For whichever reason, Harbor Springs was omitted from the preseason top 25. But don’t worry, they’re here! They’d be ranked 8th, so if you’re below them, move yourself down a spot.
Harbor Springs will give Traverse City St. Francis a fair race, but the first four St. Francis girls will likely lock it up. Libby Gorman is the returning champion here, she followed that up with a 16th place finish at States. Track season was a success as well, PRs in both long distance events, with a narrow miss at the podium for the 1600m. A breakthrough candidate could be Megan Arntz. She mainly concentrated on the 400/800. She threw down a 2:46 relay split, nothing spectacular, but solid enough that makes you think she could improve from last year.
Harbor Springs gets by on their depth. They have 6 individuals that could qualify on their own. Maye Burns could be the frontrunner they need. She finished 4th here last year (adding Chmielewski to the mix moves everyone down), then busted out a 11:42 in track. If she moves up a few spots into TCSF’s top two, that makes things more interesting. Ella Deegan had some serious breakthroughs in track. She knocked off more than a minute from her 3200 to 13:01, but a more impressive time in my mind is her 5:39 1600.
Charlevoix, Roscommon, and Kingsley are all top 25 teams (19th, 13th, 17th respectively). Charlevoix is the favorite here because of the strength of their 3rd and 4th girls, Annie Bergmann and Megan Scholten. We’re going to give Scholten a lifetime achievement award. Three appearances at MIS in three years of XC. Bergmann gets an award for most improved, knocking 2:00 off her previous best from 2017.
Two girls that could give Roscommon and Kingsley some hope for a minor upset are Josie Fairbanks and Morisa Schleich. Fairbanks ran in the mid-13’s consistently during her middle school season. Schleich set two huge PRs in 6:08 and 12:53. Both times are indicative of a girl capable of finishing top 15 in this race.
The top 20 is so dominated by these 5 teams, but you’ll see one Boyne City jersey in the mix. Avery Stadt has been top 10 here her whole career. She also finished 30th in the state as a sophomore. She’s coming off a track season that saw her place 4th in the 800, her highest finish yet.
Once again, the boys’ side contains much less drama, at least in the team race.
Charlevoix is another team that excels via its pack. Their top 5 should all be within 20-30 seconds each race. They have potential, 3 of their top 5, last fall was their first season of high school XC. They also have kids who have improved, Blaise Snabes has dropped 30+ seconds each year and Evan Beane improved from 18:12 to 17:30 last year.
Traverse City St. Francis is another top 10 team up here. They’re led by Thomas Richards, who had a sensational freshman year, finishing 4th in the region and 10th at Northern Michigan. Darkhorse candidate for stepping up is Jacob Heeringa, who dropped a 5:00 1600 (and a few other 5:0x to prove no fluke). He ran 18:57 last year, expect him to drop a minute at least if (and always a big if) he puts the summer training in.
Harbor Springs unfortunately loses Jeremy Kloss and his valuable contributions to the program, but it seems they won’t take too much of a hit. Austin Smar finished second here last year, 13th at Northern Michigan, and broke 17 for the first time. They are a favorite for the 3rd spot because, a familiar tale, of their 5th/6th runners. Luke Shehigan is the one to watch, he’s a sophomore who spent considerable time in the 18’s and managed to run 11:00 in track.
It’s extremely tight at the top, so a chart is necessary. It can go so many ways, so here’s a listing of times and common races between these guys.
|Name||Thomas Richards||Austin Smar||Xander Civinskas||Tyler Guggemos||Blaise Snabes||Ben Lentz||Tyler Mcclure|