Girls: 14 sec.
Boys: 14 sec.
I felt that given the day and conditions, these were a bit higher. As the season played out, that seemed to be the case. Romeo didn’t perform as highly as the numbers projected, which is odd given their success and ability to peak. Metro Beach has commonly been about 10-15 seconds faster than this at the beginning of October. In coming years, I’ll likely use the reference runner method more often, which will hopefully attain a bit higher accuracy.
Girls Top 10: 9 of 10
Boys Top 10: 9 of 10
Girls Medal Stand: 18 of 21
Boys Medal Stand: 19 of 21
For a few years now, Romeo has been the class of Macomb County. They have a great setup over there, country roads, a strong feeder program, and steady leadership at the top. Projections had them winning the meet, but they scored much lower than anticipated. Maddie Malczewski’s return played a major role in lowering that score. Her track season had been her best (2:16, 10:56) yet, but she suffered an early summer stress fracture. High school injuries aren’t worth derailing a running career, and it appears sitting her out until October was the right call. She ended the season returning to the medal stand at MIS.
Ella Fulmer was a huge reason in Utica’s rise. Her September results bring about an issue with projections. Her 28:12 at Old Skool was a large factor in her 54th place projection. These sort of results, are they part of a larger pattern or just an anomaly? Given Ella’s career, we know it’s more of the latter. Anyhow, at this point in the season, her 20:46 was a 45 second season record. She ended up nabbing the last spot at a competitive Goodells Regional, matching her PR (19:50) in the process.
Look at that, Romeo again. One of the great advantages of having depth is the added security in case of subpar, or even average races. That added security can be a solid performance or even an outstanding one. Jack Wilson rebounded from a subpar race at Spartan with a victory here. Joey Tavalieri pulled off an upset last year (recovering from anemia during this season, watch out for him in the spring), Wilson was able to cruise to a win this time around. He ran one of the more patient races at MIS, finishing 8th when he may not have even been top 30 entering the infield.
Romeo may have a challenger next year. As of now, I have Macomb Dakota as #10 in the 2020 Projections (the update will be released after Christmas). The progression of Jacob Harberts is a major factor, his 16:35 here was a 19 second PR. Even that improvement couldn’t have predicted his 9th place regional finish. Many kids hit times that were out of their respective worlds, Harberts may have been the most incredulous. We all know that 4th and 5th runners play an important role in scoring. Both Cameron Stermer and Nathan Vohs ran season PRs, enabling Dakota to move ahead of a crowded pack.