Plymouth wins Rochester Sectional

ROCHESTER — Senior Lindsay Downs hasn’t had many hero moments in her time with the Plymouth girls track program.
She had a big one Tuesday.
With defending champ Culver Girls Academy and Plymouth swapping leads throughout the night, Downs PRd by two feet in the shot put with a 31-02 throw to finish sixth and lift the Lady Pilgrims to a narrow team championship at the Rochester Sectional, 129-128 over CGA.
“She gets no attention; the attention goes to Meagan (Fisher), it goes to Allie (Wright), it goes to that (4X400) relay,” said Plymouth girls track coach Paul Patrick. “That whole team swarmed her when the meet was over, and she was in tears. That’s the great thing about high school sports. Someone like that can be a hero for a night.”
Plymouth earned sectional championships in the 3200 relay, where Meagan Fisher, Libbie Read, Maggie Morrow and Allie Wright beat the Lady Eagles’ relay by better than 44 seconds, in the 400 as Wright topped the field with a 1:00.79, in the 800, where Fisher and Read went one-two better than five seconds ahead of the rest of the field, and in the 1600 relay, where Fisher, Wright, Emmelyn Brandt and Hunter Stevens held off CGA with a 4:15.12.
Wright was fourth in the 200, Abby Patrick finished second in the 1600, Shelby Harrell was third in the 3200, Emmelyn Brandt was third in the 400, Cassie Quissell finished third in the pole vault, and Katelyn O’Neal placed fourth in the 100 hurdles, Traci Longanecker tied for fourth in the pole vault, and the Pilgrims’ 400 relay team of Longanecker, Amanda Wolford, Nicole Snare and Sammi Davis were third in their event to advance to next Tuesday’s Warsaw Regional.
The decisive shot put finals lasted until well after 10 p.m., and the rest of the field had cleared out as the Pilgrims celebrated under the lights at Rochester.
“I’m happy for (Downs) and for Lindsay Romwalter, our other thrower and for Maggie Morrow, our three seniors, to be able to win sectional,” said Patrick. “I’m happy for our whole team, but for those kids to stick with it and to work hard every day in practice and be the leaders that they have been, for us to pull this thing out today, I think it can be something that they can be really proud of. It’s kind of ironic our senior night ended in a rain storm and we didn’t get to recognize them because we had to hide under the pavilion. This thing will end and everybody’s gone home. A half-hour ago, I was like, geez, they’re going to get deprived of a victory lap too because of the way this thing’s played out.”
Leah Heckaman — a state qualifier in the discus as a freshman last year — won the shot put and finished second in the discus, Amber Cowell won the 300 hurdles and was second in the 100 hurdles coming off a knee surgery in the offseason, Sharon Chen won the pole vault, Jasmine Solola was third in the long jump, Motunrayo Adenuga finished third in the 100, Laura Ma was third in the 200, Olivia Martinez was third in the 1600, Kennedy Thompson placed third in the 800, and CGA placed second in all three relays.
Thompson, Hannah Buggeln, Katie Gawor and Sarah Jamieson were second in the 3200 relay, Ma, Cowell, Buggeln and Adenuga were second in the 1600 relay, and Solola, Ma, Adenuga and Jessica Morgan were second in the 4X100.
“Plymouth didn’t have the best night tonight because they should have beaten us pretty easily,” said CGA head coach Michael Chastain. “But the girls still won, and they deserved to win. Our girls competed pretty hard. They had a few places — and you always do in a meet like this — where they didn’t come through, but we had some good performances.”
Culver Communities placed fifth at the meet with 60 points, meanwhile, as Kayla Shaffer and Denisha Brown went one-two in both the 100 and the 200 — with Brown winning the 100 and Shaffer taking the 200 — while Donna Zehner broke a school record with a 119-flat toss for third place in the discus, and Tatum Schultz finished fourth in the 300 hurdles as regional qualifiers for the Lady Cavaliers.
“This is kind of old hat for (Brown and Shaffer),” said Culver Community girls track coach Michael Buschman. “I think we were undefeated in the 100 and 200. They’ve done a great job. It’s going to be a borderline school record in the 100; again it’s going to be a borderline school record in the 200.
“For Zehner, it was one of those things where everything just kind of came together. I was lucky enough to actually walk over right as she was throwing that, and I got to see that. It was just fluid; she got a good motion on it and she put the technique together. She’s been around the 105 mark, but discus is one of those things where when everything comes together you can make big jumps, and that’s pretty much what she did.”
Triton finished sixth at the meet with a score of 44.5 led by 2011 state discus finalist Meagan Howdeshell’s victory in the discus with a school-record 135-02 throw and a runner-up finish in the shot put. Breanna Lemler finished fourth in the 400 after recovering from surgery earlier this season, Autumn Kann finished in a five-way tie for third in the high jump, and the Lady Trojans’ 3200 relay squad of Courtney Burns, Shana Anderson, Mikayla Musilli and Allie Kann placed fourth in their event to move on to Warsaw next week.
