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Michigan Running – Week Seven (February 15th, 2022)

I’m putting this out today, because I can! Perks of being your own boss.

You never know what someone is going through. Heck, I’m writing this to you from the hospital. As a few of you are aware, my mother has been experiencing a multitude of hardships. Stage 4 cancer, a rare case of vasculitis, culminating Monday with a fall in the house. Luckily, nothing was broken, her symptoms seem to be getting back under control, but it’s still traumatizing. But anyhow, you don’t know what someone’s going through. Writing, calculating the ratings and rankings, following the sport, running, all are forms of therapy for myself. I can understand criticism if I ever hurt or offend someone. I don’t understand criticism that I’m not providing enough free coverage. If you’d like for me to tell someone’s story, contact me throughout the week so I can write about it in the following newsletter.

Other people might be going through difficulties as well. They could be your competitors, they could be meet managers, coaches, you name it. I know this was a tough weekend for many at the LAB, but let’s practice some empathy (this goes for me as well). There’s no need for yelling at kids, coaches, or meet officials. At their heart, everyone in this sport is a good person. The LAB is providing ample opportunities for athletes, coaches are kickstarting a love for the sport, and you know how I feel about the athletes.

Charlie Newburry (Mendon, Spring Arbor) asked me to share his story. He penned an Instagram post detailing his and his loved ones struggles with mental health. If you need to reach out, he’s a helpful ear.

For some good personal news, I bought a new car. This should allow me to travel to more meets, as no one wants car trouble 2 hours away from home. Come spring, if you have a meet on a Tuesday or Saturday, I’d love to come spectate, and if you need help, volunteer. Note to the high schoolers reading this, take care of your engines! If you don’t, you won’t have confidence to drive far away. And you won’t have confidence to push your body engine when you’re redlining it with a few laps left. I’ve also been playing around in Adobe Illustrator. The purpose is to use Adobe Maps to create some graphics for our store group runs and also produce a few logos for the site. If I’m satisfied with my work, I might move into creating similar maps for cross country courses.

Records and Marks, Far and Wide

Many of the collegiate runners I’ve mentioned have been those competing at Michigan schools. This week, I thought I’d give mention to a few that are from Michigan, but competing elsewhere:

With her 9:21 in the 3000m at the Iowa State Classic, Lindsey Peters (Caledonia, Air Force) hit the #4 mark all-time for the Falcons.  For those unaware, Lindsey had to sit out her senior year of cross, recovering from hip surgery. Her 2021 track season made up for that lost time, as she was able to finish 3rd in the D1 1600m and 2nd in the D1 800m. That improvement looks to have continued, converted to 3200m this is 10:03. Her previous best, 10:37. Is it the altitude in Colorado Springs or the altitude flying high in the air? Either way, it’s working.

West siders must like that track in Ames, as Colorado State’s Anna Petr (East Grand Rapids) sped to a 4:42.56 mile. The time is ranked #2 in Colorado State history, and once again is a significant drop from her high school days. Anna missed out on her 2020 outdoor season and didn’t compete much for Wisconsin last year. Still, her outdoor personal best in the 1600m was 4:56 and this is a considerable descent.

Gabby Hentemann has continually impressed, year after year. Post-HS, I thought she’d be in the mix in college mid-distance races. After all, she ran 2:08 for Grand Haven, quick enough to capture the 2019 D1 state title. As a Poke, she’s moved up to the 5k and this weekend, shattered both the 16:00 mark and their school record. Her 15:45 is ranked 20th in Division 1 this season.

Dakota Ames (Mendon) and Alex Darnell (Napoleon) were two contributors of the winning 4×800 team at NCCAA (National Christian College Athletic Association) Indoor Nationals. Alex split 2:04, handing off to Dakota, who laid down a 2:03 anchor in the Lancers victory.

I screenshotted every record/result that caught my eye over the weekend and I’ll try to give a quick rundown of the more Michigan-based ones I saw. There’s a 100% chance I’ll miss/forget someone, but that’s a result of the many outstanding performances. I’d much rather have that than the opposite.

Again, Northwood showed out in the face of adversity. Instead of being re-routed on the way to Grand Valley, their bus broke down on the trip. Their kids weren’t much affected, in the 5k Zane Aldrich, Brandon Boyd, Carson Laney, and Andrew Wendler all hit top-10 marks in school history, Josh Jones continued to drop time in the 800m, and Dillan Haviland picked up GLIAC Athlete of the Week.

