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Division 3 State Preview

Girls Team

PlaceTeamScore1st Girl2nd Girl3rd Girl4th Girl5th Girl6th Girl7th Girl
1Hart1152394160107127
2Traverse City St. Francis17313152056698081
3Lansing Catholic1807111448100151157
4Kent City1828323851536694
5Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard2161227464982121135
6Jackson Lumen Christi2205103655114122138
7Grand Rapids Covenant Christian2466344370939799
8St. Louis24917193371109116134
9Ithaca2731244277129155165
10Pewamo-Westphalia27816456873768388
11Caro328
12Benzie Central351
13Grandville Calvin Christian377
14Harbor Springs395
15Reese417
16Sandusky420
17Manton429
18Bridgman479
19Onsted481
20Clinton496
22Monroe St. Mary CC502
21Elk Rapids502
23Leslie528
24University Liggett532
25Buchanan557
26Schoolcraft610
27Clawson650
28Madison Heights Bishop Foley807

Can Hart make it five straight State Titles?  With fifth runner Lauren VanderLaan in their corner, very likely.  As 2020 closed, a few teams looked like they had an outside shot at breaking Hart’s streak, and their hopes pinned on a subpar performance from Lauren.  But she went out, ran 21:02, and finished a good 20+ spots better than her pre-race expectation.  Hart’s unreal streak continued and we’re having this same conversation this year.  Although the Ackleys have moved on (from the girls squad), the Pirates are still led by another side of the family, the Enns and bolstered by freshmen Jessica Jazwinski and Lexie Beth Nienhuis.

The question then becomes: who’s second?

Jackson Lumen Christi would be in here, mainly behind the efforts of transfer Sydney Fazekas.  We knew about Faith Smith and Madison Osterberg, but Fazekas’s transfer from Hanover-Horton solidified their depth.  Sadly, Sydney is out with a stress fracture, thus dashing Lumen Christi’s hopes.  They are well-set for future runs with glory here.

Traverse City St. Francis has been remarkably consistent all year, even in the meets without Grace Slocum and Sophia Rhein.  I’m particularly happy for Sophia, as she missed nearly her entire sophomore year.  She’s back and has a great shot at finishing All-State.  Rylee Duffing has been reliable, usually finishing 4th or 5th on the team, while Mary Masserant and Ava Pomaranski have a bit higher variance.  If those two can bring it Saturday, they’re the clear favorite to finish second.

Lansing Catholic is as strong as any through four.  Hannah Pricco has finished 16th in two consecutive State Meets.  This spring, we saw CC Jones respond to Coach Simpson’s training and that has carried over into cross.  The key lies with Hailey Prokop, when adjusting for ratings, she’s improved nearly a minute from her September form. 

Championship Season has been kind to Kent City.  At Portage, they lost to Lumen Christi and finished ahead of Lansing Catholic and St. Francis.  At Saturday’s Region 21 race, they defeated Calvin Christian and Covenant Christian.  Kent Ottawa was their best performance, knocking off Lowell and West Michigan Aviation, both top-25 teams in higher divisions.

