Bloomfield Hills and Clarkston move over from regions 8 and 9 to show up at the top here. The shuffling makes sense adding to this region, but I still don’t understand taking a top team out of region 8 when it’s probably the weakest region to begin with. Anyhow, Bloomfield Hills returns their entire squad from their 16th place finish last year. Clarkston is quite the opposite, losing four of their top seven, but still having enough depth as a program to reload on the fly. There are some other teams that are traditional powers (Lakeland, Milford) and others that are on the come up (Hartland). That battle for 3rd should be fun.
Ranked Teams: Bloomfield Hills (14), Clarkston (18)
- Maryam Sheena, Walled Lake Western
- Mia Patria, Clarkston
- Andrea Ruiz, Holly
- Chloe Wall, Waterford Kettering
When you think Waterford running, to me it’s always been Mott. I’m glad Kettering is stepping up this year. Chloe was above 20, even above 21 for much of last season. She dropped under 20 at her conference meet, then ran 19:48 this tough Hess Hathaway course. She continued on that trajectory in track, going 5:12/11:08.
- Mattie Drennan, Clarkston
For the past two years, Mattie has been a solid contributor on either JV or outside the top 5. Her breakout race came at the Algonac regional last year, an 18:45 to finish 7th. Clarkston will need her to stay near that level to continue with their recent success.
- Rylee Lukes, White Lake Lakeland
Rylee was able to finish 13th at regionals her first two years in high school, but last year was 18th. She really redeemed herself the next week in a PR performance of 19:04 at MIS. Her 47th place finish there was her best in her career. She also ran some of her best 800s this spring, with 3 sub-2:25 races.
- Skylar Grubb, Highland Milford
I’m a fan of Milford’s lack of racing on a training basis (maybe not a rating basis!). Other than her coaches and fellow athletes, it would’ve been tough to tell that Skyler had a major improvement in her. Beginning at River Rat Open, her last four races were sub-20. To put in perspective, her best time in 2017 was 21:46.
- Abbey Carvey, Farmington
I know Coach Auer likes his kids flying under the radar, but this is too obvious a selection. I considering manipulating the numbers to reflect Abbey’s improvement in track, but decided against it, keeping the same formula for everyone. She figured something out in the middle of XC and it resulted in a superb track season, 2:14/5:14. What that leads to in cross, I don’t know, but my personal opinion (and I never use personal opinion on these) is she’s top 6 here.
Poor Brother Rice. They’re in the hunt in region 8, where Bob Stark can work his regional magic. Unless he goes all Dumbledore on us, they’re probably too far back. Clarkston moves right down the street and should be the clear favorite, they lose fan favorite Shawn Slater and Sprague, but they have youngsters ready to step up. Highland-Milford and Hartland are two teams that are a bit more pack-based. Sure, Hartland has Hough, but they should have a fairly interchangeable 2-7. Milford unfortunately lost one of their top 7 to the mountain biking circuit, but they’re so loaded that they’re still a top-10 team according to these numbers.
Ranked Teams: Clarkston (2), Highland-Milford (10), Hartland (14)
- Brendan Favazza, Clarkston
- Peter Baracco, Farmington
- Riley Hough, Hartland
- Justin Hill, Walled Lake Central
- Hunter Fougner, Waterford Mott
I know Hunter wants another shot at the State Meet. His season was going very well up to that point, he had set a PR of 16:08 but arguably had better performances at Mott Fall Classic and Oakland County. That road to redemption began in track, where he was able to go 4:25/9:36.
- Akshay Reddy, Walled Lake Central
The Reddy family probably feels the same way about States. Akshay has improved his standing every year, from 160th to 98th to 40th. Walled Lake Central had the team accomplishment last year, now time to move into that All-State realm. Reddy has the track profile of someone capable of this, having gone 1:57.1 (although in my mind, he has the body of a miler).
- Nathan Sesti, Clarkston
Nathan is third on the list of those looking for a better State result. He had some eye-catching times, sub-16 three times, probably most impressively at Jackson. On the track, he’s established himself as more of a mid-distance kid, this spring he went 1:59/4:27.
- Ryan Kachnowski, Walled Lake Western
Ryan’s sophomore season was moving in a positive direction, a huge PR at Coaching Legends followed by a solid performance at Oakland County. But then his regional race went poorly, a disappointing 18:42. Redemption occurred last fall, his 16:49 on this tough track was good enough to hit an individual qualifier. Love this kid’s dedication, he made the trek over to Macomb County to camp with us this week.
- Andrew Sesti, Clarkston
Andrew is one of the Clarkston youth ready to step on the scene. He already did in track, where he placed 6th in the Oakland County 3200m with a 9:44. He quietly came on at the end of October, but nothing to that level.