Another regional that finishes on a track!
- Rank: 9
Continuing with the theme of teams not graduating much, they lose one senior from their top 10. Defending OK Blue champs, but finished 5th in a tough region last year.
- Highest Rated: Julia Bajt
Senior has been a constant figure in the top 15 here. Her best finish was 2nd in 2017. I have her heading a mean 4 girl pack that’s not separated by much. She was able to set a major 800 PR in track.
- Career achievement/improvement: Anna Fedewa
Another senior, another girl that’s dropped time every year in the program. She’s started each season as an improvement from the start of the previous season and ended each season with a PR at one point. Like Bajt, she also set some serious PRs in track, including a 5:31 1600m.
- Darkhorse: Maggie Cooper
What the heck did Spring Lake change up this track season? 5:52 to 5:22 in the 1600m. Indicates potential for a big drop in XC, maybe in the 18’s.
- Rank: 14
Like Spring Lake, on the losing end of a super strong region. Even more heartbreaking, they lost on the 6th runner. This year, hopefully able to extend the season another week.
- Highest Rated: Sophia DiPiazza
Sophia was 2nd here last year in PR time of 18:29. Also had some impressive top 10 finishes, namely at Allendale Falcon, Portage, and States. She’s rated as the top returner in the region.
- Career achievement/improvement: Kori Baumann
Kori has been a state qualifier her three years in Allendale’s system. She had her best finish at MIS last year, coming in at 29th. Also the reigning OK Blue champion.
- Darkhorse: Riley Delore
As a freshman, was able to go sub-20 twice. Ran 5:53 in track, about on par with what she ran early in XC.
Grand Rapids Christian
- Rank: 10
Team was able to finish 2nd at Regionals and 5th in the State last year. Good follow on the Instagram too, love the creative ways they promote their summer practices.
- Highest Rated: Madelyn Frens
Reigning regional champ. 10:39 in track indicates that sub-18 is within reach.
- Career achievement/improvement: Matea Diekema
Was able to create a nice little comeback story. Sophomore year was cut short in September, junior year was able to knock down her PR from her freshman year. She was able to complete the season and run at States, her first appearance there.
- Darkhorse: Olivia Waalkes
Olivia ran track for the first time in HS. I think those of us around the sport are aware of how beneficial year-round, consistent training can be. Both her 5:47 and 12:14 indicate she’s capable of a little improvement.
Others to Watch
- Sophie Trudgeon, Grand Rapids Catholic Central
Sophie leads a GRCC trio that could all qualify for States. As a team, they have a chance if they can develop a 4th/5th girl, because the front-runners are definitely there. Sophie qualified last year as well.
- Maggie Duba, Grand Rapids West Catholic
Maggie showed some ability as a miler in track. Low 5:30’s multiple times, can that carry over to XC?
- Chloe Lhamon, Grand Rapids Kenowa Hills
Not to be confused with Chloe Lohman, also in this race. Has to be some relation, that is just too coincidental. Chloe had some performances in the 20’s last year, another girl whose track times make you believe there’s more to come. 5:43 this spring, ran twice to finish the season. Hopefully she carries that momentum into summer training.
Grand Rapids Christian
- Rank: 7
The Eagles return 6 of their top 7 from last year. Christian Voetberg will be missed, but I expect them to improve. The team was 10th at States and 3rd in this region. Other accomplishments include a 6th place finish at Portage and 1st place at Otsego Bulldog.
- Highest Rated: Jack Luymes
Jack has been up in front the past two years after a significant improvement from his freshman year. Finished 13th here and at Otsego Bulldog, where he set his PR of 16:32. Set some PRs in track, most notably his 800m, a 4 second drop from his sophomore year.
- Career achievement/improvement: Ethan Wilstermann
Tough to decide between Ethan and Graham Kort, both of which have gradually dropped time throughout their career. Ethan was the top performer at last year’s State Finals, finishing 66th. It appears he’s battled through some stunted seasons his first two years, good to see he finished strong last year.
- Darkhorse: Jack Peterson
Jack improved from a 18:55 as a freshman to 17:30 as a sophomore, winning the Otsego Bulldog JV race. He had some subpar races after, but finished with a strong regional performance. In track, he was able to go 4:44, dropping 18 seconds from his previous 1600m PR.
- Rank: 12
Allendale was able to only send one boy to MIS last year. They’ll benefit from East Grand Rapids moving out, but also growing a year older.
- Highest Rated: Hayden Rhodea
Hayden is coming off a track season where he was able to run 9:32, narrowly missing a spot on the podium at States. This was really a revelation compared to cross, he’s always been good, but not at this level. Still, he was 6th here last year.
- Career achievement/improvement: Nathan Terbeek
Nathan was able to make some solid drops last year. Some of his better ones came late, a PR at Allendale Falcon, and then almost a minute reduction at Regionals, which netted him a 43rd place.
- Darkhorse: Dakota Riemersma
Dakota had some impressive 32’s in track, producing multiple sub 10:35’s. He’s had some 17 min. performances in the past, but I’m betting they’re more consistent and more often this season.
- Rank: N/R
Spring Lake is extremely young, many sophomores lining their top 7. The Hylen brothers are a big loss, but as stated before, a slightly weaker regional should help in their quest back to MIS.
- Highest Rated: Callen Carrier
Callen’s a junior who’s showed some potential in his first two years. Always a good sign when a freshman can break 18, he was able to do that. Last year, he had multiple sub-17 performances, including a 21st place finish here at Regionals. In track this spring, his 10:14 shows continued progression.
- Career achievement/improvement: Adam Macleod
Adam could very well be Spring Lake’s 7th runner this year. As a freshman, he broke 20 a few times and started 2018 off on the same note. By late September, he really began to roll, running 19:27 at Cougar Falcon, then improving all the way to 18:45.
- Darkhorse: Ian Hill
Ian probably is more of a known quantity, but the darkhorse question is: how good can he be? He was able to run 4:40 in early May, but only ran one 1600m after that. He may give Callen Carrier a pretty good run for first man on this team.
Others to Watch
- Jon Wildey, Fruitport
Jon really came on strong at the end of last year. He set a PR at the OK Black Conference Meet, then went on to finish 11th here and 67th at MIS.
- Caleb Gaffner, Hudsonville Unity Christian
Last season was his first season of XC. He was able to go 16:19 at Otsego Bulldog, 9th here at Regionals, then 64th at States. He’s run track for a few years, his prowess seems to be in the 1600m, where he’s gone 4:35 and 4:32 the past two years.