Some teams may be ranked lower, but benefit from XC scoring. Pewamo-Westphalia is ranked lower than St. Louis, not by much, but should score better in many meets, especially those with larger fields. Their 6th and 7th girls (heck, even their 8th is likely better than all but Hart’s in D3) will contest with the 3rd runner of many teams. Bailey Droste, Julia Esch may not be All-State, but will be integral in a push for the 2nd spot at MIS. The same holds true for Ithaca in their clash with Stockbridge. Two top-15 teams battling for that last spot. Ithaca can likely put 6 runners before Stockbridge’s 4th. Of course, beginning in a few weeks, we will see if that’s true.
Ranked Teams: St. Louis (2), Pewamo-Westphalia (3), Ithaca (10), Stockbridge (13)
- Lani Bloom, Ithaca
- Rylee Tolson, Stockbridge
You can’t complain much about a freshman campaign that ends up in an All-State honor. Rylee had a few other great races as well, her 18:45 at regionals stands out the most. I believe she’ll give Bloom quite a race. 2:21/5:02/10:48 shows that she’s not just an XC girl.
- Libby Munderloh, St. Louis
Libby has the potential to be there as well. She boasts similar PRs to Rylee, a 18:42 at Bath. She showed the ability to match that performance often, most importantly an 8th place (19:16) performance at States. Tolson is ahead here because of her track prowess, although Libby did show hints at her speed, running 62.4/2:24.
- Mikenna Borie, St. Louis
ANOTHER girl with an outstanding freshman year. I don’t think I could do my own laundry as a freshman and these girls are out running their hearts out for 5ks. Like Munderloh, Mikenna showed her strength in a 19:53 at Bath. She topped out at 19:23 and also finished All-State.
- Caleigh Winters, Potterville
Caleigh’s 2018 season was by far the best of her career. Let’s put it this way: her freshman and sophomore year, she hadn’t finished in the top-15 in her region. Her junior year, she was 12th in the State. She broke 20:00 four times, the best of those being a 19:43 at Greater Lansing and a 19:55 at MIS.
- Cailey George, Pewamo-Westphalia
I hadn’t rated jamborees or many league competitions and I threw out anyone with one result from last year. Cailey isn’t listed in my ratings for XC, but I’d expect her to run this year. She was a 2:29/5:40 girl in track and has run mid-20’s her first two years in the sport. Her comeback gives the team some scary stability.
I love this absolute war for the third spot.
Also, P-W on top. Them and Shepherd. Every single year.
Ranked Teams: Pewamo-Westphalia (3), St. Louis (11), New Lothrop (18), Leslie (21), Potterville (24)
- Hayden Germain, Pewamo-Westphalia
Hayden had a real breakthrough at Bath this year, then continued from there. You know it’s gonna be a good season when you PR before you even begin to think about peaking. When late October finally rolled around, Hayden was there. 9th at Greater Lansing, 16:11 (3rd here), and then 7th at MIS. He made a quantum leap in the 800 this spring, running 1:58.5 when his previous best had been over 2:05.
- Ashton Walker, Pewamo-Westphalia
At his absolute best, Ashton is Pewamo’s fastest runner. He ran a lifetime PR at regionals last year, a 15:58. Unfortunately, the next week didn’t go as well, but he was still able to hang on for 14th place. On the track, he was right there with Hayden and even showed some mile chops, going 4:28. As is, they’re separated by less than a second in these here ratings.
- Zach Wright, Potterville
Potterville makes the leap from D4 to D3 and Zach will be leading that charge. A junior now, his first two years ended in All-State performances. I still have him projected to get there, but it’ll be a bit tougher road. There are some indicators he can hang with the P-W studs, a 16:34 at Carson City, 4:27 on the track.
- Micah Beauregard, Stockbridge
Micah has put in back to back solid years for Stockbridge. Each of the years, he’s been able to break 17 consistently in races. 2018 didn’t see him hit a PR, but he knocked out a second straight top-20 finish at MIS. He’s more of a mid-distance guy on the track, having gone under 2:00/4:25 in the last two springs. Hopefully those track times pay off on the XC course this fall.
- Dylan Marr, St. Louis
One thing I really liked about this region are the sheer number of non-seniors. All but one of the projected places between 11-20 are juniors or younger. Higher variability, more chances for breakout performances. Little Dylan ran 5:02/10:52 in track this spring. Last fall, he was 2nd at Scottie Classic, 5th at Greater Lansing, and 2nd at Carson City.