GR Wellspring Prep
Grand Rapids Covenant Christian
Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian
Grandville Calvin Christian
Holland Black River
Muskegon Western Michigan Christian
Grandville Calvin Christian (5), Montague (24)
Highest Rated Seniors
Like Dean Reynolds profiled a few days ago, Luke was on the cusp of the 50 Tickets list. He’s your defending regional champion and owns a PB in the low 16’s. That 16:13 at Portage represented a 45 second drop from 2018. Taking a peek at his summer training, it’s easy to tell how that improvement came about, Luke has quietly been putting in the miles, and given the times on his workouts, is capable of improving at a similar rate.
It seems as if Grayson has been at Saranac for a thousand years, his name constantly popping up in the top tier of any results. He’s been under 17:00 and top-5 in his region during all three years. Last year, he was able to avenge a 55th place finish (and unusually subpar race) the previous year to reach his 2nd All-State honor.
Emerald showed a bit of promise as a sophomore (his first year of XC), with a gigantic PR at Regionals. At Portage this year, he was able to surpass that PR, running 16:49. At this region, he was able to break 17:00 once again, finishing in 5th place. Along with Summer Fast, one of my favorite names of anyone in the sport.
Each of the past two years, Micah has been able to come in with a clutch performance late. As a sophomore, it was at regionals, where he ran a 0:35 PR and in an upset, snuck into the top-15. As a junior, that performance came at State, his first sub-17 and All-State effort.
Even though it may not have shown late, Dan realized his potential in 2019. He must have a special place in his heart for Shepherd (many do – voted the best course in Michigan), as he has PRed both years there. He lowered his best by almost a minute, from 17:42 to 16:47. He reached that sub-17 mark only once the rest of the year, but was able to achieve his first All-Region finish.
Andrew was a great MS runner, racing into the low 11’s both on the track and XC course. As a freshman, it didn’t take long for him to acquit himself to the extra distance. He ran a few low-18 performances in the early season, then was able to make his breakthrough in championship season. A 17:30 here was his personal best, then he followed that up with a 17:45 at MIS.
Montague will be relying heavily on its ability to pack up, and Owen will likely be at the front of that pack. He started his freshman year reasonably well; any coach would be happy with a youngster running in the 18’s. But he turned it on late with a 17:49 at Chippewa Hills (not an easy course), and a 19th place finish here.
Grandville Calvin Christian (2), Grand Rapids Covenant Christian (11), Muskegon Western Michigan Christian (23), Kent City (24)
Highest Rated Seniors
Catherine has been consistently been a sub-20 runner for GCC. She first hit that mark at regionals as a freshman, then has been there many times since. A few races last year stick out – 4th place at Portage, 1st at Saranac, and most importantly, 1st at Regionals. She’s got a little speed too, having run 62/2:22 on the track.
As with Catherine, Layla has been a solid athlete all three years. She has the victories, winning the CSAA Silver, Sparta, and Kent City Long Lake. She has the times, nearly breaking 19:00 early in her sophomore year. And she has the big race experience, twice in the top-20 in Brooklyn.
Not sure how she was skipped over last year in these projections, but Ashley has been right there her whole career as well. She reached a new level late last year, running a personal best here at this region and nabbing her first top-50 State finish.
To discuss career achievement and a Calvin Christian girl, one has to discuss their team accomplishments. With Leanne running in the past two years, they’ve finished top-3 both times. She’s been an integral contributor as well, finishing in the top-100 both years, an All-State level performance last year too.
In terms of my projections, Jonathah was a shocker. Those projections had her outside of the top-20 at Regionals and outside the top-30 at State. She finished 5th here, then grabbed that last All-State spot. For much of the season, she ran in the 22-23:00 range, but slipped under 20:00 in her final two races.
Gabriella showed much promise in her sophomore season, in a few races, running over a minute faster than her freshman year. A Few that stick out are Pete Moss (22:00 to 20:17) and Portage (21:37 to 20:26). Unfortunately, her season ended at Portage. Hopefully in 2020, we get to see her compete for a full season.
In her three seasons at Black River, Mia has been a big race runner. During her 9th and 10th grade years, she was able to turn it up late into All-State and sub-20 performances. She hovered around that mark this past year, didn’t break through, but still managed a 42nd place finish.