Girls Individual

PlaceGradeNameTeamRating
112Lani BloomIthaca167.9
212Rylee TolsonStockbridge158.7
310Alyson EnnsHart157.0
412Allison ChmielewskiRoscommon153.3
59Jessica JazwinskiHart148.4
610Mylie KellyBenzie Central147.5
710Madison OsterbergJackson Lumen Christi146.5
89Eliza BushYpsilanti Arbor Preparatory145.7
912Meghan BeuteGrand Rapids Covenant Christian144.4
1011Hannah PriccoLansing Catholic144.2
119Lila VolkersKent City143.0
1212Audrianna EnnsHart141.2
1312Faith SmithJackson Lumen Christi138.6
1410Miranda McNeilMorley-Stanwood135.5
1511CC JonesLansing Catholic133.7
1612Gianna HovingAnn Arbor Gabriel Richard132.0
1711Sophia RheinTraverse City St. Francis131.5
1810Tessa RoeLansing Catholic131.3
1910Kendra KosterLawton128.4
209Betsy SkendzelTraverse City St. Francis127.3
219Whitney WernerPewamo-Westphalia127.3
2211Ava MaginityBoyne City125.7
2312Libby MunderlohSt. Louis124.1
249Kerith ShortUniversity Liggett123.0
2512Mikenna BorieSt. Louis122.4
269Grace SlocumTraverse City St. Francis122.4
279Makenzie KregerSandusky122.2
2812Leanne KrombeenGrandville Calvin Christian121.0
2912Maye BurnsHarbor Springs120.2
3012Rachael SierakowskiIthaca119.7
3110Ava ViegelahnGrass Lake119.5
3212Elise JohnsonBenzie Central119.0
3312Ava GenoveseColoma118.9
3412Claire ThomsonClawson118.8
3512Marian AvilaAnn Arbor Gabriel Richard118.7
3610Kinsie JacquesPinconning118.6
379Erin LubahnLeslie118.1
3812Molly HardingManton117.0
3911Kara TerakedisOnsted116.9
409Emmry RossOnsted116.7
4112Alyeska LinsleyKent City115.4
4210Jaiden DickmanSt. Louis115.3
439Ashley ChoponisStanton Central Montcalm115.1
4410Amber KooleGrand Rapids Covenant Christian114.8
4512Brooklyn RochowStockbridge114.0
4611Allie KochManchester113.8
479Jaidyn SmithLeslie112.9
489Layla LopezJackson Lumen Christi112.8
4912Gabriella WingardNorth Muskegon112.5
5010Sophia ReynoldsHanover-Horton112.5

Lani Bloom is the favorite here.  What a career, what a ride it’s been.  Three All-State honors, three track titles (one indoor, two outdoor).  Adversity from tough races at MIS, joy from sophomore breakthroughs and overcoming said adversity.  She’s taken this season the right way too, not going to the well every single race, and this sets her up for success this weekend.  She has the strength (sub-17 on the track), she has the speed, she has the experience.

Rylee Tolson hasn’t lost once this entire fall.  She has the mettle of a champion, evidenced by two instances: her comeback from injury during track and her crawl to the finish a year ago.  She didn’t have to finish that race, but she did.  That speaks volumes.  She’s been a frontrunner this entire year, setting a quick early pace and daring others to hang on.  I can all but guarantee these two will duel until the other falls off.

I said this over the summer and I’ll say it again: we will see Allie Chmielewski on the starting line of the Olympic Trials in 2028 or 2032.  It might be the marathon, it might be the 10k, who knows.  She’s oozing in talent and doesn’t come from a traditional D3 power.  Imagine when she gets to MSU, a program that develops talent, and has girls to train with.  I’ve been a major fan of her season, she hasn’t redlined it in too many races, that extra bit of energy should help her in the final 1000m.

Beyond the seniors, I’m interested to see who sets themselves up for titles in 2022:

Alyson Enns has fallen off a bit in the past month, but when she’s on, she’s really freakin’ on.  17:53 at Shepherd has been her best, but 18:18 at Portage is significant here in that she defeated many of the D3 girls she’ll be competing against. 

Mylie Kelly just set a Benzie school record of 18:08.  Her string of races at Cadillac, Bluejay, and Portage show she can bring it when pushed, likely into the low-18’s.

Madison Osterberg finished second behind Enns at Portage, scorching the rest of the field in the final mile.  She has better speed than anyone sans Bloom and also the confidence to let the rest of the field go, knowing she’ll reel them back in. 

Eliza Bush has been the lone wolf over at Ypsi Arbor Prep.  She hasn’t faced the D3-centric competition that most in the field have gone against, but she has run in the mid-18’s on fair courses.

Jessica Jazwinski has actually supplanted Enns in the past month as Hart’s #1.  She’s been through the ringer of races and has been steady each time out.