At the Big Meet, Klaudia O’Malley ripped a 4:44.97 mile, grabbing the 2nd fastest time in D2. She was also a part of their nation-leading DMR, which ran a 11:31, good enough for the D2 lead.

If thrust into the D2 meet, Ann Arbor Pioneer would be a contender for that DMR title. Over in the Saginaw Valley, their squad of Sarah and Rachel Forsyth, Cookie Baugh, and Emily Cooper destroyed the previous state record, with a time of 11:21.95. Hell, they even destroyed the previous national record.

It’s another difference in levels, but Morgan Beadlescomb showed he belongs with the big name pros. In anticipation of Valentine’s Day, his penultimate lap surge nearly broke the hearts of all those rooting for Hocker and Teare. It wasn’t meant to be, though his 3:52.03 shocked everyone and sets up for a highly anticipated matchup with the Goose in a few weeks.

The Gately Park track was the host of a few other outstanding marks. I’d prefer to spread my coverage to everyone and not repeat myself, but Aurora Rynda keeps deserving mention. Her 1:27.05 600m set a Canadian Record, Big Ten Record, and is now the World Lead. In the 800m Miles Brown and Cole Johnson etched their names in Michigan history. Brown set the indoor school record with a 1:47.37, Johnson worked his way into the 3rd spot with a 1:47.51. Nick Foster and Oli Raimond broke the vaunted 4:00 mile.

We had a few pros race in Chicago. Natosha Rogers led from the gun on the way to a 15:20. Zach Panning took over with 3k to go, split 32 after 32 on way to a 13:36 PB. The goal was to work around 10k pace then drop it down during the final few laps, and it seems that was accomplished.

Grant Fisher shares traits with so many here. His initial sub-4 foray was indoors, like Foster and Raimond. When at Stanford, he raced and hung with the pros at 2019 Millrose, similar to Beadlescomb. And like Hentemann, realized he didn’t have world-class mid-distance speed, moving up in distance to the 5k/10k. Grant set the American Indoor 5k record with a 12:53.73.

The Beat Goes On…

Those signings just don’t stop.

Noah Morrow (Manton > MSU). He’s a serious candidate to get added to the sub-9 club this spring.
Gabrielle Jones (Macomb Dakota > Northwood)
Molly Kline (Almont > Lawrence Tech)
Beth Baldwin (Croswell-Lexington > Saint Clair CC)
Matt Hoop (Jackson Lumen Christi > Trine)
Samari Finney (Warren Mott > Oakland)
Connor Kreger and Cam Land (St. Clair HS/St. Clair CC > Rochester University)
Ava Arnes (Davison > Adrian)
Ally Hawk (Davison > Indiana Wesleyan)
Madison Clark (Davison > Detroit Mercy)
Kylie Brown (Kent City > Spring Arbor)
Vivian Williams (Detroit Country Day > Northwood)
Allison Stowe (Salem > Madonna)
Jennie Line (Northville > Michigan). What a crew they’ve assembled thus far.
Clara Losey (Royal Oak Shrine > Siena Heights). Good to know the Royal Oak and Siena connection lives on.
Jason Grose (West Bloomfield > UM-Dearborn). Many of you might know Jason’s grandfather, Glenn Craze. Glenn’s coverage of Macomb County cross country and involvement with the sport is an inspiration.

MITS Announcements

There’s been a slew of positive announcements from the crew at MITS. In coordination with the LAB, they were able to secure a mini Middle School Indoor Championship. Events included are the 100m, 400m, and 1600m. In honor of Charles Janke, they’ve also created $500 scholarships, awarded to one senior girl and one senior boy. As we come to the conclusion of another indoor season, it’s worth mentioning that MITS volunteers their services for free. It’s rough being a middleman, but Gene Lebron and the Juraseks keep coming back, year after year. If you’d like to apply for the scholarship they’ve created, click HERE.

Anything Else?

Apparently Mike Andersen was not satisfied with being inducted into the Milford Sports Hall of Fame, he had to go out and win the Super Bowl 5k.

Byron Center coach Colin Hunter previewed the OK White distance scene in a blog post here.

Jacob Tanner listed a number of breakout stars during this indoor season.

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