Where: DeWitt HS
This guy usually runs pretty fast. I had it at +8 for the DeWitt Invite this past fall, +4 on average for Regionals in 2020. I don’t know too much about it! But with this burner of a field, it’s definitely on the list of regionals to spectate!
2021 Boys: Lansing Catholic (3rd ), Ithaca (5th), Pewamo-Westphalia (22nd)
2021 Girls: Lansing Catholic (4th), Ithaca (9th), Pewamo-Westphalia (10th)
There are a few ways to judge regional strength. Many teams battling for that third spot is one, we’ll see examples of that in future D3 regions. A time needed for an individual qualifier is another. This region would normally be rough for that characteristic, three dominant teams on the girls side, but with the current setup, individual qualifiers will likely reach down past 20th place. Far and away, this will be a excruciatingly hard regional to take home a team trophy, especially on the girls end. THREE TOP 10 TEAMS.
Lansing Catholic is the experienced outfit. Hannah Pricco, CC Jones, Tessa Roe, Emmie West, they’ve all been here before and will do as to win, who can they slide into their top-5? I have Frances Melinn, who was a steady high-12/low-13 performer at the middle school level. Ithaca loses a ton, they also gain a ton, loses a coach, gains a new coach. Underneath that turmoil you have a talented Karisa Deacons, who came along nicely last season and now has a summer of running under her belt and Liliana Lehnst, who undertook a dramatic leap come track. Pewamo-Westphalia is just always there, year after year, kinda quietly an eternal factor. The Pirates have a nice mix of youth and experience. Ella Kowatch, a senior, here for one final year. Emerie Smith, learning from all the girls that’ve been there before. Whitney Werner, stirring the pot at the front of races.
Lansing Catholic should be able to dominate up front, Ithaca should be able to pack up in the teens, Pewamo-Westphalia should be able to have a mix of both. But should is an easy word to use before the season.
The boys don’t have that dominant team battle, but this is going to be as grand an individual race as you’ll get in Division 3. Parks Allen and Collin Farmer are both ranked in the 50 Tickets. Head to head in 2021 XC? 3-3. Collin with the better season best, Parks with the better place at State. Track? Parks won 2-1. Young runners improve more from season to season than older ones, a point in Collin’s favor. The ratings indicate a 6 second difference between the two, you just know that’ll be closer come late October.
Top 25 Boys Teams: Pewamo-Westphalia (9th)
Top 25 Girls Teams: Lansing Catholic (Top 8), Pewamo-Westphalia (Top 8), Ithaca (9th)
Just a little rundown of those in the top-15 that haven’t been mentioned in the 50 Tickets (CC, Hannah, Parks, Collin), the Top Tens (Lansing Catholic, P-Dub, Ithaca), and aren’t freshmen (you’ll get your day, Noah). Many of these are just scouring athleticnet (note – if you have a kid you want to brag about, reach out, tell me their story), but it’s more attention paid than many publications, it helps me learn names, and most of all – GETS ATTENTION TOWARDS KIDS THAT DESERVE IT.
Levi Maier, Chesaning: Has a very real possibility of upsetting both Collin and Parks. If track is any indication, he underwent a huge transformation this past winter. 4:36 to 4:21, 2:00 to 1:54. Extrapolate those drops into cross and you have a kid capable of running in the 16:30’s, if not faster.
Cole Yaros, New Lothrop: First time All-Region last year, placing 13th here. His previous best finish was 35th as a freshman.
Stephen Fair, Lansing Catholic: The Cougars lose a load of talented, accomplished, state champions (track). Stephen will be carrying the water for the regrowth of the program, as a sophomore, he showed he’s more than capable. Improved his personal best from 20:19 to 17:28.
Carter Holmes, Bath: Fifteen races into his high school career, he finally broke 18:00 at Webberville. He delivered another breakthrough performance here, placing 15th, moving on to compete another week.
Andrew Koenigsknecht, Bath: As with Carter, broke 18:00 for the first time earlier in the year. Andrew’s was at CMAC, the meet prior, that boost of confidence resulted in a State qualifier as well.
Clay Powell, Ovid-Elsie: Look to track and look for the drop this fall. 11:09 at the end of the spring for this true freshman.
Alexis Spitzley, Ovid-Elsie: Was on the path to her best season yet. Although her 2021 fall was cut short, Alexis was still able to bust through 21:00 for the first time.
Ally Andres, New Lothrop: Introductory year to high school running was full of honors and achievements. MMAC Champion on the track and State qualifier on the grass.