Steady Seward wins 3,200 title at sectional; Valley’s Miller advances in 800, long jump
Rochester 3rd, Valley 7th, Culver 10th, Caston 11th behind champion Culver Academy
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
BREMEN — A runner from Rochester who had previously qualified for the state finals was in the field of the 3,200 meters at the Bremen girls track sectional Tuesday, and a runner from Rochester won the 3,200 meters at the sectional.
Interestingly enough, they were two different runners.
Rochester senior Madilyn Calloway was the previous state qualifier in the field, but it was her junior teammate Zoe Seward who won the title from the front, pulling away at the midway point and holding off fast-kicking freshman Kadence Fox of Manchester to win in 11:49.51.
Rochester’s Zoe Seward, sectional champion Madilyn Calloway
in the 3,200 meters
Fox was second in 11:52.64, and Calloway was third in 11:56.63 and will join Seward at the regional in the event.
Seward was the only RTC area athlete to win a sectional title at Bremen.
The top athlete from Tippecanoe Valley was sophomore Chesnee Miller, who took third in both the 800 and the long jump and qualified for the regional in both events.
In a meet beleaguered with technical difficulties that lasted four-and-a-half hours, Culver Academy won the title with 181 points.
Rochester was third in the 11-team field with 92 points, Tippecanoe Valley was seventh with 29 points, Culver was 10th with 10 points, and Caston was 11th with eight points.
Caston and Culver had no regional qualifiers.
Seward and Calloway also placed third and fourth, respectively, in the 1,600 meters. Seward earned an automatic spot in the 1,600, though coaches were mulling scratching one or both of the Rochester distance stars to help their chances of advancing in the 3,200 meters.
Calloway ran the first leg and Seward the second leg on the 4 x 800 relay that advanced by placing second. Araceli Ochoa and Kendyll Bradley ran the final two legs.
The other relay that will move on is the 4 x 100 relay that placed third in what is believed to be a school-record time of 52.49 seconds. The team consisted of Bradley, Savanah Eccles, Lilly Watson and Kami Burkett.
Watson replaced Kasey Gray on the relay. Gray, who ran the third leg of the relay during its victorious run at the Three Rivers Conference meet at Wabash on May 6, was out with a foot injury.
However, there is another injury concern as Burkett had to be helped off the track after apparently reinjuring her left knee during the race. Burkett had originally torn her ACL during a basketball game against Valley on Jan. 15.
Other Rochester athletes to advance as individuals included senior Kenzie Bradley, who was third in the 100 in 13.10. She also took fourth in the 200 meters, though meet organizers forced Kenzie Bradley and two other runners re-run the race after an interminable delay because they were unable to obtain a time during her first half-lap around the track.
She was timed in 27.78 seconds in her re-race and is not expected to advance.
Kennedy Jackson also advanced by taking second in the shot put with a throw of 37-7 ½. Jackson had edged Whitko freshman Gwen Howard for the TRC title, but it was Howard who picked up the win with a toss of 38-5 ½ this time.
Miller won the 800 at the TRC meet and improved on that time at the sectional and wound up finishing third at the sectional.
In what turned out to be a furious three-way battle, Culver Academy’s Margaret VerMeulen won the race in 2:28.54, and Plymouth’s Sophie Wray was second in 2:29.52. Miller was third in 2:29.99, a 3.48-second improvement from her TRC time.
Miller also was third in the long jump with a leap of 15-6 ½. She had sailed 15-10 in winning the conference title 11 days earlier.
Valley freshman Carlee Snyder cleared 4-10 in the high jump and placed fourth. Chloe Shepherd, the TRC discus champion, took fifth with a throw of 108-2. Senior Mallory Durkes was seventh in her final prep shot put competition.
Of Culver’s 10 points, five came from individual events and five came from relays.
In the 400 meters, Taylor Darnell came out of the slow heat to finish sixth in 1:07.43. The other scorer was freshman Kassidy Banks, who made it out of the heats in the 100 hurdles and eventually took seventh in 18.92 seconds.
Culver was also sixth in the 4 x 100 relay and seventh in the 4 x 400 relay.
The 4 x 100 relay consisted of Giselle Villegas, Grace Sieber, Banks and Amiyah Williams, and the 4 x 400 relay consisted of Villegas, Rose Peterson, Williams and Myah Maroules.
Ali Paul, a sophomore, single-handedly accounted for five of Caston’s eight points by taking fourth in the long jump with a leap of 15-2 ¾. She finished 3 ¾ inches behind Valley’s Miller in the battle for the final regional spot.
Delaney Strasser was seventh in the 1,600 meters, and the 4 x 400 relay team consisting of Kaitie Hutsell, Emma Stinson, Strasser and Paul took eighth.
The top three athletes in each event earned automatic berths in that event at the Kokomo regional on May 24. The next four best performances in each event from those sectionals that feed into the regional – Mishawaka, Warsaw and Northwestern are the other feeder sectionals – will also advance.
Chesnee Miller Carlee Snyder