The first weekend of the season has come and gone. Meets and times really start ramping up this upcoming week, but that doesn’t mean I’ve neglected pumping out some ratings. There were some surprises, a few great performances by incoming freshmen, but also some potential all-state returners not even running this season.
Too early to tell, but the ratings were a bit lower than I expected. I believe some teams sat out their top runners or given that we’re still in the middle of August, those runners were on vacation. Rain fell throughout the day on Friday, to my judgment, that didn’t feel like much of a factor. The ratings as of this point in this young season are fun to do, but because they’re weighted, won’t mean much come late October.
A little reminder on the numbers. To make a long story short, courses are rated on their comparison to MIS. I’ve compared who has run that course/meet and has run at MIS the same year, found the time differential using the graphing method (find the link to TullyRunners on the homepage), and then applied it to meets/courses throughout the year. I think there are some shortcomings in terms of sample size that I’ll address in the off-season, but for now this is what we’re rolling with.
Every three seconds is equivalent to one point. The rating gives an idea (and later in the year, hopefully an extremely firm idea) of what a runner will run at MIS. This shouldn’t be taken as gospel but more of a guide. Certain runners improve throughout the year, teams train through meets, and who knows with the weather in this unpredictable state.
I hope to do these weekly reviews to show improvements, introduce athletes I’ve ignored or just plain overlooked, and talk about teams that are surprising. Later on, I’ll attempt to prognosticate who comes out of regions, then how teams will place at state. If you’re not comfortable with being mentioned (or your child being mentioned), please let me know. I’m going to keep this positive, but once again, please inform me if it appears negative. That’s not my intention. Neither is my intention to snub someone, as these mentions are subjective and not reserved for only the best runners/teams. So here we go!
Jozef Meyers (Kalamazoo Loy Norrix) – Last season, I had Jozef rated as a 189.5 with his best race coming at the Portage region, a 198.1. Overall winner at the Portage Early Bird and highest rating for the weekend at 204.0.
Zach Morse (Addison) – I didn’t even have to look up Zach’s school because he’s been a mainstay in the Lenawee County scene. Consistent, steady improvement throughout the years, but this could be the breakthrough. Winner of the County Preview, a title that has eluded him the past 3 seasons and a 24 second improvement from last year.
Zach Duval (Goodrich) – Zach PR’ed in his opening race, which is pretty tough to do when you’ve already gone under 18. This was probably in the works after a successful track season (2:09, 4:49), but still good to see.
Stephen Henry (Haslett) – Stephen’s performance is a major reason that Haslett was the best team at Under the Lights. Another PR in an opening meet, and he improved on his rating from last year. 184.6 this weekend compared to 2017 where his overall rating was a 165.7.
Darren Bila (Freeland) – Darren had a great regional race last year, where he PR’ed by 30 seconds, but narrowly missed his individual qualifier. He had a 37 second improvement from last year’s Hemlock Classic and still, a 4 point rating improvement from that regional race. I had Darren rated at a 167 last year and he runs 180.6 to open up.
Emily Rennich (Ann Arbor Pioneer) – 22:01, 21:04, 21:40. Those were Emily’s last 3 Fall Previews. 20:13 to open up. So at least a 50 second improvement from her best opener and 87 seconds better than last year. I had her as a 104.7 last year and Friday, she runs a 129.5. Pioneer just reloads, even from those in their system.
Anna Vogel (Ann Arbor Pioneer) – And sometimes, they just improve when they’re already great. 133.4 last year to a 147.8. Another improvement from 2017’s Preview, this time by 70 seconds.
Katie Selenko (Tecumseh) – Like Zach Morse, another case of finally winning the Lenawee County Preview. Kate improved her time from last year, not as much as the Pioneer girls, but she was not really challenged out there. Still, a 19 point jump in her overall rating from last season.
Jami Reed (Forest Hills Eastern) – Jami had an excellent track season and just continued her string of quality racing. Running 40 seconds faster than last year at the same course and a 10 point improvement from last season.
Audrey Steiert (Linden) – I tweeted about Audrey’s performance but I think it deserves another mention. Her 19:21 is her best time since her freshman year and it comes on a course that normally is on the slower side. 82 second improvement from last year at the same meet. Well done.
Some other runners that impressed were: Riley Hough, Nathan Lott, Caleb Gaffner, Graham Kort, Drew Kohlmann, Madelyn Frens, Ainsley Workman, Clara Krupp, Mirranda Libbey, and Katie Frauenheim.
Ann Arbor Pioneer just reloads. Despite losing Zofia Dudek (can anyone confirm this?), they reload with 3 impressive freshman performances along with Vogel and Rennich’s improvement. On both sides, Freeland surprised. Credit to everyone on their team, notably O’Deay, Hansen, and Harvey for the girls and Bila, Whyte, and East for the boys. Haslett’s pack will serve them well in bigger meets and they have potential coming from Espen Lehnst.
Other notable teams include Richland Gull Lake, Almont, and Hudson for the girls and Goodrich, Lowell, and New Lothrop for the boys.
Check out the Google Doc below for ratings from some of the meets over the weekend!