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:
|Name||UTL Time||Best Other Time|
|Will Engbers||16:26||16:44 – Bredeweg|
|Sam Martini||16:35||16:20 – Central Montcalm|
|Chase Holwerda||16:36||16:47 – Bredeweg|
|Caleb Smith||16:48||17:10 – Bredeweg|
|Nathan Golding||16:51||17:09 – Bredeweg|
|Brendan Wangler||16:56||16:46 – SW Rustbuster|
|Seth Conner||16:58||16:31 – 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.
|Name||UTL Time||Bredeweg Rough Projection|
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.
|2||The Potter’s House||125||3||16||25||27||54||100||114|
|5||East Grand Rapids||152||20||24||28||30||50||57||70|
|9||Dearborn Divine Child||252||4||42||64||68||74||93||110|
|10||Walled Lake Northern||272||8||37||62||81||84||116||119|
|11||Port Huron Northern||296||18||36||41||92||109||118||120|
|13||Rochester Hills Stoney Creek||326||45||46||72||75||88||89||102|
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.
|3||12||Lezawe Osterink||The Potter’s House||211.1|
|4||12||Michael Hegarty||Dearborn Divine Child||209.9|
|5||12||Nolan Clark||Grand Haven||208.1|
|6||11||Seth Norder||Grand Haven||205.2|
|7||11||Thomas Westphal||Anchor Bay||202.6|
|8||11||Ty Parker||Walled Lake Northern||201.3|
|16||12||Logan Swiney||The Potter’s House||196.5|
|18||12||Glen Davis||Port Huron Northern||193.9|
|20||11||Alex Thole||East Grand Rapids||192.3|
|24||11||Ryan Brinker||East Grand Rapids||189.5|
|25||11||Jackson Rodriguez||The Potter’s House||189.3|
|27||11||Ian Palacios||The Potter’s House||188.4|
|28||12||Elijah Robinson||East Grand Rapids||186.8|
|30||9||Jonah Workman||East Grand Rapids||186.1|
|33||10||Ben Held||Grand Haven||185.3|
|36||11||Luke Maher||Port Huron Northern||184.2|
|37||11||Evan Rice||Walled Lake Northern||183.5|
|41||11||Luke VanderHeuvel||Port Huron Northern||182.2|
|42||10||Colin Murray||Dearborn Divine Child||181.6|
|44||12||Logan Vining||Grand Haven||180.7|
|45||12||Evan Lord||Rochester Hills Stoney Creek||180.7|
|46||12||Zachary Larson||Rochester Hills Stoney Creek||180.1|
|47||11||Zachary Rubicz||Anchor Bay||179.9|
|49||12||Sam Elder||Grand Ledge||179.4|
|50||12||Davis Head||East Grand Rapids||179.3|