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  • Val T.

Winamac’s Smith edges Pioneer’s Montgomery for New Prairie girls A title

Pioneer’s Dodt takes 3rd in boys A race; Valley’s Miller finishes 4th in AA girls race


Sports Editor, RTC

Winamac’s Maggie Smith won the Class A race at the New Prairie Invitational in 20:31 Saturday. She beat a field of 161 runners. Smith is also an all-Hoosier North golfer and a member of Winamac’s conference championship golf team.

NEW CARLISLE — Winamac senior cross-country runner Maggie Smith broke free from her team’s pack and won a showdown with a fellow Hoosier North runner at the Class A girls race at the New Prairie Invitational Saturday.

Smith won in 20:31, beating runner-up Violet Montgomery from Pioneer by 14.8 seconds.

Smith helped lead Winamac to 73 points and a third-place finish in a field of 20 complete teams. Caston and Pioneer had incomplete teams.

Westview won with 54 points.

The Winamac girls have typically run as a pack. For example, at the Maconaquah Invitational one week earlier, no Winamac runner finished in the top 25, but five Winamac runners finished between 26th and 40th places.

Smith said a message to her team in a prerace huddle.

“Before every race, we have a huddle, and I always tell my team, ‘Run for the team, stick together, run as a pack.’ Because when we run as a pack, that’s when we do our best, and we can place higher,” Smith said.

Smith said she loves New Prairie’s course, but even Smith did not forecast herself getting out to an early lead at New Prairie. She said she wanted to keep a steady pace when she approached the hills on the course. Her time was a season personal best.

“So I was a little bit surprised that I was so far ahead in the beginning,” Smith said. “I was up there quite a bit, and so I used the downhills to get me ahead of some other girls, and then when I saw just two girls in front of me, I knew I had a kick in the end, and I could sprint out the other two girls.”

Other Winamac times included Kadence Hoover, who was 10th in 21:50; Kelsey Wegner, who was 22nd in 22:20; Kandace Kroft, right behind Wegner in 23rd in 22:29; Claire Goodman, who was 35th in 23:08; Avery Wegner, who was 37th in 23:14; Lily Bennett, who placed 60th in 24:39; Bethany Poor, who was two seconds behind Bennett in 62nd in 24:41; and Mara Holehan, who was 117th in 28:10.

As for Montgomery, her 20:45 was consistent with the 20:43 she ran at the 2022 semistate in her most recent race at New Prairie. She will see Smith and the Winamac pack again at the Hoosier North meet at Winamac Town Park on Sept. 30, but with Winamac being reassigned to the Rensselaer sectional and Pioneer staying at the Logansport sectional, that will be her last match race with the Lady Warriors.

Other Pioneer striders included Ellie Hines, who was 43rd in 23:34, and Kylie Jamerson, who was 55th in 25:36.

Alexa Lowe was the fastest Caston runner in 24:03, which was good for 51st place. Camila Hernandez-Rios was 54th in 24:10, and Jaded Aguilar was 107th in 27:04. Myli Rude did not run.

Class A boys

Leighton Dodt

Westview also won the boys Class A race with 74 points, topping a Pioneer team that scored 87 points and had the third-place overall finisher in Leighton Dodt, who ran a 16:43. Winamac was 14th with 369 points, and Caston was 16th with 393 points.

Dodt broke free from his teammates Carson Meyer and Jackson Baker to challenge top contenders Noah Bontrager of Westview and Hunter Drain of DeMotte Christian. Bontrager found fourth gear in the final mile and won in 16:18 to beat a field of 221 runners. Drain took second in 16:36, and Dodt followed him in. A strong third mile from Meyer was good for sixth place in 17:11, and Baker also finished strong to take ninth in 17:15. Dodt’s time was 1:13 faster than his 2022 semistate time, and Meyer’s time was 41 seconds faster.

The freshman duo of Dane Bowditch and Jack Nance was stride for stride for each other at the tape and finished in 35th and 36th in 18:16 and 18:17, respectively. Kevin Gluth was 46th in 18:50, Elliott Cooper was 120th in 21:17, Kaleb Boller was 131st in 21:34, and Silas Rouch was 216th in 31:18.

Winamac’s senior-less lineup includes the trio of Logan Fredel, Nathan Pierzchalski and Dylan Guilford, a tight pack who ran 18:04, 18:05 and 18:13, respectively. Corbin Holehan was 139th in 21:47, and Joel Showley was 205th in 25:34.

