(This was the first google image result for Bear Lake. Doesn’t it appear idyllic?)
In the upper reaches of the Lower Peninsula’s Division 4 regionals, one is hard pressed to find schools that field cross country runners, let alone a full team. More power to those schools listed here, especially those in the top three. The girls’ side here is fairly straightforward, Leland and Frankfort are two ranked teams. Maple City-Glen Lake is just outside the top 25, but Leelanau has such a strong top 4, when you combine that with the lack of runners in the team race, their 5th doesn’t penalize them.
Ranked Teams: Frankfort, Leland
- Makenna Scott, Maple City Glen Lake
Makenna came onto the scene as a freshman and stole the show, winning regionals. The next week, she managed to go All-State. Continuing onto track, she showed some 1600m ability, running under 5:30 multiple times.
- Shelby Cade, Buckley
Two straight top-5 regional performances for this girl. She’s had a few sub-21 performances, probably the most impressive coming at Class D last year, where she finished 12th. She’s another one with some mid-distance strength, running 2:23/5:25 this year. That strength propelled her to 4th in the 800 and 5th in the 1600 at State Finals.
- Adrianna Malburg, Mason County Eastern
Adrianna is another girl that saved her best races for last. 8th at Class D, 2nd here, and then 26th at State. She could also qualify for that career achievement and improvement, gradual drops from slightly over 21 as a freshman to coming close to 20 last year.
- Janey Turner, Frankfort
Frankfort had made it in 2017, but Janey’s 10th place here last year was her first time qualifying as an individual. She really came on strong at the end of the year, which she has in her career, but with lower times this time around. Her 21:29 at regionals was a 0:25 improvement from last year.
- Karrigan LaCross, Maple City Glen Lake
Karrigan busted out some decent mid-distance times this spring, 2:40 and 6:03. Both of those were PRs by 7 and 14 seconds, respectively.
There are not any ranked boys’ teams in this region, but that doesn’t mean the team battle isn’t interesting. Maple City Glen Lake should get by on the strength of their top three. Between Bear Lake and Frankfort, it comes down to a few battles. In order for Frankfort to pull off the slight upset, William O’Dwyer will need to stay close to Sam Corey. Bear Lake also has some depth, and the ability to put their 6th runner in front of Frankfort’s 5th. In terms of overall ratings, Bear Lake is 1.3 points ahead, but Frankfort’s Quincy Thayer and Logan Foster really help to make this a duel.
Ranked Teams: None
- Shane Achterhof, Walkerville
Shane has had an outstanding two-year stretch. Back to back Class D champion, back to back regional champion, back to back top-10 at States. He also finished 4th in the 3200m this spring. Barring a catastrophe, he’ll repeat his winning performances here.
- Alex Sheehy, Walkerville
I’d love to see Alex’s work ethic and training logs. Though competing as an 11th grader, he’s already had three years of running for Walkerville. His first year, he ran 20:00+. Last year, multiple 17:00 performances. He capped off this dramatic improvement with a 29th place in Brooklyn.
- Caleb Henderson, Maple City Glen Lake
Caleb continues with the theme of saving his best for last. His 17:39 (10th place) was a PR, and only the third time he’s broken 18 in his career.
- Mason Staggs, Maple City Glen Lake
Mason makes it here because of his 9th to 10th grade drop. He ran 24:08 at the first NWC Jamboree in 2017, I’m sure it was a point of personal pride when he ran 18:28 there this year. He finished 5th at regionals in a personal best of 17:33. During track, he’s shown himself to be more of an 800 runner, where he’s gone 2:09.
- Nathan Wing, Mason County Eastern
Nathan didn’t have an XC race last year where he finished outside the top 5. He picked up wins at Ludington and Mason County’s Cardinal Classic. Carried that over to track, where he ran 5:11/11:14.