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Regional Previews: Division 4, Region 35

Regional Previews

50 Tickets

The Top Tens

Now we’re getting to the fun part!  In previous years, what I’ve done is list the top teams, top individuals. Prior to last summer, I’d write and write and write, then never finish my writings before the season started. In 2021, I made the decision to just list the top teams and not add any creative input. I’m going to bridge that gap this year. The best of the best are covered in the 50 Tickets, the fastest runners on the best teams will be covered in their Top 10s. In these previews, I want to write just a tiny bit about everyone else. Maybe it’s only a sentence, but y’all deserve even the tiniest bit of recognition.

These projections include incoming freshmen. This is a necessary step in the previews, however there are some unknown areas. Many of the schools in this region have identifiable feeder schools, but I’ll always miss someone that didn’t run 8th grade XC or add someone that ran 8th grade XC and won’t run in HS. There’s really no other way to do it other than make it a guessing game or to ask every coach individually, which would take years. As always, if you’re reading here, have an upcoming region with an odd case, reach out!

Where: The traditional home on the shores of Lake Huron, Wagener County Park. I haven’t been out there, but I’ve been to county parks near the water in the area, they’re all flat unless you’re going down to the lake. Last year, the adjustments tended to rate the course as very fast, +30 or more.

Once again, we have a course map with great detail:

2021 Boys: Unionville-Sebewaing (19th), Deckerville (21st), Mayville (22nd)

2021 Girls: Unionville-Sebewaing (7th), Harbor Beach (11th), Ubly (19th)

Top 25 Boys Teams: Ubly (Top 10), Unionville-Sebewaing (23rd)

Top 25 Girls Teams: Kingston (Top 10), Unionville-Sebewaing (11th), Ubly (18th)

(As stated earlier, the shoutouts and anecdotes here will be anyone in the Top 15 isn’t on a top 10 team. Top incoming freshmen will get their due at the end of summer or throughout their career 🙂 )

Ethan Green – The defending regional champ. Ran a PB here, breaking 17:00, then went onto win another regional title in the 3200m in track.

Aiden Fitchett – Two years, two top-10 regional finishes. Peaked hard to close the season, two straight sub-18’s. Then did the same in track, running a 4+ sec. PB at State.

Connor Rouse – Don’t be fooled if he starts the season slow. Each of the past two years, he’s been above 19:00 throughout much of September, but like Fitchett, always in the top-10 come late October.

John Schoen – Went from 30th here in 2020 to 7th in 2021, knocked more than a minute off his best too. Trajectory continued into track, where he placed 10th in the 800m at D4 State.

Colin Beck – As a freshman, stepped onto Deckerville’s varsity squad with 6 sub-19:00 efforts.

Gavin Helgeson – Similar story to Schoen, improving from 31st to 11th in one year.

Kendall Dumaw – Has broken 18:00 late in each of the past two years.

Wynn Blake – Brown City moves down from Division 3 this year. No matter, Wynn has championship experience with two consecutive qualifiers. He’s an excellent vaulter too, getting higher than 11’ both in 2021 and 2022.

Turlough Bennett – Freshman peaked at the right time, his first venture into the 18:00’s was a 18:41 here, backed up with a 10 sec. improvement the following week.

Joel Enos – Freshman year similar to many others above. Slow start culminating in a State Meet berth and a few mid-18’s.

Christopher Gonzales – Four minute improvement from the season’s start to the season’s end.

Devin Dudley – Ran the race of his life last year in Brooklyn, a 30+ second personal best.

Maze Gusa – The tradition continues. Ubly, the Gusa clan, and so many awards. Two consecutive regional titles and All-State honors.

Reece Wruble – We like the steady progression throughout her freshman campaign. Performed admirably at championship meets and almost pulled off an All-State (38th).

Sophia Sanford – None of those boys match the massive leap from Sophia. 52nd here as a sophomore, 8th as a junior.

Erica Klee – One of the bigger surprises in November, where she ran a 36 sec. personal best en route to a 29th place finish at MIS.

Kyra Beemer – Showed some mid-D prowess in track, where she ran multiple 2:30’s in the 800m, winning the GTC East League in the process.

Gabriella Reinbold – First season as a harrier for the Patriots was highlighted by a 2nd place finish here. Could be very underrated based on that finish.

Isabella Yeoman – Didn’t even make it to regionals as a freshman, stepped up as a sophomore with a 9th place result. Carried that momentum into track where she busted through 6:00 in the 1600m at season’s end.

Sarah Nimtz – Many years in the USA middle school program led to a freshman led to a freshman season where she was able to break 22:00 late and help the Patriots to a top-10 finish at State.

Shelby Bowers – Dropped a minute from her personal best and 30 places at Regionals.

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