Caston senior Edison Byrum was tight behind the Pioneer big three and placed 11th in 17:26. Other Caston runners included Kane Finke, who was 71st in 19:48; Reed Sommers, who was 75th in 19:50; Maxwell Sommers, who was 116th in 21:10; Josiah Helt, who was 160th in 22:26; Jace Rentschler, who was 178th in 23:20; and Braden Rush, who was 207th in 26:31.

Class AA girls

Tippecanoe Valley senior Chesnee Miller (1913) runs out of the woods during the Class AA race at the New Prairie Invitational Saturday. Miller finished fourth out of 196 runners in 19:41.

Neither Rochester nor Tippecanoe Valley had the minimum five runners for a complete girls team in the Class AA race, but Valley senior Chesnee Miller shone by finishing fourth in 19:41. The only three runners to beat her – the Northwestern duo of Hannah Moore and Courtney Adams and Culver Academy’s Celeste Gram – all made the state finals last year.

The Lady Zs’ frontrunner was sophomore Allyson Calloway, who was timed in 21:48 and finished 30th in the field of 196.

Miller’s time was 52 seconds faster than her 2022 semistate time and came approximately 12 hours after she participated in the homecoming court at Valley. It positions her as a state contender as only 14 runners ran faster than that at the 2022 semistate, though it should be noted that Valley’s sectional now feeds into the New Haven regional and Miller will not run the New Prairie course again this season.

Her Valley teammates included Bailey Bussard, who was 91st in 23:44; McKenna Lowe, who was 101st in 24:03; and Sienna Holder, who was 195th in 37:19.

Rochester’s Allyson Calloway broke 22 minutes for the second time in as many weeks – she had never done it prior to running a 21:30 at the Maconaquah Invitational on Sept. 9 – and finished 30th in 21:48. Kadence Bradley was 96th in 23:55, and Brooklyn Chandler was 119th in 24:51.

Western won the team title with 120 points, 20 fewer than Illiana Christian.

Moore’s winning time was 18:39.

Class AA boys

Grant Bailey

As for the Zebra boys, they scored 293 points and finished 11th out of 25 complete teams in the Class AA race. Grant Bailey led the Rochester pack in 17:46 and finished 26th out of 215 runners. Wes Steininger was 38th in 18:11, and Reece Johnson (18:33) and Lane Shank (18:51) also broke 19 minutes.

Hayden Shuck, who was 136th in 20:14, and Leandro Javier, who was 160th in 21:21, rounded out the Rochester lineup.

Valley finished in 22nd place in the Class AA race. Christopher Marquez finished in 79th place in 19:01 and was the first Viking across the line.

There was a gap of 1:01 to Isaac Whetstone, who finished in 20:02 and placed 123rd. Eli Sterk was 143rd in 20:30, Luis Nuňez was 166th in 21:45, Joseph Lybarger was 202nd in 23:52, and Michael Leininger was right behind in 203rd in 23:57.

Illiana Christian won the team title with 56 points. Western, who had the two fastest individuals in Aden Yeary (16:29) and Camden Raab (16:36), was second with 113.

Class A girls results (points in parentheses): Westview 54, Kouts 60, Winamac 73, Hebron 117, Carroll (Flora) 170, Faith Christian 187, Tri-County 234, Victory Christian 266, Triton 269, North White 288, Washington Township 314, Wheeler 314, Westville 346, Marquette Catholic 348, West Central 355, North Judson 364, Attica 393, Beecher (Ill.) 397, Frontier 429, New Buffalo (Mich.) 490

Incomplete teams: Caston, Pioneer, LaPorte LaLumiere, River Valley (Mich.), Clinton Prairie, Delphi, Steel City, Tri-Township, Fremont, North Miami, DeMotte Christian, Lake Station, South Central (Union Mills), Trinity Greenlawn

Winamac results (73 points, third place)

1. Maggie Smith – 20:31 (1), 10. Kadence Hoover – 21:50 (7), 22. Kelsey Wegner – 22:20 (17), 23. Kandace Kroft – 22:29 (18), 35. Claire Goodman – 23:08 (30), 37. Avery Wegner – 23:14, 60. Lily Bennett – 24:39, 62. Bethany Poor – 24:41, 117. Mara Holehan – 28:10

