These are some profiles of the top 30 returners on both the boys and girls sides. They are in no particular order, though when we get to the top 10, I’m sure it’ll be easy to discern who rates higher. Expect the girls 30-21 list later this afternoon.
Tyler Buchanan didn’t run quite as fast as his sophomore year, but had that same remarkable consistency. He capped off the season with another top 10 showing at the State meet. After a surprising 800 relay split in 2018, Linden’s coaches decided to work towards more 800/1600 specific training this spring. It worked with 7 and 12 second PRs, respectively.
Tyler Pritchett has shown some speedy track times, setting huge PRs in the 800-3200. He’s another guy who just wins races, only lost 4 times last year. Made a colossal leap in XC, setting a 70 second PR to win at his regional.
Corey Bowers leads a Cedar Springs team making the jump from Division 2 to Division 1. He had a great freshman year, breaking 16:30 and turned in an equally impressive sophomore campaign, with a few sub-16 performances, most impressively at their home invite. Although his 1600 and 3200 times stayed the same, he did drop 3+ seconds in the 800.
William Minnette is the guy who wasn’t on this list at the start of track. Set three PRs, 9:18 at the Golden Triangle being the most notable. It’s not that he had an average XC season, but a paradigm shift seems to have occurred.
Koby Fraaza had a superb September last year, marked by wins at Holly and Cougar Falcon. Faded as the year went on, culminating in a 65th place finish at State Finals. Gull Lake moves down to Division 2 this year, but even if they were Division 1, I think he finds his way close to All-State. 4:26/9:26 greatly outperformed XC times.
Justin Hill was an integral component of a Walled Lake Central squad that finished 2nd last year. They lose some of those contributors, though him and Reddy should be near the front of any race they’re in. Hill improved as the year went on, setting a PR at States. Although he didn’t qualify this spring, he set two PRs as well.
Adam Jesse “only” ran 7 seconds faster at MIS this year, but dropped 23 places. His 205 speed rating at Hess Hathaway is the most impressive, if regional assignments are the same, it should be a great battle with him and Baracco. Two PRs set in track, most notably the 3200, an 11 second drop.
Nik Pettinga has the highest returning speed ratings of any Division 3 runner. Save for a rustbuster at St. Joseph, he stayed within 5 points (15 seconds, adjusted) at races that I measured. After following in Gorgas’s footsteps, now his time to shine.
Shawn Little has been first in >50% of his races the last two years. It’s tougher to run fast there vs. chasing someone, but he still manages to do it. Appears to be more of an XC runner than a track speedster, but still managed to lower his PRs, most notably a 4:28 which netted 2nd in his region.
Ethan Senti’s 9:25 netted him 6th in the Division 2 3200. Much improvement too, dropping 15+ seconds in the 1600 and 3200. Has shown steady improvement in XC too, knocking nearly 50 seconds off his PR and moving up 119 places at last year’s State Finals. Zeeland West moves up to Division 1 but he should still be on the podium.