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2022 Division 2 State Finals Preview

As I’ve been doing with Macomb County, Upper Peninsula Finals, and Regionals, these are done via simulations. To make a short story long, an athlete’s weighted average (more recent meets weighed heavier) and the variance within those ratings are thrown into a blender, and from there, I’m able to simulate various “races”. With the meets above, I performed 100 simulations, I kicked it up a notch with 1000 this time around. See TullyRunners for a more mathy description of how these work.

You may notice that these previews are less intensive on the writing, this is intentional for my sanity. I feel that I (and Jacob Tanner) have done an excellent job of setting the stage throughout the year, if you’ve followed our work, you know what’s about to take place.

These are all based on what an athlete has run this year, no personal opinions involved. That’s not to say I don’t have personal opinions, it’s just that these are all number-driven. Of course, races aren’t run on a computer, that’s the beauty of sport, competition, and life. I hope you’re able to embrace the big and small moments this weekend. These are the memories that will stick with you forever. Let’s make some good ones.

BOYS TEAM

PlaceTeamAvg. ScoreWin %Podium %Top 10 %
1Pinckney134538495+
2Chelsea146235495+
3East Grand Rapids149225395+
4Forest Hills Eastern173295+
5Adrian182595+
6Grand Rapids Christian212295+
7Otsego23795+
8Dearborn Divine Child25395+
9St. Johns29295+
10Freeland32480
11Allendale36513
12St. Clair380
13Petoskey384
14Sparta387
15Linden3896
16Clio412
17Hamilton413
18Fremont416
19Grand Rapids South Christian455
20Yale475
21Alma482
22Mason489
23Corunna564
24Plainwell596
25St. Joseph603
26Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood605
27Armada641

Here lies the race of the day, three teams with very viable chances to claim the title. All were present in the top-5 over the summer, all have been in the top-5 throughout the past month. There have been a few notable matchups between the three. Spartan, where Chelsea came through and East Grand Rapids left battered and motivated. Otsego Bulldog, where East Grand Rapids exacted revenge. And Portage, where Pinckney upended the state and escaped with a 5-point victory.

The three bring forth different styles and compositions to their scoring. Pinckney is stronger up front, their 5th rapidly improving. In comparison, East Grand Rapids is a bit behind Pinckney with regard to their top guys, but has a consistently stronger 5th. Chelsea is a blend between the two, again with great depth and the ability to displace.

Speaking of quality depth, Forest Hills Eastern can always rely on the adage that the fastest fifth wins. I’ll have to do a deep dive on this after the season, but my estimation is that 90-95% of the time, the team with the fastest fifth wins the state title.

Team1st Boy2nd Boy3rd Boy4th Boy5th Boy6th Boy7th Boy
Pinckney41520256990124
Chelsea1172546566789
East Grand Rapids15212736507385
Forest Hills Eastern5344045495785
Adrian710285780101117
Grand Rapids Christian123547556376120
Otsego183346627898125

TeamThru 1Thru 2Thru 3Thru 4Thru 5
Pinckney4203965134
Chelsea1194490146
East Grand Rapids15366399149
Forest Hills Eastern53979124173
Adrian71745102182
Grand Rapids Christian124794149212
Otsego185198160237

