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  • Val T.

Valley’s Jones wins 200 regional title; Rochester’s Keranko also qualifies for state

BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

Wade Jones

Tippecanoe Valley junior Wade Jones won the 200 meters in a personal-best 22.07 seconds at the Warsaw boys track regional Thursday to qualify for the IHSAA state finals.

Jones improved on his time of 22.94 at the Plymouth sectional one week earlier.

He advances to the state finals for the second straight year. He made state in 2022 on a callback and finished 24th at state.

The other RTC area athlete to qualify for state was Rochester senior R.J. Keranko, who finished third in the 800 in 1:58.86. The time was also a new personal best. His previous best was a 1:59.26 at the 2022 regional at Goshen.

Keranko is state-bound for the first time. He won his second straight sectional title last week in 2:02.18.

Penn won the team title with 82.5 points. Elkhart was second with 71. Valley was 18th with the 10 points for which Jones accounted. Keranko’s third-place finish was worth six team points, and Rochester finished in a tie for 23rd.

Caston, Culver and Pioneer athletes did not score. Thirty-one schools represented at the regional scored points.

R.J. Keranko

The top three finishers in each event plus those meeting a difficult qualifying standard advanced to state.

The Robert C. Haugh Track and Field Complex on the Indiana University campus in Bloomington will host the state finals on June 3.

Rochester

Keranko came into the regional as the No. 13 seed. He finished eighth at the 2022 regional, but six of the seven runners who finished ahead of him graduated.

The one runner who finished ahead of him last year who did not graduate was Northridge’s Jaxon Miller, and Miller won his second straight regional title in 1:55.55.

Penn junior Hudson Kaser edged Keranko for second in 1:58.38.

Keranko beat Northwestern’s Colin Feazel (1:59.21) for the last state spot. South Bend Adams’ Bol Agwick was fifth in 1:59.71.

Keranko finished second behind Maconaquah’s Isaiah Wittenberg at the Three Rivers Conference meet at Wabash on May 5, but Wittenberg, who ran a 1:59.09 at the Kokomo sectional, ran a 2:03.66 at the regional, and Tipton’s Evan Long slipped from a 1:57.64 at sectional to a 2:09.98 at regional.

Keranko is the first Rochester boy to qualify for state in the 800 since Wesley Meyer won the 2016 Warsaw regional in 1:56.80.

Keranko will be the No. 24 seed out of 27 runners at state.

The other Rochester athlete to compete was senior Chris Rohr, who took 14th in the 3,200 in 10:28.74. Rohr had run a 10:29.97 at the sectional.

Rochester was listed as a “did not finish” in the 4 x 800 relay, though no Rochester team appeared to even participate. Grant Bailey and Wes Steininger joined Rohr and Keranko on the sectional team that placed second in 8:28.27.

Tippecanoe Valley

Jones also beat the state qualifying standard of 22.20 seconds. He was the fastest in the qualifying heats at 22.13 and then improved on that time for the finals.

Jones ran a 23.35 at the 2022 sectional and finished second. He ran a 22.52 at the 2022 regional and took fifth. He was timed in 22.70 at the 2022 state finals.

He ran a 23.11 and finished second behind Maconaquah’s A.J. Kelly at this year’s TRC meet but shaved 0.17 seconds off that time to win the sectional.

Kelly was third at the Kokomo sectional in the 200 but scratched.

His top competition turned out to be Penn’s Elijah Coker, the No. 1 seed who took second in 22.24, and Wawasee’s Lucas Linder, who was third in 22.33. Josiah Ball, Kelly’s Maconaquah teammate and the Kokomo sectional champ, was fourth in 22.44.

Madison-Grant’s Tanner Brooks, a 2022 state qualifier in the 200, was fifth, and South Bend Riley’s Joshua Harmon was sixth.

Penn’s Josiah Williams, who was the No. 2 seed behind teammate Coker, was seventh. Elkhart’s Rodney Gates, who was also seeded higher than Jones, was eighth in 23.25.

This marks the second straight year that Valley has produced a regional champion. Dawson Perkins won the regional high jump title with a leap of 6-6 last year.

Jones also qualified for the regional in the 100 and the 4 x 100 relay but did not participate in either event. He scratched in the 100 and was replaced by Brock Derf in the 4 x 100 relay.

Without Jones, the 4 x 100 relay was 14th in 46.07 seconds. Grady Moriarty, Cody Black and Nate Parker joined Derf on the team.

Parker was also 13th in the 400 in 53.99 seconds.

Eric Burke and Dalton Alber, Valley’s two field event regional qualifiers, also had their seasons end.

Burke, a junior, tied for 14th in the high jump with a clearance of 5-8.

Alber, a junior, took 12th in the shot put with a toss of 45-1 ¼.

Caston

Caston senior Brady Evans chopped 0.30 seconds off his sectional time and ran a 42.44 to finish 12th at the regional.

The time was a new personal best.

Evans had finished third at both the Hoosier North and sectional meets. He ran a 43.47 at the Hoosier North meet at LaVille and a 42.74 at the Plymouth sectional.

