished ninth and just out of the points in the 300 hurdles in 55.03.

The top distance runner was Zoe Seward. The senior and Southern Indiana signee was third in the 3,200 in 12:34.08 and fourth in the 1,600 in 5:52.92.

Audrey Wagner ran personal best times in both the 200 and 400, taking third in the 200 in 28.19 and fifth in the 400 in 1:04.55.

Rochester’s Kasey Gray was both fifth in the 100 meters in 13.91 seconds and sixth in the 200 in 28.58.

Araceli Ochoa took fifth just behind in the 1,600 meters in 5:58.35 and seventh in the 800 in 2:42.14.

Simona Faoro was third in 7-6 in the pole vault, one spot behind teammate Nelson.

Allyson Calloway was fifth in the 3,200 in a personal best 13:32.16.

Melody Hisey took fifth in the shot put with a heave of 30-0 ¾.

Rochester was also fifth in the 4 x 100 relay, sixth in the 4 x 400 relay and fourth in the 4 x 800 relay.

Nelson, Savanah Eccles, Kendyll Bradley and Gray made up the 4 x 100 team. Isabel Dunwoody joined Bradley, Ochoa and Wagner on the 4 x 400 team. Freshman Ella Hake joined Ochoa, Calloway and Seward on the 4 x 800 team.

Tippecanoe Valley girls

In addition to Miller and Shepherd, other Valley scoring athletes included Carlee Snyder, who tied for fifth in the high jump with a clearance of 4-8; Ava Smith, who was seventh in the 200 in 28.79; Kendyll Ransbottom, who was eighth in the 100; and Caitlyn Ransbottom, who was eighth in the 200 in 29.36.

Valley was fourth in the 4 x 100 relay and seventh in the 4 x 400 relay. They did not have a 4 x 800 relay team.

Rochester boys

The 800 meter race turned into a match race over the final 50 meters between Rochester’s R.J. Keranko and Maconaquah’s Isaiah Wittenberg. Wittenberg won in 2:01.94 while Keranko, the reigning sectional champion, placed second in 2:03.09.

Keranko was the highest finishing Rochester athlete in an individual event with that second-place showing. Keranko also took fourth in a high-octane 400 meters in a personal best 52.62 seconds. Maconaquah’s A.J. Kelly and Bauer Maple took the top two spots in 50.53 and 51.59, respectively.

Senior Payton Luhnow narrowly earned a spot on the team, according to coach Ryan Helt, but solidified his spot moving forward when he tied for fifth in the high jump after clearing 5-6 and also was sixth in the long jump with a leap of 18-5 ¼.

Senior Kaiden Towell was sixth in the 300 hurdles in 45.62 seconds and seventh in the 100 hurdles in 17.59 seconds.

Freshman Grant Bailey also placed in two individual events, taking sixth in the 1,600 meters in 4:53.05 and seventh in the 800 in 2:11.18.

Other Rochester scoring athletes included Trevor Walley, who was fourth in the pole vault at 9-6; Mitchell Shafer, who was fifth in the pole vault at 9-0; freshman Mason Hisey, who was fifth in the discus with a throw of 115-6; Reece Johnson, who broke 11 minutes in the 3,200 for the first time and took seventh in 10:57.47; Dylan Hook, who took seventh in the long jump at 18-2 ¾; and Wes Steininger, who took eighth in a personal best 5:04.21 in the 1,600.

The 4 x 800 team was third, the 4 x 400 team took fifth, and the 4 x 100 relay team placed seventh.

The 4 x 800 relay consisted of Bailey, Steininger, Lane Shank and Keranko. Shafer joined Keranko, Bailey and Steininger on the 4 x 400 relay. Braden Krom, Maddox Jewell, DJ Basham and Clarence Garrett made up the 4 x 100 relay.

Valley boys

While Alber was Valley’s only individual champion, Wade Jones took second in both the 100 and 200 meters in 11.46 seconds and 23.11 seconds. Wabash freshman Coleson Kugler held him off in the 100 while Maconaquah’s Kelly took the 200 in 22.84.

Jones also anchored Valley’s 4 x 100 relay team that took second. Grady Moriarty, Cody Black and Nate Parker were also on the team. Valley’s 4 x 400 relay team consisting of Isaac Whetstone, Colton Crabb, Parker and Jones took seventh in 3:53.93.

Other Valley scorers included Eric Burke, who was third in the high jump with a leap of 5-10; Nate Parker, who was fifth in the 400 in 52.96; Mason in the shot put; Tristyn Ragon, who was seventh in the high jump at 5-6; and Brason Smith, who was eighth in the 300 hurdles in 45.95.

Girls meet notes

  • Whitko’s Howard broke the TRC record in the shot put with a throw of 43-5 ¾. Only runner-up Hannah Holmes of Northfield was within 10 feet of her. She also won the discus, the 400 and anchored Whitko’s victorious 4 x 400 relay.

  • Whitko’s Harper, a sophomore like Howard, won the 100, the 200 and the long jump, and she ran the opening leg of the victorious 4 x 400 relay.

  • Maconaquah’s Abby Jordan won both the 1,600 meters in 5:32.19 and the 3,200 in 12:12.33.

  • Maconaquah won both the 4 x 100 and 4 x 800 relays.

Boys meet notes

  • Kelly and Wittenberg combined to win every race between 200 and 1,600 meters. Maconaquah also won the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 relays. Kelly and basketball star Bauer Maple were on both relays, and Wittenberg was on the 4 x 400 relay. Maconaquah also got wins from Kyler Hanson in the pole vault (11-6) and Desrick Elliott in the long jump (20-1).

  • Wabash sophomore Jonas Church won both the 3,200 meters in 10:11 but also ran a leg on the victorious 4 x 800 relay along with Dave Ford, Chase Howard and Kaden Vogel.

  • Peru’s Strong took the 110 hurdles over Wabash’s Spencer Stout in 15.12 seconds, but Stout later bounced back to win the 300 hurdles in 42.14.

  • Manchester’s Kolby Haecker won the high jump with a clearance of 6-4, and his fellow senior teammate Jordan Ayres won the discus with a throw of 142-1.

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