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Division 4 State Preview

Girls Team

PlaceTeamScore1st Girl2nd Girl3rd Girl4th Girl5th Girl6th Girl7th Girl
1Muskegon Western Michigan Christian117132533557387
2Hillsdale Academy16682429495658111
3Kalamazoo Christian17916263251548999
4Rochester Hills Lutheran NW19361920628696110
5Johannesburg-Lewiston20344245486467126
6Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart263722578592113120
7Whitmore Lake315153537107121145170
8Adrian Lenawee Christian34392190104119141157
9Beal City36023367884139146147
10Harbor Beach36528317180155160166
11Allen Park Cabrini366
12Unionville-Sebewaing377
13Royal Oak Shrine382
14Fowler384
15Lansing Christian393
16Leland408
17Pittsford423
18The Potter’s House433
19Lake Leelanau St. Mary444
20Frankfort455
21Battle Creek St. Philip456
22Ubly460
23Petoskey St. Michael469
24St. Joseph Lake Michigan Catholic489
25Mendon495
26Vestaburg536
27Gaylord St. Mary572

Muskegon Western Michigan Christian vaulted into the top spot in the D4 Girls Rankings following.  Abby VanderKooi was her usual self and we saw a glimpse of her sister, Grace VanderKooi.  WMC has always had a solid squad behind Abby, but never quite enough depth to make a state title contender.  Grace hasn’t run since Portage, but her name is listed in the entries.  For these projections, I feel it necessary to include runners listed in the entries.  If she runs, they’re the favorite.  If not, they still have a great chance!

Kalamazoo Christian is your defending champ and just like last year, they get it done by their outstanding pack.  At the SAC Championship, the Comets put 5 girls under 21:05 en route to a conference title against many D3 foes.

Hillsdale Academy features the same sort of tight-knit racing.  Megan Roberts highlights the bunch, she’s at the front yet again, just another year in her bid for 5 All-State honors.  The Colts are bolstered by 8th grader Ruth Brownlee and are fresh off winning the Class D crown over fellow top-10 team, Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart

Johannesburg-Lewiston is ready to pounce onto the podium in the case of a Grace VanderKooi absence.  Regional week saw the continued emergence of Madalyn Agren.  Madalyn kept showing last winter and is reaping the rewards of that training. 

Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest is about as battle-tested as they come.  The Crusaders won the MIAC over Whitmore Lake and captured the Region 36 crown over Allen Park Cabrini, Royal Oak Shrine, and a perennial power, Clarkston Everest Collegiate.

Girls Individual

PlaceGradeNameTeamRating
112Abby VanderKooiMuskegon Western Michigan Christian160.8
212Makenna ScottMaple City Glen Lake142.2
310Aiden HarrandBuckley141.7
49Presley AllenMendon140.3
59Grace VanderKooiMuskegon Western Michigan Christian138.3
611Adelaida GaschoJohannesburg-Lewiston125.8
710Ava TeedAllen Park Cabrini124.0
811Erika Van LotonHuron Valley Lutheran122.3
911Mackenzie LemkeRochester Hills Lutheran NW120.2
1010Amelia ThompsonBig Rapids Crossroads Academy117.6
1112Nicole OlivieriMt. Pleasant Sacred Heart115.3
1211Megan RobertsHillsdale Academy114.8
139Izzy BrooksAdrian Lenawee Christian114.3
149Eliza KeithAuburn Hills Oakland Christian111.8
1510Ivy AndreasThe Potter’s House111.8
169Ava MallarPittsford111.0
1711Ashlyn KephartLansing Christian109.9
189Natalie GibbsBirmingham Roeper104.4
1910Miriam MurrellGaylord St. Mary104.3
2010Brooke SmithPittsford102.5
2110Natalie MeadowsWhitmore Lake101.9
229Alaina KloosterKalamazoo Christian101.7
2311Maze GusaUbly101.5
2412Adrianne RectorDansville100.6
2512Taylor MyersFrankfort99.2
2610Abby RiceRochester Hills Lutheran NW97.9
2711Madeleine BargeRochester Hills Lutheran NW97.6
2811Dani VanLenteTekonsha97.1
2912Elizabeth ScharerAdrian Lenawee Christian97.0
3012Riley HackerMt. Pleasant Sacred Heart96.6
3111Maia RomeynEllsworth95.5
3211Kaylee LockeBeal City95.2
339Ella WaltonHillsdale Academy94.8
3411Brianna ZuidemaMuskegon Western Michigan Christian94.6
3511Aubrey HerderKalamazoo Christian93.1
3611Petra FooteGrand Traverse Academy92.9
3711Helana NapiorkowskiAustin Catholic92.9
3810Allison GlendeningSt. Joseph Lake Michigan Catholic92.9
3912Paige AndersonHarbor Beach92.8
408Ruth BrownleeHillsdale Academy92.0
419Jane MantheiPetoskey St. Michael91.4
4210Gracy WalkerKingston90.9
439Reece WrubleHarbor Beach90.4
4411Annika SytsmaKalamazoo Christian90.4
4512Ava RotmanMuskegon Western Michigan Christian90.0
4611Sydney Van EsKalamazoo Hackett89.7
479Ella KnudsenLeland89.4
4811Brooke CravenWhitmore Lake88.9
4910Jessie RossFairview88.7
5012Rachal WeberBeal City88.3

