BY DAN STICKRADT
ROCHESTER HILLS — Weather has been quite uncooperative for track and field athletes in the season’s first month.
Despite the sub-par temperatures, Rochester Adams’ girls track and field team is starting to heat up.
The Highlanders, fresh off a fourth-place finish at last year’s Division 1 state finals, emerged in mid-season form Wednesday, posting an 84-44 OAA Red Division victory over host Rochester.
The Adams boys also posted a 77-51 victory, as the Highlanders swept Rochester for the second straight season.
“We have a great collection of athletes. We just have to try to stay healthy,” said Adams coach Eric Lohr. “That’s our main focus. The weather has been bad, but it has for everybody. We just want to come out and compete and try to get ready (for the big meets). We have a lot of experience with a lot of expectations.”
The Adams girls won 13 of 16 events, led by Jessica Howell’s wins in the 100 (12.5), 200 (25.7) and long jump (17-8).
Jamie Morrissey won the 800 (2:25.9) and 1,600 (5:10.0) and Heather Johnson broke the tape in the 100 hurdles (16.6) and 300 hurdles (49.7) for the Highlanders. Katelyn Breck added a win in the high jump (5-2), Sophie Smith took the 400 (1:00.5) and Gabrielle Thivierge the 3,200 (11:07.9) for Adams (2-0, 2-0).
The Highlanders also won the 3,200 relay (10:03.9), 800 relay (1:52.8) and 1,600 relay (4:10.3).
Rochester (1-1, 1-1) won just three events but showed major improvement over recent weeks with several season-best efforts against one of the state’s top teams. Grace Mendoza won the shot put (31-7) and Dreanna Williams the discus (97-10), while the Falcons also won the 400 relay (52.6).
“We knew coming in that Adams was very good,” said Rochester girls coach Larry Adams. “Our goal was to come in and compete hard against good competition and we did that. It makes us better competing against a team like Adams. I was very happy with some of our girls, especially our girls throwers. They did a great job.”
Meanwhile, the Highlanders’ boys team looked sharp in some areas against Rochester, which is venturing through a major rebuilding season. The Highlanders won 11 of 16 events to pull away.
“Most of our top boys are back,” said Lohr. “Plus we have some nice young kids and some new kids that came out (from other sports). I am pleased with how they have come along.”
Stephen Biebelhausen won the 1,600 (4:40.8) and 3,200 (10:19.3) to become the Highlanders’ only competitor to win two open events. Jordan Shive, who missed last season with an injury, added a win in the 110 hurdles (15.5), Avery Taylor sprinted his way to a victory in the 100 meters (11.2) and Andrew Dunbar won the 300 hurdles (44.6).
The Highlanders picked up wins from Connor Stevens in the 800 (2:09.9), Jake Sietz in the high jump and Lance Dunbar in the shot put (42-8). Adams also won the 3,200 relay (9:00.6), 800 relay (1:33.8) and 1,600 relay (3:43.1).
For Rochester (0-2, 0-2), Justin Vandyke was a triple winner with victories in the long jump (19-4), 200 (23.6) and 400 (52.3). Manny Mendoza added a win in the discus (111-7) and the Falcons broke the tape in the 400 relay (47.2).
“We are just so young,” admitted Rochester boys coach Gary Cousino. “We have a lot of hard-working young kids, but this is about as young of a team we’ve had here in a long time. They come to practice every day and work hard. That’s all I can ask of him.”
ROCHESTER ADAMS 77, ROCHESTER 51
SHOT PUT: Lance Dunbar (RA) 42-8; DISCUS: Manny Mendoza (R) 111-7; HIGH JUMP: Jake Sietz (RA) 5-8; LONG JUMP: Justin VanDyke (R) 19-4; 3,200 RELAY: Adams, 9:00.3; 110 HURDLES: Jordan Shive (RA) 15.5; 100 METERS: Avery Taylor (RA) 11.2; 800 RELAY: Adams, 1:33.8; 1,600 METERS: Stephen Biebelhausen (RA) 4:40.8; 400 RELAY: Rochester, 47.2; 400 METERS: Justin VanDyke (R) 52.3; 300 HURDLES: Andrew Dunbar (RA) 44.6; 800 METERS: Conner Stevens (RA) 2:09.9; 200 METERS: Justin VanDyke (R) 23.6; 3,200 METERS: Stephen Biebelhausen (RA) 10:19.3; 1,600 RELAY: Adams, 3:43.1.
RECORDS: Adams 1-1, 1-1 OAA Red Division; Rochester 0-2, 0-2.
ROCHESTER ADAMS 84, ROCHESTER 44
SHOT PUT: Grace Mendoza (R) 31-7; DISCUS: Dreanna Williams (R) 97-10; HIGH JUMP: Katelyn Breck (RA) 5-2; LONG JUMP: Jessica Howell (RA) 17-8; 3,200 RELAY: Adams, 10:03.9; 110 HURDLES: Heather Johnson (RA) 16.6; 100 METERS: Jessica Howell (RA) 12.5; 800 RELAY: Adams, 1:52.8; 1,600 METERS: Jamie Morrissey (RA) 5:10.0; 400 RELAY: Rochester, 52.6; 400 METERS: Sophie Smith (RA) 1:00.5; 300 HURDLES: Heather Johnson (RA) 49.7; 800 METERS: Jamie Morrissey (RA) 2:25.9; 200 METERS: Jessica Howell (RA) 25.7; 3,200 METERS: Gabrielle Thivierge (RA) 11:07.9; 1,600 RELAY: Adams, 4:10.3.
RECORDS: Adams 2-0, 2-0 OAA Red Division; Rochester 1-1, 1-1.
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