Regional Previews

An Early Look: Region 21

allendale

GIRLS

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Calvin Christian’s girls have been regional champs for seven consecutive years, expect that to continue.  They have girls who will be at the front here, their whole varsity squad is solid, and I may even have them a bit underrated.  The region itself is fairly standard, you have three top-25 teams, but not much drama for that third spot.  Kent City loses Lauren Freeland, but returns the rest of their varsity runners from a team that finished 7th last year.  Black River brings some freshmen into the mix, which should vault them from the fifth place they finished last year.

Ranked Teams: Grandville Calvin Christian (3), Kent City (11), Holland Black River (23)

Highest Rated

  • Layla Martini, Kent City

Layla came onto the scene as a freshman, finishing 7th here and running a 19:33 at Portage.  She improved on that last year, dropping her PR down to 19:05, then finishing 3rd here, and 18th at MIS.  Also knocked out top-10 finishes at Bluejay, Portage, and Sparta.  On the track, she seemingly focused on the 1600/3200.  In that 3200, she was able to place 7th at State Finals.

  • Isabella Lindsay, North Muskegon

Spent some time in North Muskegon a few months ago, and what a gorgeous little place to run.  Isabella has definitely benefitted from this as she’s been a 3x All-State runner.  Her best finish came in 2017, where she placed 8th.  Her best time came last season, a 18:55 at Pete Moss.

  • Catherine Kortman, Grandville Calvin Christian

Catherine made some nice improvements toward the end of last year.  Starting with Shepherd’s Bluejay Invite, she dropped below 20:00 in six consecutive races, hitting her PR (19:24) in the process.  State Meet didn’t go so hot, but it appears she’s back on track this summer, hitting 19:02 in a road race last weekend.

Career achievement/improvement

  • Abby Ignasiak, Kent City

Table time!

Race Freshman time Junior time
Kent City Long Lake 26:25 21:47
Central Montcalm 25:06 21:18
Sparta 25:04 21:16
Portage 23:31 20:40
Regionals 23:20 19:30

17th place at States last year as well.  Go Abby.

Darkhorse

  • Kate Witvliet, Grandville Calvin Christian

A few coaches will send me messages, Grandville’s coach being one of them.  I love it when a coach is confident in their kid, that added confidence and positivity definitely increases one’s chance at success.  Kate is finally healthy after battling some injuries during XC.  She was able to run 5:33/11:56 this spring.  One of the reasons Calvin Christian may be underrated.

BOYS

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As on the girls’ side, the team race here doesn’t have much intrigue.  Calvin Christian should repeat as regional champs; Kent City will be able to rebuild while showing new blood the state meet experience.  Covenant Christian hasn’t qualified since 2015, with their numbers, they may have someone come out of nowhere.  Their athlete:enrollment ratio might be the highest of any D3 school.

Ranked Teams: Grandville Calvin Christian (10), Grand Rapids Covenant Christian (17)

Highest Rated

  • Luke Witvliet, Grandville Calvin Christian

If he weren’t the highest rated returner in this region, Luke would be a candidate for most improved.  He lowered his personal bests in track and XC.  18:38 to 17:00 in cross and then 11:18 to 10:04 on the track.

  • Adam Wolffis, Montague

Montague moves over from the Benzie region, Adam should acquit himself well over here.  He finished 12th there last year, running a personal best of 16:48.  Like Witvliet, he made some leaps on the track going from 11:02 to 10:17 and 5:21 to 4:54.

  • Zach Schwarz, Grand Rapids Covenant Christian

Zach’s regional race didn’t go so well last year, so I’m sure he’s chomping at the bit for another crack at it.  His season started to pickup mid-September, hitting the mid-17s on most of his races.  His best race came at Otsego Bulldog, a 17:07 effort.  If he runs at that level, he’ll definitely finish top-5 here.

Career achievement/improvement

  • Ethan Vink, Grand Rapids Covenant Christian

Table time!

Race Freshman Time Junior Time
Kent City Long Lake 23:50 17:53
Sparta 22:16 17:25
Allegan Tiger 20:52 18:32
Kent Ottawa 20:58 18:01

And he made it out as an individual last year.  Go Ethan.

Darkhorse

  • Emerald Lawrence, North Muskegon

Like a few others in this region, Emerald dropped some considerable time on the track.  11:08 to 10:19 in the 3200m.  Last year was his first season of cross, as a 10th grader he was able to qualify, placing 11th.

3 thoughts on “An Early Look: Region 21”

  1. FYI…Christina Fink with Black River is no longer with the program.

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