We’ve completed our first full week of the season. The week began with Abby VanderKooi’s incredible introduction to the scene and finished with a great battle between Ann Arbor Pioneer and Hart. Impressive times were dropped, including Sam Martens’ 15:34 and Adelyn Ackley’s 17:03. Next week, I’ll have my first rankings, but here’s some individual performances that stood out to me:
Lani Bloom, Ithaca (19:23 Birch Run Early Bird, 154.7 rating) – Lani had an impressive middle school career, running 5:33/11:24. For her first 5k, this is a great effort.
Maggie Zimmerman, Hartland (20:48 A2 End of Summer Classic, 115.8 rating) – Hartland has exceeded my expectations for both boys and girls. Zimmerman in particular has shown great improvement from last year. She didn’t run the same meets, but Hudson Mills and Huron Meadows are similar (Meadows a bit slower). Her performances thus far indicate close to a minute improvement.
Maryam Sheena, Walled Lake Western (19:36 South Lyon Inv., 144.3 rating) – Maryam completed her first full season last year, with much time dropped throughout the year. Although her 22:06 at the same meet last year probably didn’t indicate her true fitness, 150 seconds faster is remarkable.
Savannah Sipley, Davison (19:43 Mike Jackson Memorial, 130.5 rating) – Savannah PR’ed, won by 30 seconds, and bettered her time by nearly 2 minutes comparable to last year. Given the margin of victory, I’m guessing she can run faster. Look at her track times too, 2:19/5:30. With the strength gained from a successful cross season, there’s good reason to think she can flirt with 5:00.
Jaden Theis, Lansing Catholic (17:25 Michigan Catholic, 184.3 rating) – Even with Ackley and VanderKooi running faster times, I’m rating her performance faster. Michigan Catholic has typically run ~40 seconds slower than Benzie Central. It’s not as if Jaden’s race was a fluke. 2:22/5:00/10:25 in track show her range and she debuted with a 10:49 earlier in the week. Spartan and Portage will be fun. Hopefully Hart and Muskegon WMC are able to step up in division.
Brock Lynch, Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart (18:07 Early Season Warrior, 181.1 rating) – A few years down the line, we’ll likely be debating who’s better: Brock or Sharnas. Saugatuck vs. Sacred Heart. The Chippewa Hills course was a mudpit, especially those closer to the middle of the pack. That 18:07 debut likely means much faster times later.
Keegan O’Malley, McBain (16:36 Pete Moss, 187.1 rating) – Major improvement for this guy. 55 seconds faster than last year at the same course and a 22 second PR. Keegan is very important as a lead runner if McBain wants to do anything in Division 3.
Brenden Knuth, Dryden (17:34 Birch Run Early Bird, 191.5 rating) – Last year, I had Brenden at approximately a 166 rating for the entire season. Quite a jump into your senior year!
Robert Burke, Ann Arbor Huron (17:13 A2 End of Summer Classic, 187.2 rating) – I anticipated Burke being a solid 5th runner for Huron, but this race may indicate he’s ready to join their formidable pack. If he continues with similar efforts, they’re a surefire top 15 Division 1 team.
Cooper Lenzi, Clio (17:58 Birch Run Early Bird, 183.4 rating) – Cooper had a tough finish to 2017’s season and this isn’t a huge improvement from last year’s time. It is a sub-18 effort on a tough course and combined with his track season (4:41/10:21), I think he can go sub-17 by the end of the year.
Those are just 10 people who stood out. Tomorrow, I’ll have the Google Sheet of all the meets and ratings from last week. Next week, and every two weeks after that, I’ll put out team and individual ratings.