“(Lemler’s) times have been improving ever since she’s come back. She’s starting to improve for the squad; better late than never,” said Triton girls coach Shelly Feldman.
“(Howdeshell) is doing a really, really good job. Couldn’t ask for much more. She does a lot of work on her own and she throws every day, takes the disc home and works on it every day. Allie Kann runs on her own, that kid is just amazing. She never quits. She had some leg problems tonight but she still finished hard and placed in everything she ran tonight.”
• ROCHESTER
GIRLS TRACK SECTIONAL
At Rochester
TEAM SCORES: 1. PLYMOUTH 129, 2. CULVER GIRLS ACADEMY 128, 3. MANCHESTER 76, 4. ROCHESTER 70, 5. CULVER COMMUNITY 60, 6. TRITON 44.5, 7. NORTHFIELD 40, 8. TIPPECANOE VALLEY 39, 9. NORTH MIAMI 27.5, 10. CASTON 6
100: 1. Denisha Brown (CC) 12.72, 2. Kayla Shaffer (CC) 12.95, 3. Motunrayo Adenuga (CGA) 13.15, 4. Caylie Reel (TV) 13.22; 100 hurdles: 1. Bekah Brunn (M) 16.4, 2. Amber Cowell (CGA) 16.89, 3. Kayla Prater (NM) 17.13, 4. Katelyn O’Neal (P) 17.22; 200: 1. Kayla Shaffer (CC) 26.37, 2. Denisha Brown (CC) 26.77, 3. Laura Ma (CGA) 27.46, 4. Allie Wright (P) 27.54; 3200 relay: 1. Plymouth (Meagan Fisher, Libbie Read, Maggie Morrow, Allie Wright) 10:01.83, 2. CGA 10:45.98, 3. Manchester 10:55.08, 4. Triton 10:59.99; 1600: 1. Anna Meyer ® 5:30.24, 2. Abby Patrick (P) 5:38.82, 3. Olivia Martinez (CGA) 5:39.95, 4. Sammy Ruppert ® 5:41.49; 400 relay: 1. Manchester (Alex Shelton, Maddie Burton, Bakah Brunn, Lindsey Budnik) 52.37, 2. CGA 53.57, 3. Plymouth 54.80, 4. Rochester 55.43; 400: 1. Allie Wright (P) 1:00.79, 2. Kayla Shaffer (CC) 1:02.67, 3. Emmelyn Brandt (P) 1:03.52, 4. Breanna Lemler (T) 1:04.47; 300 hurdles: 1. Amber Cowell (CGA) 49.33, 2. Catherine Leadford (TV) 49.42, 3. Bekah Brunn (M) 52.36, 4. Tatum Schultz (CC) 52.73; 800: 1. Meagan Fisher (P) 2:30.07, 2. Libbie Read (P) 2:33.14, 3. Kennedy Thompson (CGA) 2:38.18, 4. Sammy Ruppert ® 2:40.62; 3200: 1. Anna Meyer ® 11:42.37, 2. Jenna Halderman (NF) 2:07.33, 3. Shelby Harrell (P) 12:33.12, 4. Sarah Burch ® 12:34.25; 1600 relay: 1. Plymouth (Meagan Fisher, Emmelyn Brandt, Allie Wright, Hunter Stevens) 4:15.12, 2. CGA 4:18.62, 3. Rochester 4:21.2, 4. Manchester 4:27.83; High jump: 1. Lindsey Dierks (M) 5-01, 2. Cherish Leming (NF) 5-0, 3. Meagan Fisher (P) 4-10, 3. Jazzmine Brown (TV) 4-10, 3. Kylie Echard (NF) 4-10, 3. Kayla Prater (NM) 4-10, 3. Autumn Kann (T) 4-10, 4. Kaydon Fosler (P) 4-08; Pole vault: 1. Sharon Chen (CGA) 8-06, 2. Jordan Sheetz ® 8-0, 3. Cassie Quissell (P) 7-06, 4. Quinnj Bixler ® 7-06, 4. Traci Longanecker (P) 6-06; Long jump: 1. Katlyn Sawyer ® 5-05.5, 2. Lindsey Budnik (M) 5-05, 3. Jasmine Solola (CGA) 4-11, 4. Mikayla Wireman (TV) 4-10; Shot put: 1. Leah Heckaman (CGA) 40-01, 2. Megan Howdeshell (T) 36-03, 3. Connor Fraser (TV) 32-07, 4. Niki Frieden (M) 31-11.25; Discus: 1. Megan Howdeshell (T) 35-02, 2. Leah Heckaman (CGA) 25-07, 3. Donna Zehner (CC) 119-00, 4. Connor Fraser (TV) 101-04.

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