BOYS INDIVIDUAL

PlaceGradeNameTeamAvg. Place
111Connell AlfordChelsea1.53
212Joey BowmanSt. Johns3.97
312Michael HegartyDearborn Divine Child4.51
412Carter McCalisterMonroe Jefferson4.61
511Evan LoughridgePinckney5.01
612Aiden SullivanForest Hills Eastern5.97
712Kyle EberhardLinden6.13
812Aiden SmithAdrian8.79
910TJ HansenFreeland10.29
1011Braylon PettyAdrian11.11
1111Nate CarmodyHaslett11.62
1211Solomon KwartowitzBloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood12.68
1310Simon TriezenbergGrand Rapids Christian14.05
1411Gregory JanesakSparta15.15
1512Braydon HonsingerFreeland21.81
1611Ryan BrinkerEast Grand Rapids21.91
1711Nolan NixonCadillac23.30
1811Ethan SandulaPinckney23.47
1912Bram HartsuffChelsea24.86
2011Alex TholeEast Grand Rapids25.44
2112Colin WesseldykOtsego25.59
2212Zach DebeauclairPinckney26.27
2311Paul MoorePinckney26.34
2412Zebedee SwagerChelsea28.57
2512Carter BoullardSt. Clair28.69
2611Nolan PinionLake Fenton29.06
2712Camden KhonArmada29.98
2811Elliott SirianniClio30.63
2911Shane IzzardPetoskey31.94
3011Logan RuffnerRiverview32.77
3111Noah LambersHolland32.95
3212Andre RichmondWhitehall33.85
3312Caleb BoesGrand Rapids South Christian35.06
3412Elijah RobinsonEast Grand Rapids35.70
3512Max VanHuisHamilton37.01
369Moises SalazarAdrian37.16
3711Isaac StaibSt. Johns37.25
3812Owen WesterkampBig Rapids38.35
3912Camden JohnecheckWilliamston39.20
4010Dominic LowrieBattle Creek Harper Creek40.06
4112Carter McIlroyWhitehall44.33
429Thomas LarsonAlma46.26
4310Will EngbersHolland Christian47.09
449Jonah WorkmanEast Grand Rapids48.11
4512Luke MorrisonBerrien Springs49.67
4610Caleb WesseldykOtsego50.24
4710Nolan InglisDeWitt50.52
4811Brendan HovingForest Hills Eastern51.73
4912Koda BrandtCharlotte53.99
5010Seth MeadGladwin54.11
5110Alex DonethMason59.76
5211Lucas HopkinsOlivet60.00
5311David MurphyFlint Powers Catholic61.02
5412Devin WeaverWayland Union62.86
5512Adrian CastilloHolland63.04
5610Jack BidwellMarshall63.63
5712Tyler DohmSt. Johns64.13
5811Blake FergusonYale65.17
5910Henry DixonForest Hills Eastern65.37
6010Colin MurrayDearborn Divine Child65.60
6110Landen WiseFrankenmuth65.62
6212Gavin WiersmaZeeland East66.75
6310Isaak RubleyDundee69.52
6411Liam HinmanForest Hills Eastern70.12
6512Joseph VanderKooiGrand Rapids South Christian70.45
6610Parker TiethofAllendale71.05
6711Joe WaalkesGrand Rapids Christian71.20
6812Will VanderborPaw Paw72.24
6910Abatu DykstraHamilton72.68
7012Tyler HeathClio73.70
7112Alex ParkerForest Hills Eastern73.72
7212David HarrisSt. Clair74.59
7311Cooper JacobsenForest Hills Eastern75.53
7411Davis ChristyEast Grand Rapids75.72
7511Dylan ClarkGrand Rapids Christian77.03
7612Pierce BentleyOtsego78.66
7712Nik ShillingOrtonville Brandon79.92
7811Aiden KrugerNiles79.94
7912Nick SpruceChelsea80.44
8011Sean PettisFremont81.93
8112Ryan BlackwoodLinden82.22
8211Jackson DellChelsea85.61
8311Andrew YaxClio87.76
8412Reuben WieringGrand Rapids Christian88.09
859Jacob StanislawskiFlat Rock89.16
8611William O’DellBattle Creek Harper Creek89.74
879Aden AshworthAllendale90.09
8812Ben SchefkaAdrian90.36
8911Cooper SingletonParma Western92.71
9012Ben KnuthBig Rapids92.91
9110Keegan HoekstraGrand Rapids Christian93.36
9211Peter KuperusGrand Rapids Christian93.97
9310Leo SwagerChelsea94.75
9411Jacob MontgomeryIonia95.42
959Ronnie SilveiraAllendale95.53
9610Dylan PallettWayland Union95.63
9712Luke AldrichOtsego95.97
9812Ryan MorrisNew Boston Huron96.92
9912James MeningaMason97.65
10012Nathan UlcakDearborn Divine Child98.09

Connell Alford opened the season with a few times that gave evidence of eye-popping potential, 15:30’s on hotter early season meets at Sharp Park and the Meadows. When it came time to truly race, it’s been a steady stream of records and dominance. Spartan, Bulldog, Portage, SEC, Regionals, he’s put at least a 10 second gap on anyone from a D2 school. He’s the clear favorite, but those gaps are closing.

As is the case with many of the previous matchups, this should be a quality race for second and perhaps an upset victory. Joey Bowman has been sub-16 in every last race and only has one loss to his name. Michael Hegarty for the fourth year in a row has posted a PB in early October and drove his times down further than that. Carter McCalister was right there with Hegarty in Region 18, racing to a 15:07 on a quick Milan course. Kyle Eberhard has kept up his penchant of championship wins, grabbing the FML and Greater Flint crowns. Aiden Sullivan may have the best footspeed. Evan Loughridge is the most improved of the bunch and comes off a regional victory.

