I’m skipping all around here, trying to roll through each division at an equal rate. Now that the computer situation is settled, expect these at least every weekday morning, undecided if I want to post on a weekend.
Blissfield is about one of the younger teams you’re going to find. Emily Bella, Katie Fischer, Angie Hoover, Sarah Brewer, and Haley Brusseau all head an outstanding freshman class. These girls won 5 of the 7 middle school meets that are listed.
Dundee will also benefit from some incoming freshman. Briget Waterstradt and Sydney Curtis both were able to break 14 during last school year. They probably have a good shot of putting 4 in the top 20, which is incredible because they may not even have a top 10 athlete. Harley Hughson is another girl that’s shown some improvement and hopefully will continue to do so, she ran 22:46 as a freshman and 21:43 as a sophomore. She’s run at MIS the past two years, that experience will likely be valuable.
Ann Arbor Greenhills vs. Clinton could be a case where you’re looking at the benefit of a good 6th runner. Clinton has some fast girls up front, Alissa King who was 3rd at 2018’s regionals and sub-13 in track, and the ever-improving Makayla Fletcher. Greenhills 5th-7th runners may be able to bust into Clinton’s top 5. A good candidate for that is Sonya Zacharek, who as a freshman was able to run 22:48.
Mary Bradshaw is the defending regional champ here. She was unfortunately on the wrong side of All-State last year, though she was able to lower her PR by 10 seconds. She’s coming off a track season where she was able to run 12:14, which is a good omen for improvement.
Lily Green had one of the biggest drops you’re gonna see in 2018. Ran 24:18 as a sophomore, 21:16 at regionals (a 1:13 PR at that) to finish 13th. In track, she dropped a 5:47 1600 which shows potential to continue to reduce time.
It’s a relatively tight battle for the top spots on the boys side.
Clinton has a great shot of putting 4 in the top 20, an added security blanket. They’re young, their top 7 fastest times last year were all underclassmen, 6 of those 7 in 10th grade or below. I have Gabe Nelson as their top guy. He was able to run 17:32 last year and then 10:38 in track. Matthew Urbanczyk could also be there, as he broke 5 in the 1600, which is much better than his 18:56 last fall.
Erie Mason loses a top runner in Carter Rose, but they’re bolstered by an incoming freshman in Jackson Ansel. Jackson was under 12:00 in XC/track, sub-19 at PROM. His brother, Jacob Ansel, was a young sensation last year, nearly breaking 17.
Ann Arbor Greenhills loses 4 of their top 7. For a D3 school, they have great numbers, at least 19 on the team in 2018. That’s more than some Division 1 schools, so credit to them for creating well-stocked culture. Nathan Koh spent much of his freshman year in the 21-23 minute range, finally broke 19 at the end of the year, and last fall was able to nearly break 18. He continued that in the spring, with a 5:05 in the 1600. It’s that kind of progress that keeps you relevant as a program.
Owen Schassberger’s track season will give Ida hope in cracking the top 3. Following a cross season where he didn’t break 18, he ended up running a 10+ second PR in the 800 and a 20+ second PR in the 1600. If Brock Booth replicates his regional performance from last year, that gives them even more hope.
Cole Cousino might be cut from the same line of Zach White and Colin Kane. He was on the cusp of breaking 18 as a freshman.