Charyl Stockwell Academy
Vermontville Maple Valley
Despite their youth last year, St. Louis was able to string together TVC and Regional titles, then follow those accomplishments up with a top-10 finish in Brooklyn. Ithaca and New Lothrop were similarly youthful, but neither bring in a freshman such as Ben March. Pewamo-Westphalia always finds a way to throw themselves into the mix as well, New Lothrop’s key to holding them off may be Drew Kohlmann, who was able to put it together late last season.
Braxton Lamey and Carson Hersch should be a battle for the 1st place crown. Both are ranked in the top 50, both in the top 5 for Division 3. Lamey in particular has been putting in work, both over the winter and this summer. During our unofficial track season, he was able to run 4:26/9:40.
St. Louis (4), Ithaca (8), New Lothrop (16), Pewamo-Westphalia (22)
Highest Rated Seniors
Zach has been able to race for the achievements and the times while leading Potterville through their move up to Division 3. Although their team was unable to replicate their success in the lower division, Zach was able to slip under the 16:00 barrier for the first time ever and nab his 3rd straight All-State finish.
Drew’s championship season was the best stretch of his career. He kicked it off with a 16:59 at Greater Flint, a PR almost a year in the making. From there, a top-5 finish at Shiawassee County and his first State Meet qualifier.
In his three years competing for St. Louis, Joe has been Mr. Consistency. Every season, he’s been in the 17’s. But last year, he was able to knock a little time off, with multiple 17:1x efforts. He’ll be counted on as one of the better 3rd/4th runners in the State.
After a freshman year where he managed to sneak under 18:00 at the end, Nate turned it up a notch this past fall. He managed several sub-17 efforts, including an All-Region performance here and an All-State performance the following week.
Parks follows in the footstep of the great Ransom Allen (who is bound to be one of the better runners in the GLIAC/Division 2). He had a solid freshman year, getting down to the low-17’s late, good enough for a 12th place finish here. But during the winter, he was able to show even more progress, running 4:39/10:09.
The rich get richer over at P-W. They’ve always had a strong tradition, and to have a strong tradition, you begin with young talent. Collin was one of the top-5 MS runners in the state last year. He had a few races under the 11:00 barrier, with wins at Marauder, St. Johns, and Williamston. During the 2019 track season, he was able to run 10:47 for 3200m.
Another preview, another example of a kid showing year to year growth. Liam ended his freshman year on a high note, with a 19:13 PR. He also ended his sophomore year on a high note, having broken 17:00 and qualified for MIS.
The girls team race is a battle of the vast improvement Ithaca’s girls have made vs. the freshmen St. Louis will gain. Jaiden Dickman and Monika Borie have potential to vault St. Louis onto the podium at MIS. On the other hand, Ithaca has a track record of progress, and it’s absolutely evident in girls such as Rachael Sierakowski and Josie Morrow. Ithaca’s girls should be able to pack up in whichever race they run, and their strength will definitely be shown at larger meets.
The question is: how much of Lani Bloom’s sensational track season will translate to XC? I’m as big of a fan of hers as any and I’m confident her grit will lead her to the success she desires. There’s some competition here that may push her, as Libby Munderloh and Clara Krupp both have sub-19 in them, it’s rare to have that top end talent at a Division 3 regional.
St. Louis (3), Ithaca (6), Pewamo-Westphalia (8)
Highest Rated Seniors
Small, gradual gains have been the ticket as Amelia works her way up the Division 3 ranks. She began her career with some impressive times, but maybe a disappointing finish at Regionals. In 2018, she was able to grab that All-Region spot, and in 2019, give a great bid for All-State.
Abi made a commitment to consistency to begin 2019 and it paid off for her in the end. She’s always been a talented runner, but after sophomore season where she fell below expectations, she knew something had to change. It changed to the tune of a walk onto the All-State podium and her first sub-20 finish.
Grace’s talent is her work ethic. Her sophomore year (her first year running XC), she kept her times above 24:00. Her junior year, almost a whole new runner. Grace began the year in the 21’s, finished in the mid-20’s, all while contributing to Ithaca’s league title and top-10 finish. May be a dark horse candidate for really big honors this fall.
I’m not sure how she does it, but Libby always brings her best effort to the Scottie Classic. Two years there, two sub-19 efforts. She’s brought it in many other meets as well, finishing 3rd both years at Regionals (once at Shepherd, once at Uncle John’s), and top-10 in the State as well.
Clara showed flashes of brilliance as a freshman, then put the whole package together last fall. She ended up finishing 1st in her league (MMAC), along with victories at Carrollton and Genesee. But most importantly, came through late, with an 11th place finish at MIS.
Hayden has shown a rare steadiness for a young runner. Over her middle school career, she’s gotten gradually faster, capping it off with a 12:31 at Greater Lansing.
Jaiden may be the girl that puts St. Louis over the top. She’s had the results to back it up, multiple sub-12:30 efforts. She has even reached up to the 5k level, running 20:11 at last fall’s MITCA meet. Not to mention that she showed some mid-distance ability this winter, running 5:38 indoors.