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  • Val T.

Towell, Deming, Fishback, Rohr lead Rochester boys track past Plymouth

Jackson wins discus, shot put, but Lady Zs fall to Plymouth


Sports Editor, RTC

Marshall Fishback won the discus and shot put, and Rochester won every track event from 100 to 3,200 meters and both hurdles races on their way to a 89-42 win over Plymouth in a boys track meet at Barnhart Field Friday.

Macie Nelson

In the girls meet, Kennedy Jackson won both the discus and shot put, and Madilyn Calloway also won two blue ribbons for Rochester in a 78-52 loss to Plymouth.

Macie Nelson also won the 100 hurdles, and MaKenna Jackson won the pole vault for the Lady Zs.


Calloway and Seward ran a paced race in both the 1,600 and 3,200 meters, essentially running side by side for the entirety of both races.

In the 1,600, they finished second and third, respectively, behind Plymouth’s Sophie Wray. Calloway and Seward also ran together in the 3,200 meters. Calloway’s kick in the final half-lap won her the race in 12:30, which was 57 seconds slower than the time she ran at last year’s regional which got her to the state finals. Seward was second in 12:34, which was 40 seconds slower than her regional time.

Calloway and Seward also made up half of the victorious 4 x 800 relay team that won in a comfortable 11:10.34. Elena Bode and Araceli Ochoa joined them on the team. That same foursome ran a 10:56 at last year’s regional.

The most significant performance might have been Kennedy Jackson’s. Plymouth’s Sydney Rice won both throwing events at last year’s Bremen sectional, but Kennedy Jackson threw the discus 95-6 as compared to Rice’s 92-6 ½ and the shot put 38-5 as compared to Rice’s 32-8 ½.

Jarret Regan

“She’s gotten better and better every meet,” Rochester coach Ryan Helt said. “We got on her a little bit about when she would come out and really blow us away in the warm-ups and then have a habit of maybe not following it up in competition, and she’s done a good job of rising up to that challenge and taking that constructive criticism, and she’s gotten better and better. I’m really happy about her.”

Nelson picked up speed in the second half of the 100 hurdles to win in 17.81 seconds over rivals Rilynn Ames and Aumrie Weiss of Plymouth. Ames and Weiss were second and third, respectively. Nelson took third at last year’s sectional to qualify for regionals while Weiss and Ames were fourth and fifth, respectively, at the sectional.

Kenzie Bradley, last year’s Three Rivers Conference champion at 100 meters and a regional qualifier in the event, was held out in the piercing cold – skies were sunny but temperatures were only in the low 40s – as she battles hamstring tightness.

Without Bradley and Kami Burkett, who tore her ACL in a basketball game against Tippecanoe Valley on Jan. 15, Rochester did not enter a 4 x 100 relay team.

“She just has a tightness in her hamstring, and with it being as cold as it is, we didn’t want to risk that,” Helt said. “I think she’ll be fine. We’ll probably see her run on Thursday (against John Glenn). She could have run tonight. It was a coach’s decision.”


Alex Deming is a sophomore participating in track for the first time since he was a sixth-grader in the Caston schools. One of Deming’s teachers is Helt. Helt said he and Deming had talked about him running track “off and on a little bit.” A couple months ago, Deming said he would come out for track.

Helt said he envisioned Deming running the 100. ut a practice session running the quarter-mile impressed both Helt and assistant coach Dr. John Nile.

Against Plymouth, Deming won both the open 400 in 55.25 seconds and ran the anchor leg of the victorious 4 x 400 relay.

Zach Pickens, Braxton Mencias and Layne Backus joined Deming on the relay, which ran a 3:43.91 and is only a second off the team’s best time from all of last year.

Pickens won the 200 in 23.69 seconds, holding off Plymouth’s Lennon Creighbaum and teammate Jarret Regan.

“He’s just a beautiful runner,” a smiling Helt said of Pickens.

Regan, a senior who signed with Indiana University-Kokomo last week to continue his track and academic careers – he wants to major in exercise science, won the 100 in 11.37 seconds.

“I fell in love with track last year,” Regan said. “During the offseason, I really started working and after this last football season, I realized that track was the sport that I wanted to focus on and do well in college.”

Regan said his goal is to make the regional in the 100 this year. He said the start of his race is “decent” but that the middle is the strongest part of his race and where he feels he accelerates the most.

He said Nile has given him a lot of advice and told him that he needs to get stronger in the weight room.

“When I’m drilling especially, that’s the number one thing to tell with my stride and everything,” Regan said. “And then just doing plyometrics in the weight room is probably the number one thing that helped me. … it started in the lunge position, and then you jump in midair and switch your feet. Just explosive movements like that has helped me a lot.”

Rohr won both the 1,600 meters and 3,200 meters. In the 1,600, he and teammate Peyton Hiatt ran side by side in another paced race, and both were timed in 5:10.34. Dylan Steininger was third in 5:28.91 to complete the Zebra 1-2-3 sweep.

Rohr and Steininger also finished 1-2 in the 3,200 meters. Rohr won in 10:47, and Steininger followed him across the line in 11:09.

Rohr claimed a third blue ribbon in the meet-opening 4 x 800 relay. Steininger, Hiatt and R.J. Keranko joined him.

Hiatt held off a late kick from Plymouth’s David Schadek to win the open 800 in 2:13.00 as compared to Schadek’s 2:13.22. Keranko, a regional qualifier from last year like Hiatt, was third in 2:14.09.