Boys Team

PlaceTeamScore1st Boy2nd Boy3rd Boy4th Boy5th Boy6th Boy7th Boy
1Hart158111332495370105
2St. Louis16014171945657177
3Lansing Catholic166510364075120132
4Grandville Calvin Christian1763151630112177186
5Traverse City St. Francis18428293337576678
6Ithaca2779125196109125161
7Grand Rapids Covenant Christian306425052808285106
8Stockbridge30724273998119138180
9Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard3122144638797102130
10Charlevoix35042374121128133142
11Caro355
12Bronson362
13Pewamo-Westphalia369
14Harbor Springs371
15Benzie Central372
16Saugatuck397
17Hanover-Horton405
18Madison Heights Bishop Foley408
19Manton425
20Erie Mason427
21Saranac433
22Coloma448
23Hudson466
24Bath493
25Sanford-Meridian569
26Constantine655
27University Liggett678
28Memphis855

Hart hasn’t been the most flashy team all year.  But you don’t need to be flashy to win titles, you need to be reliable.  At any major meet, you’ll find that their average rating hovers between 170-175.  Noah Bosley, Wyatt Dean, and Clayton Ackley have been low sticks up front.  Max Stitt has been surprisingly reliable considering his freshman status.  If he can have Max Nienhuis and Seth Ackley follow his lead, the Pirates have a shot.

St. Louis is again doing that thing where they peak at the right time.  The March brothers in particular have been running their best in the last month.  Although Shepherd’s course has been running a bit quick this year, they both ran below 16:30 at the Scottie Classic, efforts that suggest they’re the among the best 2nd and 3rd runners in the state.  Can they push back another team’s 1st or 2nd?

Lansing Catholic has been bolstered by the addition of Josh Otten.  First a soccer player, then a 4:27 miler, now an XC star.  He didn’t even need a break-in period, placing 2nd behind D2 standout Mike Hegarty at Michigan Catholic.  The Cougars will rely on Stephen Fair as their 5th runner, he’s been in the low-18’s/high-17’s for the past seven races.  That time slot will likely have a mass of runners – a few seconds could make a huge difference. 

Grandville Calvin Christian’s Squires face the extreme example (we’ll see this in future writeups) of four runners and needing a good day from their fifth.  For Trevor Dornbos, he’s had more good days lately than not.  He’s in the same boat as Lansing Catholic’s Fair, where his best performance could move them to a contender.  Nathan Jenkins is battling an injury, but listed in the entries, so he’s included in here.

Traverse City St. Francis might take home the title of the most polarizing team of all-time.  Their Portage performance will win them the state title.  Their Bluejay performance could knock the Glads out of the Top 10. 

