AKRON – Rochester and Tippecanoe Valley brought out the best in each other Tuesday night in the swim duals at Valley. The Zebras won both sides of the Three Rivers Conference dual, but Viking coach Tom Alexander had plenty of takeaways as the postseason rapidly approaches.
ROCHESTER GIRLS 105, TIPPECANOE VALLEY 69
The TRC Championships are just a couple weeks away, and both teams were trying to get themselves figured out ahead of the showcase. Valley, working through some injuries and a limited selection of swimmers, still posted four wins against a potent Lady Zebras lineup.
Olivia Livengood, who was moved out of the butterfly event because of a shoulder injury, still gave Valley a pair of wins. Livengood claimed the 200 free at 2:17.36, then came back and won the 100 free at 1:01.36, both without an immediate chaser. Shayleigh Honeycutt added a win in the individual medley, posting a 2:38.56 and Elaina Dishon went unopposed in diving, scoring 170.70 points.
Leading Rochester was Makenna Beall, taking both the butterfly at 1:07.53 and the breaststroke at 1:18.56. Beall also helped the Lady Zebras to a medley relay win at 2:16.23 and 200 free relay at 1:57.58. Also posting wins for Rochester were Evie Goldman in the 50 (29.53), Mallory Hiatt in the 500 (6:14.57) and Maegan McGlothin in the backstroke (1:18.77), and the 400 free relay (4:22.86).
“Our girls are really coming along,” said Alexander. “With just one senior this year (Livengood), we have a lot of newer faces, but a lot of kids with raw talent, and some of them don’t even know it’s there yet. They just need to step up and show they want it. Our girls have a lot of young kids coming up from club next year and behind them. I think we are putting things together.”
ROCHESTER BOYS 97, TIPPECANOE VALLEY 75
Valley threw its eight swimmers at Rochester and wasn’t far off from catching its rivals.
Despite some hilarious issues in his counting of laps in the 500 freestyle, Karl Parker had an otherwise nice meet for the Vikings. Parker clocked a 2:15.32 in the IM and came back from the diving break to post a 1:02.49 to win the fly. Mason Stephen also pulled a double, taking the breaststroke at 1:07.71 and inching closer to Chase Brower’s school record in the 50 free with a 22.92, Brower holding the mark at 21.77 set in 2018.
Stephen and Parker teamed with Brandon Hoffman and Andrew Burke to win both the medley relay (1:51.37) and the 200 free relay (1:39.98).
Rochester had Dylan Steininger take the distance frees, the 200 (2:11.96) and the 500 (6:06.96), Reece Renie win the 100 free (52.67), Mason Beall pull away from Hoffman in the backstroke (1:01.63) and Kadin Kelly lead the divers with his 170.00 series. Rochester also won the 400 free relay at 3:58.90.
“Our kids always gear up for Rochester, them being our big rival and all,” Alexander said. “I think the kids really like the competition and like to get after it. We saw some really good times, and we’re seeing a lot of improvement. Mason’s 50 free was a personal best. We feel like Mason has a good shot at the conference and the sectional in the 50, seeing who has graduated out of that event.
“There’s some work to be done, certainly. We lost an event or two because of turns tonight, some times were slower because of them. Brandon lost that backstroke because of his turns. It wasn’t the swim that beat Brandon, it was the turn, and Mason (Beall) took advantage of that.”
Valley swims again Saturday as part of the Oak Hill Invitational.