Regional Previews

An Early Look: Region 26

algonac track

Do any other regionals finish on tracks?  Or XC courses in general?  I know Mt. SAC used to for FootLocker West, but that’s it.

Experimenting with a new format for this preview.





  • Rank: #14

Team had quite a bit of accomplishments last year.  MMAC League Champ, 2nd at Shiawassee County, Regional Champ, and 13th at State.  They return EVERYONE, but look for some freshman to make contributions.

  • Highest Rated: Olivia Krejci

Senior was able to break 20 for the first time last year.  She was 2nd in the region.  Major improvements in track, running 5:47/12:02

  • Career achievement/improvement: Hunter Luke

Senior’s best times each year have all been in the 19’s.  Top 6 at Regionals all three years, All-State as a freshman and sophomore.

  • Darkhorse: Allissa Ash

Another senior (quite a triumvirate here), that was able to attain some huge drops in track.  2:56 to 2:32, 5:59 to 5:27, 13:13 to 12:24.

University Liggett

  • Rank: N/R

It seems like it’s been many years since Liggett has failed to qualify a team for States.  They’re in D4, they’re at Willow, they’re all over, but they keep making it.  It’s another team that returns everything and has some seniors ready to finish their career on a positive note.

  • Highest Rated: Maggie Dunn

Last year was her first year at Liggett and running XC for that matter.  Soccer player, is an exceptionally tough and savvy racer.  7th here last year.

  • Career achievement/improvement: Margaret Hartigan

Another one that looks to make it 4 straight years of running at MIS.

  • Darkhorse: Gracie Govier-Laparl

In her first race ever last year, she ran over 30:00.  In her second to last race, at a tough regional course, she ran 22:12.  This year, the starting point will definitely be much lower.

Madison Heights Bishop Foley

  • Rank: N/R

Another young team, these girls return 6 of their top 7.  If they do qualify, it’ll be a huge bump from last year.  The thing that helps them here is depth.  My records have them with at least 7 runners, while other girls teams in this region struggle to field a full squad.

  • Highest Rated: Kathryn Podolan

As a freshman, was able to break 21.  Was able to finish top 10 at Regionals and break the top 100 at States.

  • Career achievement/improvement: Rachel Belf

Third year in the program for this girl.  Didn’t run as fast in 2018 as she did in 2017, but track times indicate that on the right course, she could return to that form.

  • Darkhorse: Elizabeth Powers

Senior has dropped almost a minute or more every year, looks to do the same this year.  I have her projected 12th, which would be a vast improvement over her past two regionals.

Other Runners to Watch

  • Courtney Carlson, Memphis

Can only assume she’s in some way related to Tyler Carlson.  As a middle schooler, she was in the 14’s in XC.  Going with genetics here.

  • Lilly Rodriguez, Capac

Senior had her best showing in the 1600 this spring.  5:46 improves on a lifetime best of 5:58. I’m not sure if 2018’s cross season went the way she wanted, but she has something she can build upon.

  • Avery McNally, Academy of the Sacred Heart

Sacred Heart moves up from D4 to D3 this year.  Avery was 4th in Region 36 the past two years, can she maintain that place against a stronger field?




Madison Heights Bishop Foley

  • Rank: 22

Last year, finished 3rd in D3D4 CHSL, 2nd at Regionals, and 27th at States.  Return their top 13(!) runners, with some potential in those freshmen.

  • Highest Rated: Jack Decker

Double pneumonia (infected in both lungs?) sunk his regional performance last year, he was a 17-min. guy beforehand.  Recovered by track to run a PR in the 1600m, 4:39.

  • Career Achievement/Improvement: Jacob Rusch

Has run at 3 straight State Finals.  Has broken 18 the past two years after running 19:37 as a freshman.  Will likely be 2/3 with Mitch Mandziuk.

  • Darkhorse: Jay Maynard

Ran 20:51 as a freshman last fall, nothing special, but turned in a track season that was much more spectacular.  5:19/11:14, the 3200m is a little better rated, so maybe he’s more of a distance type?  A track time like that can easily lead to a top-10 finish here.


  • Rank: N/R

Narrowly missed out on a spot in the State Finals last year, finishing 4th here.  Return 5 of their top 7 and add a good freshman to the mix.

  • Highest Rated: Tyler Carlson

Was the regional champ last year as a sophomore, 16th in Macomb County, 1st in his league, and 40th at State Finals.  Set PRs in both the 1600 and 3200 in track.

  • Career Achievement/Improvement: Jake Thomas

Spent much of 2017 in the 21’s, dropped that down to the 18’s and a 10th place finish here.

  • Darkhorse: Camden Khon

He’s an incoming freshman.  As a middle schooler, he was able to break 12 in XC and then do the same, multiple times, in track.


  • Rank: N/R
  • Highest Rated: Hank Barker

Finished 9th here and 7th in the Greater Thumb Conference.  Consistently in the 18’s last year, should be in that same range this year.  Track season was a success, first time ever qualifying for states in the 110h/PV.

  • Career achievement/improvement: Logan Swantek

Individual qualifier the last two years, finishing 12th here last year.

  • Darkhorse: Ben Rodriguez

His 11:09 at Regionals was a 17 second PR and a 47 second drop from last year.  If that form continues, he’ll definitely be in the 18’s.

Other Runners to Watch

  • Hubert Ash, Byron

Made some big jumps during track, 5:56 to 5:11, 12:35 to 11:01

  • Elisha Huggins, Byron

Another case of odd event combos, 800/1600/Long Jump.  First year with distance results in track, 800m ability seems present, 2:03.

  • Ashton Pongratz, University Liggett

Great sophomore year but stagnated a little as a junior.  From what I hear, he’s been more focused this summer and should be able to replicate or improve upon that sophomore form.



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