Not much needs to be said about Abby VanderKooi.  Twice 3rd place at FootLocker, 3-time State Champ.  She suffered a toe injury in track that hampered her ability to grab multiple titles and it appears she’s still recovering from that.  And by recovering, I mean she’s the clear favorite.

Makenna Scott is your defending champ.  She burst through given the opportunity last year when many succumbed to the unseasonable heat.  Her steady style and even pace was a benefit compared to the masses who were redlining.  She’s been battling all season with Aiden Harrand.  It’s amazing to me how there’s these two talents in the same conference, in two tiny schools, going head to head seven times this year.  The count right now is Makenna 4, Aiden 3.  I am not attempting to create a rivalry here, I sense a mutual respect between the two, and constant drive to push one another. 

Presley Allen has been a middle school phenom that’s panned out.  The pride of Mendon, when she’s pushed, she can really rip it.  Mid-18’s at Portage and Otsego, along with a 19:01 on a wet day at Jackson.

Boys Team

PlaceTeamScore1st Boy2nd Boy3rd Boy4th Boy5th Boy6th Boy7th Boy
1Johannesburg-Lewiston10181115254284111
2Hillsdale Academy1536273238505761
3Concord171310184199172173
4Breckenridge219229356093160164
5Kalamazoo Christian2429214064108116143
6Petoskey St. Michael2555162896110130175
7Whitmore Lake2683045546277112156
8Riverview Gabriel Richard2831243557598155169
9Carson City-Crystal2901346657888101126
10Dansville2917334868135138
11The Potter’s House312
12Adrian Lenawee Christian319
13Royal Oak Shrine324
14Mason County Eastern363
15Gobles383
16White Cloud385
17Lutheran Westland392
18Muskegon Western Michigan Christian412
19Frankfort416
20Unionville-Sebewaing428
21Battle Creek St. Philip477
22Deckerville524
23Mayville540
24Fairview549
25Hale561
26Coleman579
27Eau Claire641

With a shocker at Pete Moss, Johannesburg-Lewiston vaulted to the front of the rankings.  Coach Marcum puts an emphasis on a few meets a year, one of those being a good opener, and boy did the Cardinals put the state on notice.  They have firepower up front with Malaki Gascho, Jacob Wartenberg, and Blake Fox all likely to hit All-State status.  But their 4th and 5th aren’t bad either, both are rated as the best 4th and 5th in the field. 

Concord put a scare into Johannesburg-Lewiston at Portage, finishing a mere 14 points back.  Jonathon Mikovits has been a mainstay, three-time All-Stater.  Joe Bulko and Adair Artis are running the best that I’ve seen them run and the Yellowjackets are strong through 4 runners.  If they can find a 5, they’re a good bet to finish in the Top 2.

If not, Hillsdale Academy is sitting right there.  Hillsdale has been ranked #2 for the majority of championship season, mainly based on two factors – their outstanding race at Holly earlier in the year and their 8th grade addition, Grayson Rorick.  The Colts also have the added benefit of having the strongest 6th and 7th runners in the race, they can absorb a subpar effort, but also can be a bit more aggressive given quality depth to fall back on.

