Photo by Gary Nieter, Times-Union

Senior Brant Norris of Tippecanoe Valley gives all-out effort during the shot put competition in a three-way Three Rivers Conference track and field meet with North Miami and Whitko Monday at Tippecanoe Valley.
Photo by Gary Nieter, Times-Union Senior Brant Norris of Tippecanoe Valley gives all-out effort during the shot put competition in a three-way Three Rivers Conference track and field meet with North Miami and Whitko Monday at Tippecanoe Valley.
AKRON – Tippecanoe Valley couldn’t have been happier to open its Three Rivers  Conference boys and girls track seasons, taking wins over visitors Whitko and North Miami Tuesday night.

The Valley boys had 83 points to Whitko’s 71 and North Miami’s three. The Viking girls edged Whitko 64-60 with North Miami finishing with 24 points.

Alek Mikel was a big winner for the Viking boys, winning the long jump, the 400 and as a part of the 4x100 relay. Rex Kirchenstein won the 200, finished third in a very close 100 and ran a leg on the 4x100 relay. Matthew House won the 1,600 run for the Vikings.





“I was really happy with it; it was great getting wins over TRC teams,” said Valley head coach Jenny Moriarty. “Alek Mikel really stepped up. I wish I could have him in six different events, because he does well at pole vault, too. I was really happy with his effort.

“Rex Kirchenstein did really well for a freshman, winning the 200 and we thought he won the 100, but that didn’t work out. We swept the long jump and I’m really happy we had some kids step up in the field events.

Sidney Wagner had a huge night for the Valley girls, winning the pole vault, long jump, and running a leg on both the 4x100 and 4x400 relays. Sarah Tucker won the 100, 200 and anchored the 4x100 relay team.

“I couldn’t ask for more from Sidney Wagner, with four first-place finishes. She got past the nerves she had on the pole vault and did a really great job, and won the long jump, too,” Moriarty said.

“And I’m happy with the senior leadership of Sarah Tucker, winning the 100 and 200. She did an outstanding job.”

For the Whitko ladies, Melania Fugate won the 100-meter hurdles, Jordan Courter the 400, Carissa Beck the shot put and the 4x800 relay team of Amanda Leppek, Lily Spurlin, May Norman and Courter crossed the finish line first.

Freshman Will Rickerd won the 800 for Whitko in 2:24, and Cameron Sapp won the discus with a throw of 141 feet. Senior Zach Gardner won the 110 hurdles for the Wildcats and classmate Isaiah Pierce took the 300 hurdles. Junior Ashton Schuh took the 100-meter dash.

“I’m really happy with a freshman (Rickerd) winning the 800, and we had a sophomore (Sapp) win the discus, so we were tickled about that,” said Whitko boys track coach Ron Cherry. “It was great to have two younger kids do well.”

Cherry said his team has some catching up to do when they see the Vikings again at the conference meet in Marion next month.”

“We hope to do a little better next time we see them; they’ve improved greatly as a team,” he said. “They’re much better than they’ve been in the past. We’ve got a lot to work on if we’re going to be able to improve and get to their level.”