Boys Individual

PlaceGradeNameTeamRating
111Hunter JonesBenzie Central216.8
212Noah MorrowManton203.8
312Tyler GuggemosKalkaska194.1
411Nathan JenkinsGrandville Calvin Christian192.9
512Sam PetersonCharlevoix192.3
612Josh OttenLansing Catholic192.0
711Rogan MellingHanover-Horton191.0
810Collin FarmerPewamo-Westphalia191.0
911Cal BenjaminHarbor Springs188.1
1011Parks AllenIthaca187.2
1112David PruderLansing Catholic186.9
1210Samuel MartiniKent City186.8
1311Clayton AckleyHart186.6
1412Jacob WalkerBrooklyn Columbia Central186.2
1512Espen LehnstIthaca186.2
1612Noah BosleyHart183.4
1711Rhett ReifQuincy182.9
1812Carson BrunkPotterville182.3
1910Ben MarchSt. Louis182.2
2012Dan KehoeGrandville Calvin Christian180.7
2112Logan ManionGrandville Calvin Christian180.6
2212Aaron BowermanSt. Louis180.4
2312Chase HobsonMontrose180.4
2412Adam MartinsonSaugatuck179.6
2510Jaden BarnesBloomingdale179.2
2611Andrew HardyStanton Central Montcalm177.3
2712Nate MarchSt. Louis176.9
2811Connor StefanovskyCaro176.4
2910Simon VanderVluchtMonroe St. Mary CC176.3
3010Sunishthh SinghAnn Arbor Gabriel Richard175.0
3110Boden GenoveseColoma174.8
3212Dominic SchweinCharlevoix174.6
3311Micah BoltonStockbridge174.5
3410Alex CzeiszpergerHudson173.9
3510Matthew PattulloCaro173.6
3612Dalton SatkowiakStockbridge173.0
379Josh SlocumTraverse City St. Francis173.0
3812Thomas RichardsTraverse City St. Francis172.9
3911Ben WertzGrandville Calvin Christian172.7
4011Levi MaierChesaning172.4
4112Liam HarlanBath172.4
4211Wyatt DeanHart172.3
4311Josh KerrTraverse City St. Francis171.9
4411Jackson AnselErie Mason171.9
4511Ashton WellsBronson171.3
4612Gabe NelsonClinton171.3
4712Cameron HaraburdaLansing Catholic170.8
4811Caiden KippnickManchester170.7
4910Tucker KrummTraverse City St. Francis170.6
5012Lance SmarHarbor Springs170.3

2019 was the Hunter Jones show.  2020 was the Hunter Jones show.  This year is the Hunter Jones show.  Next year will be the Hunter Jones show.  Hunter is the clear favorite and it should be a fun, lonely 14 or 15 minutes for Hunter.  He took a few lumps early from Hough and Baracco, but a hit to the ego is always good, you can’t win every race and expect to get better.  I have confidence those early losses and the lessons learned will serve him well in the post-season races. 

Noah Morrow made #TheLeap during track season.  A 9:33 at Shepherd’s Bluejay Elite led to a 4:20 in the 1600m, which then led to a 3rd place in the D3 3200m.  He’s continued that progression into cross, where he’s notable for legitimately not having a bad race.  As far as my numbers go, his worst race was one in which he broke 16:00. 

Tyler Guggemos, Cal Benjamin, and Sam Peterson have battling it out in Northern Michigan all year.  Sam had the edge early in the year, Tyler has had the upper hand lately, and Cal has seemingly finished second in this triumvirate each time they’ve faced one another. 

Rogan has upheld the Melling tradition (but did he complete the infamous workout?) in leading the Hanover-Horton squad and being King of the Irish Hills.  Rogan hasn’t just stayed in the area, when the Comets traveled to Portage and Bluejay, he was able to defeat many potential All-Staters (Martini, Pruder, etc.).

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:

The Bridgman Bees are back at their old stomping grounds after a year’s absence.  Contact tracing decimated any hope of returning in 2020, and their dear departed Karsyn Stewart was left to race alone.  But they’re back and fresh off a regional victory.  The Fast sisters, Clara and Summer have run their best to close the year and seniors Jane Kaspar and Arie Hackett have been great leaders.

Gianna Hoving’s times of late might not represent major growth, but it’s there.  19:40 on an always tough Possum Hollow course (and a victory over potential D2 All-Staters Zdankiewicz and Koss) paved the way to a 3rd place finish in the loaded Region 27. 

This might not be the glory days when Yami was winning everything in sight, but Caro is still the best team in the Thumb (Yale won Thumb Area but to me they’re more Port Huron than Thumb).  Nearly everyone on the Tigers ran their best race at Thumb Area, particularly Tristan Lovett, and Tyler Miller doubled that up with an excellent regional race.  Expect them to challenge for a Top 10 spot.

Rhett Reif chilled in the low-17’s for much of the year, save for a 16:38 at Otsego Bulldog.  He’s begun to turn it up a notch in these past few weeks with a 16:25 at Little Guys and a 2nd place finish in Region 23, that silver medal coming in front of potential top-30 runners Jacob Walker and Alex Czeiszperger. 

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