(Disregard the BlueJay Invite thing, this is just a cool pic)
Region 30 is stacked in both races. But you’re not gonna get more competitive than the top 2 teams in a Division duking it out in a regional. Beal City benefits from a huge youthful infusion. Sacred Heart is the old guard, hoping to hold onto a regional title that’s been theirs for a while. I’ve said this before, it’s hard to project how freshmen adjust. They’re highly variant and I’ve tried to keep expectations conservative. In the winter, I believe I’ll rate the larger middle school meets (but not post results, just too young of an age to have it publicized) in order to get a better projection. Long story short, Beal City might be very good. I’m sure we’ll know by the beginning of October.
Ranked Teams: Beal City (1), Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart (2), Carson City-Crystal (14)
- Kaylee Locke and Tailor Onstott, Beal City
What was in the water in Beal City around 2004/2005? Kaylee and Tailor seemingly ran with each other, cruising at the front of many races. Who is truly better, I’m sure we’ll find out in a few weeks. We do know that they’re capable of running a quality 5k, evidenced by their 19:20s run at Shepherd’s PROM.
- Desiree McConnell, Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart
Is this the last of the McConnells? What a family. Desiree had her best finish at MIS last year, 6th place (but had been All-State the previous two years). She’s been top-10 at this region in all three years too.
- Allyson Stevens, Carson City-Crystal
Allyson has been a model of consistency for Carson City. In the last three years at regionals, she’s finished 12th, 12th, and 11th. You don’t see many blowup races either, which is an underrated luxury.
- Rachal Weber, Beal City
Hard to call last year’s 5th place regional finish (and 17th at States) a darkhorse, but let’s not forget Rachal in the midst of those freshmen. I’m not sure what happened early, but a switch seemingly turned on at Shepherd’s John Bruder Classic, from then on, she ran 10 straight races with a top-10 finish. Her most impressive mark from track was probably her 5:39, but she showed strength in the 800 and 3200 as well.
Thank the heavens that Breckenridge was moved out to the Thumb or this might eclipse Region 34’s girls’ race. Two intriguing battles here, both for the title and for that third spot. Carson City had about as good of a track season from their distance kids, so much that I believe they have an outside chance of challenging Breckenridge and East Jordan. Sacred Heart has a great top three, if they can find two others to step up, they’ll be there as well. Both Beal City and Montabella can place 4 in the top-20. If that doesn’t happen, Montabella has a slight edge on the strength of their 3rd-5th runners.
Ranked Teams: Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart (3), Carson City-Crystal (4), Beal City (11), Montabella (12)
- Coleman Clark, Carson City-Crystal
Coleman is your defending regional champ, winning in 16:28. His main competition would have been Mason Sumner. They’ll have plenty of battles, including one a week later. Coleman didn’t finish outside of the top 7 in any race last year. His best races came at Greater Lansing (16:27, 7th) and States (16:22, 5th). On the track, he was state champion in the 3200 and had multiple sub-9:50 results.
- Reginald Richmond, White Cloud
The team battle isn’t the only strength in this region. Reginald finished 10th in the D4 State Finals last November and he’s likely an underdog in his region. He dropped time late, mainly running in the 17’s throughout September and early October, ending up with two 16:4x times at regionals and States.
- Brock Lynch, Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart
Brock had a similar season to Reginald, but Reginald was a little faster at his peak. Still, Brock was 5th here and 20th at States. Numerous other accomplishments abound, including 7th at Class D and 11th at Portage. I haven’t mentioned that he’s now only a sophomore.
- Jared Moore, Vestaburg
As a freshman, Jared waited until his very last race to break 20:00. As a sophomore, that milestone happened in only his second race. He had a few performances in the 18’s, most notably at Carson City and at this region, where he was able to go 18:19. More than a 1:30 improvement in a year.
- Matthew Novak, Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart
Like Lynch, Matthew was able to break 17 late into the season, first dropping under that mark at Class D, then running his personal best, a 16:56 here at regionals. His State meet didn’t go as well, but his track season did. Matt’s 9:59 was a solid 47 second improvement from last year, and may be enough to vault him into 2nd here.