By Josh Brown
TIPP CITY — For some, it’s been an annoyance.
For most, a hindrance. And for a few, a helping hand while they heal.
One way or another, the weather during spring season’s opening week has affected everybody.
But Saturday, the Tippecanoe Invitational went off without a hitch despite a cold morning start that warmed up throughout the afternoon, giving Miami County’s teams a chance to get on the track and see where they stand in what was the first official action for many.
“Oh, it’s been hard,” Tippecanoe coach Bob Crawford said. “We’ve barely had any time outside. No one’s been able to get a feel for the track yet.”
Especially his own Red Devils. The Tippecanoe Relays traditionally kicks off the season, but it was rained out a week ago and rescheduled for Thursday — when it was rained out again. And with a number of athletes out on spring break, the Devils were even further depleted. The boys took eighth Saturday with 32 points, while the girls were ninth with 29.
There were bright sides for both teams, though, one of them being senior Allison Sinning for the girls. After placing at the state meet as a junior, Sinning won the 1,600 in her first action of her senior year, running a time of 5:36.35.
“I was not very satisfied with my time,” Sinning said. “But last week, I was having some trouble with my calves so I took a few days off. Plus it’s been spring break, so I’ve been doing a lot of walking. I don’t think I was fully prepared for today.”
And even though the weather-related break did give her injuries a chance to heal, it’s also thrown other things out of whack.
“The weather’s been messing with my breathing, I think. One day it’s hot, the next it’s cold — it’s been tough,” Sinning said. “Plus it’s throwing our training off a little bit. You get ready for a meet but then taper yourself the day before to get ready, and then you don’t even race.”
Sinning didn’t run in her specialty race, the 3,200, on Saturday, but she did join the 4x800 team along with Emily Wolfe, Katherine Wilcher and Brinna Price, and the team took third (10:41.98). Even with the slow — and late — start, though, she has big goals for the season.
“My main goal is to work on my 3,200 time, break the school record and get back to state,” she said. “For the mile, I’d like to break 5:00 — but if you just look at today, you’d think that was crazy. I think I’ll get there, though. My PR in it is 5:11.”
Anna Klepinger was fourth in the pole vault (7-0), Price was fifth in the 1,600 (5:50.97), Bekah Shininger was seventh in the 300 hurdles (57.28 seconds) and Lacey Loges was seventh in the shot put (29-7.25).
On the boys side, Andy Droesch won the high jump (6-2) and was fourth in the pole vault (10-6) and 110 hurdles (16.74 seconds), Cameron Gibbs was fifth in the 100 (11.7 seconds), Landen Stafford was seventh in the discus (106-5), the 4x400 team of Adam Grieshop, Kyle Melling, Gibbs and Nathan Hamberg was seventh (3:57.52), Chaney Thomas was eighth in the 800 (2:16.45) and the 4x800 team of Jordan Brown, Daniel Frame, Thomas and Tim Andrews was eighth (9:23.98).
• Siefring Starts Strong
The Covington Buccaneer girls were supposed to open the season last week at the Versailles Lady Tiger Classique, but just like the Tippecanoe Relays, it was rained out both Saturday and on its makeup day on Thursday.
It didn’t sit well with returning state placer Jackie Siefring.
“I don’t enjoy waking up at 7 a.m. getting called and hearing ‘oh, you’re not running today,’” Siefring said. “I was ready to go. But hey, it happens.”
She took it out on the competition Saturday, sweeping the 100 hurdles (15.37 seconds) and 300 hurdles (47.08 seconds), in addition to taking second in the 200 (26.41 seconds) and third in the long jump (16-5.75).
But it’s the 300 hurdles that she is most focused on.
“Oh, I want to win that puppy,” she said when asked what her goals for the year are. “No more thirds at state. I want that gold medal around my neck.”
And it was kind of a shotgun start for her in the race, too — which she still won by a large margin.
“This was the first time I’ve really ran it since state,” Siefring said. “I haven’t practiced it like I really should have. I used today like a breakout race — I just wanted to see where I’m at. And I think I ran a decent time. I’ve got to start working on my endurance, but it’s (winning state) very possible, I think, if I stay healthy.”
Carly Shell picked up another victory for the Buccs in the 3,200 (12:01.32). Anna Dunn was third in the 1,600 (5:38.25) and sixth in the 800 (2:39.07), the 4x800 team of Dunn, Shell, Julianna Yingst and Hannah Retz was fourth (10:48.73), the 4x400 team of Dunn, Heidi Cron, Cassidy Cain and Kailyn Pond was fifth (4:38.34), Maria Mohler was fifth in the pole vault (7-0) and Pond was eighth in the 100 (14.05 seconds). Overall, the Buccs were runners-up with 72 points, while Meadowdale won with 80.
• Toughing It Out
Troy Christian’s Zac Garver had plenty to say about the weather for the past few months — but he also had a solution, what to do about it.
“You’ve got to be mentally tough and push through it. Suck it up and keep working hard,” he said.
His approach appears to be working, too. Garver won the 1,600 (4:34.61) and was third in the 3,200 (10:16.26) on Saturday. In the 1,600, he was in third on the third lap but made his move, coasting out in front and winning without straining himself.
“I feel like I ran a strong race, and a smart race,” Garver said. “I hit the splits I wanted to, and I’ve just got to keep doing that the rest of the season.”
On the girls side, Meredith Haddad — who placed in the long jump at state as a freshman — was second in the long jump (16-7.25), third in the 200 (26.61 seconds) and fifth in the 100 (13.64 seconds), while Anastasia Muzart was eighth in the 200 (29.01 seconds).
It was the second time Troy Christian has ran this season — they competed in the Troy Up and Running Invitational, which was rained out a week ago but successfully made up on Monday.
Miami East also competed at the Up and Running Invitational, getting their second taste of action Saturday at Tipp. The Viking girls finished fourth (51 points), while the boys were sixth (39).
Morgan Rose was the top finisher for the girls, placing second in the pole vault (8-0). Ashley Current was third in the discus (99-0), Marie Ewing was fourth in the 800 (2:36.02) and sixth in the 1,600 (5:55.6), the 4x200 team of Kelly Rindler, Lindsey Roeth, Renee DeFord and Emma Monnin was fourth (1:57.55), the 4x400 team of Roeth, DeFord, Monnin and Ewing was fourth (4:33.8), the 4x800 team of Abigael Amheiser, Sami Sands, Abby Hawkins and Ewing finished fifth (10:50.05), the 4x100 team of Roeth, Monnin, Kelly Rindler and Sage Hunley was fifth (55.97 seconds), Karson Mahaney was fifth in the shot put (30-6), Megan Kinninson was sixth in the discus (88-5) and Lorenza Savini was eighth in the 3,200 (13:01.9).
Miami East’s boys’ best finish was also in the pole vault, where Mack Rose (12-0) and Austin Rush (11-6) were second and third, respectively. The 4x400 team of Luke Mengos, Josh Ewing, Austin Kowaluk and Jordan Crawford was fifth (3:53.09), Luke House and Michael Deeter tied for fifth in the high jump (5-3), Colton Holicki was fifth in the long jump (18-2.25) and sixth in the 400 (56.09 seconds), Carson was sixth in the long jump (17-11.75), Trey Harbour was seventh in the 110 hurdles (18.39 seconds), the 4x100 team of Carson, Harbour, Nicholas Ochoa and Crawford was eighth (48.48 seconds) and Daniel Everett was eighth in the discus (104-9).
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 440-5251 or email@example.com, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.