My original rankings at the beginning of summer included Brighton’s Jordyn Libler. She competed in a few races at the beginning of last year, and thus had an overall rating. But then no track results and no XC races after mid-September. My assumption would then be that she’s not running (but my hope, as always, is that she’s running happily and healthily). That said, Brighton is still a top-15 team without her, and should be the favorite over very good DeWitt and Pinckney squads. Howell surprisingly grabbed that final spot last year, and they’re in position to do the same, a pack-driven team. This is a very tough region for individuals, my guess is a girl will have to run under 19:45 to have a chance.
Ranked Teams: Brighton (7), DeWitt (16), Pinckney (19)
- Vivi Eddings, Pinckney
Vivi stepped up on the big stage to both PR and finish All-State last year. Her 18:32 was an 8 second personal best and is actually more impressive given the conditions.
- Anna Delgado, East Lansing
Cue up another, “how good is this freshman?” question. I tend to think Greater Lansing has a reputable course, that’s where Anna ran a 12:02. DeWitt as well, a 12:04. She ran similar times on the track, including a 5:36 mile. Many others in this field have faster track times, but training with high schoolers vs. middle schoolers often leads to lower times.
- Laura O’Brien, Ann Arbor Skyline
Laura was 6th here last year, running her personal best, a 19:05. She followed that up with a slightly better race, 19:13 at MIS. Expect to see her move up quite a bit this year, an 11:12 in track suggests she can break into the 18’s easily if she continues to put in work.
- Kaitlyn Hynes, DeWitt
Kaitlyn makes it here because of her improvement from her freshman to sophomore season. She had a solid freshman year, knocking on the 20:00 door, but never breaking it. She smashed through last year, running 18:54 on this very course in late September. She didn’t match that time, but ran a series of steady performances, culminating in a 24th place finish at MIS.
- Abbie Draheim, East Lansing
So many good candidates here, Draheim has so much potential though. She’s showed flashes, taking home the wins at Holly, 2017 regionals, running 18:27. Didn’t complete last season, but then showed us more in track, going 5:05 for the 1600m.
You’ll find a similar circumstance for individuals on the boys’ side. To even have a chance, one will need to be under 16:45, if not 16:30. Of course it doesn’t help that the boys from Dexter and Brighton will be occupying many of those spots. Brighton may have the higher overall rating, but Dexter has slightly better depth. Pinckney and Skyline will be another great battle, I personally hope both place 4 runners in the top 20. And poor Holt, they’d probably win Region 8.
Ranked Teams: Brighton (1), Dexter (3), Ann Arbor Skyline (11), Pinckney (13), Holt (20)
- Zachary Stewart, Brighton
- Jack Spamer, Brighton
- Alex Penski, Holt
- Adugna Moritz, Holt
- Nathan Larson, Dexter
- Owen Huard, Dexter
- Andrew Lane, East Lansing
We’ve seen some steady drops from Andrew the past few years. His best time came from the East Lansing Invite (I don’t believe I rated that one), a 15:47. He had another sub-16 performance at Bredeweg and a 4th place finish here. He dropped a decent amount of time in his 1600/3200’s as well, notably going from a 9:53 to 9:30.
- Gavin White, Pinckney
Relative to his other races, Gavin struggled a bit at MIS, but don’t let that diminish an otherwise remarkable sophomore campaign. A few results stand out, a 16:12 at Pete Moss, a 10th place finish at Coaching Legends, and a 16:16 at this regional (13th). He has very similar track times to Lane, having gone 4:27/9:30 this spring.
- Thomas Young, Ann Arbor Skyline
Young and Hobbs Kessler could easily be interchangeable, I have them rated only a second apart. Thomas’s 2017 had a quick end, having not run after September, he wasn’t able to show us much. 2018 was a different tale, he opened up with a 16:05 at Bath (more than a minute PR), then reliably ran near that time. the rest of the season. Like White, he had a strong regional race, finishing 10th.
- Andrew Etherington, Pinckney
Andrew came out late in his freshman year and even his sophomore year, waited until Coaching Legends to break 20:00. He finished his sophomore year on a high note and then had a solid track season, going 4:56. He must have really piled on the miles last summer, because he began the season with a 1:30 PR at Pete Moss, then continued that progression to a 16:30 to end the year, finishing 17th in this region.
- Seth Read, Dexter
After countless years of running track, Seth had some great breakthroughs in 2019. He went from 2:09 to 2:00 and 4:42 to 4:21. One can only imagine a similar drop would have occurred in the 3200m. It’s not as if Seth is a bad or even average XC runner, he had a few races in the high-16’s last year. He’s definitely good but looks to take it to another level. If he can break 16 like he’s capable of, Dexter has a real shot of winning it all.