Boys Individual

PlaceGradeNameTeamRating
111Lezawe OsterinkThe Potter’s House197.8
212Mason SumnerBreckenridge195.3
312Jonathan MikovitsConcord187.2
412Brock LynchMt. Pleasant Sacred Heart186.0
512Nile DeversGobles183.7
612Samuel PagaPetoskey St. Michael182.7
712Emil SchlueterHillsdale Academy180.7
89Theodore DavisDansville178.8
912Nathan LottWebberville178.7
1010Malaki GaschoJohannesburg-Lewiston178.2
1112Isaac BosKalamazoo Christian178.0
1212Joe BulkoConcord177.0
1311Jacob WartenbergJohannesburg-Lewiston176.7
1411Tyler BaysReading174.9
1511Alex MeszarosRiverview Gabriel Richard174.4
1612Ashton KeifferCarson City-Crystal174.4
1712Ty PavlichekUnionville-Sebewaing173.8
1810Blake FoxJohannesburg-Lewiston173.7
1910Owen PattonVestaburg172.9
2010Utah GusaUbly172.2
2111Macartan MoorePetoskey St. Michael170.6
2210Alex WantyHale170.4
2311Adair ArtisConcord169.5
2412Logan JohnsonNovi Christian Academy168.8
2512Isaiah BeiterLawrence168.5
2612Jonah CeroneRoyal Oak Shrine168.4
2711Logan SwineyThe Potter’s House167.5
2811Isaac BogardKalamazoo Christian167.3
2912Ethan McFarlandAuburn Hills Oakland Christian166.9
3011Lars HuffmanMackinaw City166.8
3111Dakota DykhuisMontabella166.1
3211Christopher RusselburgAllen Park Cabrini165.7
3311Ethan GreenKingston165.3
3412Noah HaskellColeman165.2
3511Nate WingMason County Eastern164.9
3611Evan SuydamPetersburg-Summerfield164.0
3711Caleb HowardWebberville163.2
3810Luke SpragueBattle Creek St. Philip162.1
3911Kade SpahrPittsford162.0
4012Toby HallJohannesburg-Lewiston161.3
419Tom ShaferLutheran Westland160.0
4212Jonas LanserMcBain Northern Michigan Christian159.9
4310Thomas HolmHillsdale Academy159.9
4410Kaden ForwardBear Lake-Onekama159.9
4510Aiden FitchettDryden159.8
4611Zachary MaendelPetoskey St. Michael159.8
4710Sawyer StonemanBreckenridge159.7
4812Cole RinnaWhitmore Lake159.7
4911Jackson KulawiakBuckley159.6
5011Bryson BachelderMorenci159.5

Lezawe Osterink was all ready to show us what he had in 2020, then he was sidelined for the State Meet.  We’re blessed that last year was his sophomore year and we’ll have plenty of opportunities to see his prowess.  In the opportunities we’ve seen thus far, we’ve seen him make the most of it.  This spring, he raced to a 9:41 at Shepherd’s Bluejay Elite 3200m, then followed that up with a 5th place finish in the D4 3200m.  His 2021 cross campaign has been domination, pure and simple.  All victories with multiple sub-16 efforts to boot.  His most impressive effort was a 15:42 at Portage, laying to waste a great D4 field filled with potential All-State athletes.

Never underestimate the heart of a champion.  Mason Sumner is a champion and will always be one.  He won here in 2019, his team won here in 2019, and he’s got a special someone watching over him.  When he’s had to run fast, he’s gotten after it, with 16:0x efforts at Happy Acres, Saranac, and Bluejay.

TUCK COMIN’

Just as Mel Tucker came into the State of Michigan like a wrecking ball, these runners and teams are coming to MIS on a roll:

Whitmore Lake Girls: Natalie Meadows brings the firepower up front, fresh off her regional (and first ever) win.  Brooke Craven and Lauren Price have experience running at MIS.  Isabella Nelson-Daniels and Savannah Pomorski both finished much higher than expected at the Webberville Regional.  The Trojans made easy work of a region that should come out to be fairly strong – Lansing Christian and Fowler are both expected to be in the top-15 at State.

Nicole Olivieri: The sprint star (and maybe 800m star, just sayin’) running cross for the first time as a senior.  After taking a few races to find her groove, she’s moved to the front of the Sacred Heart pack.  20:58 at John Bruder turned to a 20:08 and now two consecutive sub-20’s.  She’s still learning how to push herself in the latter stages of races, and she should have plenty of bodies to go after on Saturday.

Riverview Gabriel Richard Boys: Gabriel Richard emerged victorious from one of the tougher regions on the D4 side.  No, it wasn’t the three-team strength of Region 33 or 34, but 36 had the ringer of Shrine, Lutheran Westland, Plymouth Christian Academy, and a disappointed Cardinal Mooney team (there were some results issues – Cardinal Mooney initially thought they were in). In particular, John Borowicz and Johnny Benko ran above expectation, while Alex Meszaros nabbed first, leading the way through an abnormally slow Chandler Park course.

Brock Lynch, Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart: Sorry, I can’t help it with two Sacred Heart Irish in this section.  2021 and in particular, October, has been winning season for Brock.  Mid-season, a few people doubted his inclusion in D4’s top-10, he’s more than silenced his critics.  16:48 at Portage, easily a sub-17:00 equivalent performance at Freeland, then three straight victories.  One of those victories was over Sumner, his Class D victory over Schlueter and Lott, and the MSAC one over Ashton Keiffer.  All of those names are accomplished and will be in the mix in three days. At the close of his career, Brock has made a major move to etch his name into Sacred Heart lore.

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