Towell won both the 110 hurdles and 300 hurdles. His time of 17.59 seconds in the 110 hurdles is already 1.3 seconds faster than his sectional time last year, and his time of 46.82 seconds is already 0.8 seconds faster than last year’s sectional. Though it should be noted that hand timing is notoriously unreliable as compared to the electronic timing used at conference and postseason meets, Helt noted that Towell has adapted to a three-step hurdling form.

“Kaiden has really stepped up in the hurdles,” Helt said. “He’s reduced down from four steps to three steps. It’s just like a light bulb came on. Just one day, he said, ‘Coach, I’ve figured it out.’ And he’s stepping up there, and he’s really working on improving his high jump. … He’s kind of the leader in that group right now. Kaiden’s going to play an important role for us.”

The only track event that Plymouth won was the 4 x 100 relay, though it should be noted that Rochester crossed the finish line first but was later disqualified due to a baton pass outside the legal zone.

Fishback won the discus with a toss of 116-1 ½ and the shot put with a heave of 49-0. Fishback was a regional qualifier in both events last year and is expected to have a showdown with Tippecanoe Valley’s Wade Melanson at both the May 6 conference meet at Wabash and the May 19 sectional meet at Plymouth.

Runner-up Alex Griggs and third-place finisher Hunter Shriver completed a Zebra shot put sweep.

The other Rochester field event winner was Mencias, who long-jumped 18-7 and beat the field by more than a foot.

Girls results: Plymouth 78, Rochester 52

Scoring on 5-3-1 basis for individual events and 5-0 basis for relays

Winners plus all Rochester scorers

100 m

1. Schrameyer (PLY) – 13.06 seconds, 2. Savanah Eccles (RHS) – 13.41

200 m

1. Schrameyer (PLY) – 27.53 seconds, 2. Lilly Watson (RHS) – 28.88

400 m

1. South (PLY) – 1:07.78, 3. Isabel Dunwoody (RHS) – 1:10.03

800 m

1. Wray (PLY) – 2:37.59, 2. Kendyll Bradley (RHS) – 2:48.41, 3. Lucy Rangel (RHS) – 2:48.81

1,600 m

1. Wray (PLY) – 5:39.29, 2. Madilyn Calloway (RHS) – 5:43, 3. Zoe Seward (RHS) – 5:45

3,200 m

1. Madilyn Calloway (RHS) – 12:30.69, 2. Zoe Seward (RHS) – 12:34.69

100 m hurdles

1. Macie Nelson (RHS) – 17.81 seconds

300 m hurdles

1. Weiss (PLY) – 51.53 seconds, 3. Macie Nelson (RHS) – 55.25

4 x 100 m relay

1. Plymouth – 53.53 seconds

4 x 400 m relay

1. Plymouth – 4:37.44, 2. Rochester (Audrey Wagoner, Isabel Dunwoody, Emily Basham, Kendyll Bradley) – 4:43.88

4 x 800 m relay

1. Rochester (Zoe Seward, Araceli Ochoa, Elena Bode, Madilyn Calloway) – 11:10.34

Long jump

1. Michely (PLY) – 14-7

High jump

1. Michely (PLY) – 4-6


1. Kennedy Jackson (RHS) – 95-6

Shot put

1. Kennedy Jackson (RHS) – 38-5

Pole vault

1. MaKenna Jackson (RHS) – 8-0, 2. Macie Nelson (RHS) – 6-6

Boys results: Rochester 89, Plymouth 42

Scoring on 5-3-1 basis for individual events and 5-0 basis for relays

Winners plus all Rochester scorers

100 m

1. Jarret Regan (RHS) – 11.37 seconds

200 m

1. Zach Pickens (RHS) – 23.69 seconds, 3. Jarret Regan (RHS) – 25.25

400 m

1. Alex Deming (RHS) – 55.25 seconds, 2. Layne Backus (RHS) – 56.69

800 m

1. Peyton Hiatt (RHS) – 2:13.00, 3. R.J. Keranko (RHS) – 2:14.09

1,600 m

1. Chris Rohr (RHS) – 5:10.34, 2. Peyton Hiatt (RHS) – 5:10.34, 3. Dylan Steininger (RHS) – 5:28.91

3,200 m

1. Chris Rohr (RHS) – 10:47.41, 2. Dylan Steininger (RHS) – 11:09.71

110 m hurdles

1. Kaiden Towell (RHS) – 17.59 seconds, 2. Parker Wallace (RHS) – 19.62

300 m hurdles

1. Kaiden Towell (RHS) – 46.82 seconds, 3. Parker Wallace (RHS) – 50.22

4 x 100 m relay

1. Plymouth – 48.97 seconds, DQ. Rochester (Alex Deming, Jarret Regan, Layne Backus, Zach Pickens)

4 x 400 m relay

1. Rochester (Zach Pickens, Braxton Mencias, Layne Backus, Alex Deming) – 3:43.91

4 x 800 m relay

1. Rochester (Peyton Hiatt, Chris Rohr, Dylan Steininger, R.J. Keranko) – 8:56.88

Long jump

1. Braxton Mencias (RHS) – 18-7

High jump

1. Ellery (PLY) – 5-4, 2. Parker Wallace (RHS) – 5-2, 3. Schadek (PLY) – 5-2


1. Marshall Fishback (RHS) – 116-1 ½, 3. Jesse Shriver (RHS) – 92-4 ½

Shot put

1. Marshall Fishback (RHS) – 49-0, 2. Alex Griggs (RHS) – 36-0 ½, 3. Hunter Shriver (RHS) – 35-1 ½

Pole vault

1. Garrett (PLY) – 8-6, 3. Mitchell Shafer (RHS) – 8-0

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