Culver

Making his first career regional appearance, Culver senior Destin Green placed 16th in the 1,600 meters in 4:50.73. Green had finished fourth at the Hoosier North meet in 4:59.41 at LaVille on May 11 and second at the Plymouth sectional in 4:37.39 one week later.

Senior shot putter Devin Burkett, who was third at both the conference meet (46-4) and the sectional (44-7), took 10th at the regional with a heave of 45-7 ½. Burkett beat both Alber and Culver Academy’s Henry Martello, the two throwers that beat him at the sectional.

Pioneer

Panther sophomore Leighton Dodt ran three times at the regional.

His night began when he ran the anchor leg in the 4 x 800 relay that took ninth in 8:25.09, just off the 8:22.26 in winning a sectional title at Kokomo one week earlier. Carson Meyer, Ian Kitchell and Jackson Baker joined him on the relay.

He then took 12th in the 1,600 in 4:42.99 and 12th in the 3,200 in 10:05.83. He ran a 4:41.90 and a 10:00.40, respectively, in those races at the sectional.

Meanwhile, Rylahn Toloza closed out his junior season by tying for 10th in the 100. He ran his qualifying heat in 11.42 and missed out on the finals by 0.09 seconds.

Warsaw boys track regionals: 1. Penn 82.5, 2. Elkhart 71, 3. Warsaw 62. t-4. LaVille 45, t-4. Northridge 45, 18. Valley 10, t-23. Rochester 6

Scoring on 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis for all events

State qualifiers (top three) plus all Rochester, Valley, Caston, Culver and Pioneer athletes

100 m

1. Watson (Penn) – 10.82 seconds, 2. Thomas (Concord) – 10.88, 3. Patton (South Bend Washington) – 11.03, t-10. Rylahn Toloza (Pioneer) – 11.42

200 m

1. Wade Jones (Valley) – 22.07 seconds, 2. Coker (Penn) – 22.24, 3. Linder (Wawasee) – 22.33

400 m

1. Williams (Jimtown) – 49.91 seconds, 2. Kelly (Maconaquah) – 50.13, 3. Zolman (Mishawaka) – 51.03, 13. Nate Parker (TV) – 53.99

800 m

1. Miller (Northridge) – 1:55.55, 2. Kaser (Penn) – 1:58.38, 3. R.J. Keranko (RHS) – 1:58.86

1,600 m

1. Long (Tipton) – 4:19.83, 2. Malloy (Elkhart) – 4:19.84, 3. Claxton (Goshen) – 4:22.96, 12. Leighton Dodt (PIO) – 4:42.99, 16. Destin Green (CUL) – 4:50.73

3,200 m

1. Bauschke (Mishawaka) – 9:25.02, 2. Mueller (Penn) – 9:28.34, 3. Malloy (Elkhart) – 9:34.04, 12. Leighton Dodt (Pioneer) – 10:05.83, 14. Chris Rohr (RHS) – 10:28.74

110 m hurdles

1. Kaufhold (South Bend St. Joe) – 14.77 seconds, 2. Patipe (Culver Academy) – 15.41, 3. Skyler VanSkyhawk (Mishawaka) – 15.53

300 m hurdles

1. Kaufhold (South Bend St. Joe) – 39.38 seconds, 2. Hazen (Northridge) – 39.52, 3. Smith (LaVille) – 40.18, 12. Brady Evans (CAS) – 42.44

4 x 100 m relay

1. Penn – 42.35 seconds, 2. Elkhart – 42.47, 3. South Bend St. Joe – 42.88, 14. Valley (Grady Moriarty, Cody Black, Nate Parker, Brock Derf) – 46.07

4 x 400 m relay

1. Northridge – 3:25.38, 2. Warsaw – 3:25.94, 3. Concord – 3:26.60

4 x 800 m relay

1. Elkhart – 8:00.11, 2. Northridge – 8:02.31, 3. Columbia City – 8:03.33, 9. Pioneer (Carson Meyer, Ian Kitchell, Jackson Baker, Leighton Dodt) – 8:25.09, DNF. Rochester

Long jump

1. Nabieu (South Bend Riley) – 22-11 ¾, 2. Coker (Penn) – 22-7 ¾, 3. Leonard (Elkhart) – 21-9 ½

High jump

1. Randall (Warsaw) – 6-9, 2. Haecker (Manchester) – 6-8, 3. Joyce (South Bend St. Joe) – 6-4, t-14. Eric Burke (Valley) – 5-8

Discus

1. E. Bedock (LaVille) – 151-6, 2. Bias (Elkhart) – 144-8, 3. Fale (Lewis Cass) – 144-4

Shot put

1. Lemons (Elkhart) – 52-5 ½, 2. E. Bedrock (LaVille) – 50-9 ¼, 3. Leiter (Warsaw) – 49-4 ¾, 10. Devin Burkett (CUL) – 45-7 ½, 12. Dalton Alber (TV) – 45-1 ¼

Pole vault

1. Hulsey (LaVille) – 14-8, 2. Johnson (Warsaw) – 14-0, 3. Marsh (Warsaw) – 13-0


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