Caston results

51. Alexa Lowe – 24:03, 54. Camila Hernandez-Rios – 24:10, 107. Jaded Aguilar – 27:04

Pioneer results

2. Violet Montgomery – 20:45, 43. Ellie Hines – 23:34, 85. Kylie Jamerson – 25:36

Class AA girls results (points in parentheses): Western 120, Illiana Christian 140, New Prairie 151, Culver Academy 152, NorthWood 156, Fairfield 181, South Bend St. Joe 200, Northwestern 229, Hanover Central 262, Manchester 267, Angola 275, Wawasee 306, John Glenn 321, Twin Lakes 387, Mishawaka Marian 387, Belmont 401, Benton Central 415, Rensselaer 424, Berrien Springs (Mich.) 489, Hammond Noll 497, Knox 589, Peru 634

Incomplete teams: Rochester, Tippecanoe Valley, Andrean, Bremen, Boone Grove, Griffith, River Forest, South Bend Career Academy

Rochester results

30. Allyson Calloway – 21:48, 96. Kadence Bradley – 23:55, 119. Brooklyn Chandler – 24:51

Valley results

4. Chesnee Miller – 19:41, 91. Bailey Bussard – 23:44, 101. McKenna Lowe – 24:03, 195. Sienna Holder – 37:19

Class A boys results (points in parentheses): Westview 74, Pioneer 87, Trinity Greenlawn 139, DeMotte Christian 151, River Valley (Mich.) 160, Clinton Prairie 185, Carroll (Flora) 210, Kouts 229, Hebron 245, Delphi 328, South Central (Union Mills) 328, Tri-County 350, West Central 367, Winamac 369, Wheeler 380, Caston 393, Frontier 490, Washington Township 527, Victory Christian 543, Faith Christian 559, Fremont 567, North Miami 587, Attica 591, North White 644, North Judson 671, Beecher (Ill.) 710, New Buffalo (Mich.) 723, Steel City 818

Incomplete teams: Morgan Township, North Newton, Triton, LaPorte LaLumiere, LaVille, Marquette Catholic, Tri-Township, Lake Station

Pioneer results (87 points, second place)

3. Leighton Dodt – 16:43 (3), 6. Carson Meyer – 17:11 (6), 9. Jackson Baker – 17:15 (9), 35. Dane Bowditch – 18:16 (34), 36. Jack Nance – 18:17 (35), 46. Kevin Gluth – 18:50, 120. Elliott Cooper – 21:17, 131. Kaleb Boller – 21:34, 216. Silas Rouch – 31:18

Winamac results (369 points, 14th place)

27. Logan Fredel – 18:04 (26), 29. Nathan Pierzchalski – 18:05 (28), 31. Dylan Guilford – 18:13 (30), 139. Corbin Holehan – 21:47 (121), 205. Joel Showley – 25:34 (164)

Caston results (393 points, 16th place)

11. Edison Byrum – 17:26 (11), 71. Kane Finke – 19:48 (68), 75. Reed Sommers – 19:50 (71), 116. Maxwell Sommers – 21:10 (106), 160. Josiah Helt – 22:26 (137), 178. Jace Rentschler – 23:20, 207. Braden Rush – 26:31

Class AA boys results (points in parentheses): Illiana Christian 56, Western 113, NorthWood 119, South Bend St. Joe 132, Wawasee 133, Rensselaer 194, New Prairie 222, Hanover Central 228, Manchester 272, Northwestern 288, Rochester 293, Belmont 300, Berrien Springs (Mich.) 349, Andrean 410, Bremen 413, Griffith 433, John Glenn 475, Benton Central 496, Twin Lakes 540, Mishawaka Marian 549, Peru 556, Tippecanoe Valley 597, Boone Grove 598, Jimtown 626, Knox 635

Incomplete teams: Calumet, South Bend Career Academy, Culver Academy, Hammond Noll, South Bend Washington,

Rochester results (293 points,11th place)

26. Grant Bailey – 17:46 (25), 38. Wes Steininger – 18:11 (37), 53. Reece Johnson – 18:33 (51), 67. Lane Shank – 18:51 (64), 136. Hayden Shuck – 20:14 (116), 160. Leandro Javier – 21:20

Valley results (597 points, 22nd place)

79. Christopher Marquez – 19:01 (73), 123. Isaac Whetstone – 20:02 (104), 143. Eli Sterk – 20:30 (120), 166. Luis Nuňez – 21:45 (138), 202. Joseph Lybarger – 23:52 (162), 203. Michael Leininger – 23:57

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