We Gon’ Shock the State: Boys Spartan Elite Preview

As if we weren’t already shocked after Under the Lights.

Well, the time has come. The Potter’s House is making the trek east on 96, Marquette crosses the Mackinac Bridge down into troll land. Each with something to prove, each to show they can run with the state’s best, hell even showing they’re better than the state’s best.

During their program’s short time of existence, Potter’s House has amassed awards (3 straight State appearances, all top-12 finishes), a feeder program, and that combination has helped lead the Pumas to where they are today. Although the XC accomplishments have been many, the spring track season was a noticeable uptick in performance. Potter’s House claimed three State titles, two by Lezawe Osterink, one by their 4x800m squad.

Lezawe has been the man in D4 for the past year, now the depth began to form around him. Ian Palacios coming back from an injury that took away his 2021 season, Jackson Rodriguez coming over from soccer, Logan Swiney beginning to put it together. Those four together created the 4×8 team that won by 8 seconds, those four plus the ever improving Noah Finton comprise that astounding opening effort.

Among a field of D1 & D2 teams at South Christian, the Pumas racked up a mere 28 points. Zeeland West (2nd at Bredeweg, OK Green Jamboree 1 winner) and Jenison (SW Rustbuster Champ, 2nd at Lakeview) both have good shots of being top-10 type teams at MIS, so does Holland Christian (4th at Bredeweg) in Division 2. Comparing against competition, they’ve passed all the tests.

Time? Five under 17:06. Okay, okay, you rated the South Christian course as sorta fast (-2). Let’s look at those that finished ahead of Noah Finton, their 5th man:

NameUTL TimeBest Other Time
Will Engbers16:2616:44 – Bredeweg
Sam Martini16:3516:20 – Central Montcalm
Chase Holwerda16:3616:47 – Bredeweg
Caleb Smith16:4817:10 – Bredeweg
Nathan Golding16:5117:09 – Bredeweg
Brendan Wangler16:5616:46 – SW Rustbuster
Seth Conner16:5816:31 – Lakeview

Super small sample size, I know, but I want to extrapolate. 15-20 second addition in comparing Under the Lights vs. Bredeweg, we’ll even go on the high end, a 20 second adjustment.

NameUTL TimeBredeweg Rough Projection
Lezawe Osterink15:2815:48
Logan Swiney16:1216:32
Jackson Rodriguez16:3416:54
Ian Palacios16:3616:56
Noah Finton17:0617:26

Throw those in the results and you have a team that competes with Grand Haven for the win, Grand Haven is currently ranked #4 in Division 1.

Marquette on the other hand has been THE team in the Upper Peninsula D1 scene for yerars. Historically and recently, the Redmen have it covered. They own 12 of the past 20 titles in the UP’s biggest division, they own the last 3 as well.

Sadly, we don’t get much of a competition comparison or time comparison as we would with Potter’s House. Historically, the Presque Isle course tends to be similar to a Kensington or Cass Benton down here (honestly, I have it in my mind that every course in the UP contains a mountain or three). In each of their three meets, all at Presque Isle, Marquette has put five runners under 18:20.

They have the frontrunner, Carson Vanderschaaf, he of a 9:24 3200m at New Balance. Working in their favor for a huge race such as this is the depth. Cullen Papin and Colin Vanderschaaf both have speed to their names, sub-2 on the track, Chase Thomsen is more of a strength guy, hitting low-10’s in the 3200m. Brady Ketzenberger finished 6th in the D1 State Finals in 2021, Kai Chouinard underwent a massive transformation in the past year.

The projections work similar to how I do regional and state projections, team rankings as well, listing the runners from the highest rating to the lowest, scoring it out as if it’s a cross country meet. These projections do NOT contain Ohio teams, as I don’t have any data on them (refer to Jacob Tanner’s article on their makeups). Given the lack of Ohio squads, this isn’t an overall projection for the meet, just a projection for Michigan-based teams.

Come Friday night, we should be able to filter out the Ohio teams from the results and see how “right” these are. Until then, we get to ponder and fear the Puma and Redman greatness.

2The Potter’s House125316252754100114
3Grand Haven139563344516782
5East Grand Rapids15220242830505770
9Dearborn Divine Child25244264687493110
10Walled Lake Northern272837628184116119
11Port Huron Northern29618364192109118120
13Rochester Hills Stoney Creek326454672758889102
14Anchor Bay3387477696112113124

Also, check out the difference between East Grand Rapids and Chelsea. Or all those Region 9 teams, Port Huron Northern through Anchor Bay, all battling for two spots behind Romeo.

111Connell AlfordChelsea216.9
211Brendan HergerNorthville213.6
312Lezawe OsterinkThe Potter’s House211.1
412Michael HegartyDearborn Divine Child209.9
512Nolan ClarkGrand Haven208.1
611Seth NorderGrand Haven205.2
711Thomas WestphalAnchor Bay202.6
811Ty ParkerWalled Lake Northern201.3
911Bryce NowikClarkston201.2
1012Brady HeronNorthville199.9
1111Tyler LangleyBrighton198.4
1212Justin RooseFraser198.3
1312Carson VanderschaafMarquette197.8
1412Bram HartsuffChelsea197.2
1510Ethan PowellNorthville197.0
1612Logan SwineyThe Potter’s House196.5
1712Brock MalaikalNorthville194.2
1812Glen DavisPort Huron Northern193.9
1912Zebedee SwagerChelsea192.7
2011Alex TholeEast Grand Rapids192.3
2112Henry PoploskieClarkston192.0
2211Elliott SirianniClio191.4
2312Jaben BakkerHudsonville190.8
2411Ryan BrinkerEast Grand Rapids189.5
2511Jackson RodriguezThe Potter’s House189.3
2610Jaxson NowikClarkston188.6
2711Ian PalaciosThe Potter’s House188.4
2812Elijah RobinsonEast Grand Rapids186.8
2912Brayden MorrisBrighton186.7
309Jonah WorkmanEast Grand Rapids186.1
3112Brandon LattaNorthville186.0
3211Nicholas YaquintoNorthville185.7
3310Ben HeldGrand Haven185.3
3411Luke CampbellBrighton185.1
359Lance EdghillFraser184.8
3611Luke MaherPort Huron Northern184.2
3711Evan RiceWalled Lake Northern183.5
3812Brady MatuszewskiBrighton183.1
3912Dylan WhiteBrighton183.0
4012David WhitakerNorthville182.8
4111Luke VanderHeuvelPort Huron Northern182.2
4210Colin MurrayDearborn Divine Child181.6
4312Brady KetzenbergerMarquette181.6
4412Logan ViningGrand Haven180.7
4512Evan LordRochester Hills Stoney Creek180.7
4612Zachary LarsonRochester Hills Stoney Creek180.1
4711Zachary RubiczAnchor Bay179.9
4811Tyler DonovanFraser179.4
4912Sam ElderGrand Ledge179.4
5012Davis HeadEast Grand Rapids179.3


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