GIRLS TEAM

PlaceTeamAvg. ScoreWin %Podium %Top 10 %
1East Grand Rapids95849995+
2Otsego118148495+
3Grand Rapids Christian1481795+
4Forest Hills Eastern21095+
5Spring Lake21695+
6St. Joseph22795+
7Zeeland East25895+
8Goodrich27495+
9Alma31874
10St. Johns33043
11Petoskey34718
12Williamston35516
13Frankenmuth35912
14Grand Rapids South Christian36014
15Monroe Jefferson36919
16Adrian3956
17Ludington4190
18Owosso4280
19Freeland4350
20Chelsea4670
21Cadillac4740
22Croswell-Lexington4790
23St. Clair5270
24Linden5660
25Warren Regina5690
26Vicksburg5870
27Detroit Country Day6060

With their contrasting styles, East Grand Rapids and Otsego will lock up for a colossal matchup. Since the beginning of championship season, the two squads have been ranked in the top 2 spots.

Somewhat controversially, East Grand Rapids has held the top spot. The reason may be in my ranking philosophy. I don’t look at head to head matchups or meet scores, I use the top 7 runners from a squad, regardless if they all ran in the same meet. The Pioneers have had very few occasions where all of their best girls have competed together. More recent meets (OK White Championship and Region 12) can give a glimpse into how EGR performs with their full (or top six) varsity girls racing. The OK White Meet had five girls under 19:10 (quick course), at Region 12, they were able to put six girls in the top 20.

Otsego has sat in that #2 spot for the past month, rightfully wondering why they’re so low. After all, the Bulldogs have picked up victories in D2-heavy fields at Spartan, Cougar Falcon, Otsego Bulldog, and Portage. The big race experience is there, I should say the big race WINNING experience is there.

Grand Rapids Christian is pretty solidly in third, a position they’ve been in for the majority of the past month. The Eagles hold it down there despite missing Naomi Nelson, a testament to everyone stepping up in her absence. Spring Lake gave them a stiff test at Region 11, but the patient racing paid off in the final mile and in the standings.

*LATE EDIT* a few people pointed out that Naomi Nelson is now in the entries. To be efficient on a tight schedule, I did all the calculating and simulating on Tuesday and she wasn’t listed then. This changes things up a bit. My immediate guess is she’s worth at least 30 points, perhaps even 50. Which throws Grand Rapids Christian smack into the top 3 with a very real shot of winning the whole thing. Since these are the actual predictions and I hope I’ve built up enough leeway to do this, I’ll deviate from the normal numbers – 1. East Grand Rapids, 2. – Grand Rapids Christian, 3 – Otsego.

Team1st Girl2nd Girl3rd Girl4th Girl5th Girl6th Girl7th Girl
East Grand Rapids2142025354772
Otsego57111679114133
Grand Rapids Christian2152347637489

TeamThru 1Thru 2Thru 3Thru 4Thru 5
East Grand Rapids216356095
Otsego5122339118
Grand Rapids Christian2173986148

GIRLS INDIVIDUAL

PlaceGradeNameTeamAvg. Place
111Drew MullerEast Grand Rapids1.74
211Natalie VanOtterenGrand Rapids Christian1.79
311Allison KuzmaZeeland East3.37
411Mary RichmondFrankenmuth4.10
511Megan GermainOtsego5.16
69Emma HoffmanOtsego8.34
710Elena FigueroaSt. Joseph9.87
812Emma JanesakSparta12.74
911Clara FletcherSt. Johns13.91
1011Jenna PilachowskiMonroe Jefferson13.94
1111Logan BrazeeOtsego14.37
1211CamBrie CoreyPetoskey14.50
1312Lily ParkerSpring Lake15.29
1410Taylor MitchellOtsego16.33
1510Kamryn LauingerGoodrich16.94
1611Gail VaikutisSt. Joseph17.15
1711Meghan FordMason17.79
189Lilah PoelGrand Rapids Christian18.12
1910Sadey SeyferthEast Grand Rapids20.17
2011Emily TomesGrand Rapids Catholic Central22.22
2110Ezgi KurtAlma23.26
2211Addison WashlerForest Hills Eastern24.04
2310Madeline LoePetoskey25.85
249Gracie LynnEast Grand Rapids26.73
2511Payton HoltzGrand Rapids Christian26.97
269Reese LynnEast Grand Rapids27.20
279Katie BerkshireGaylord28.52
2812Alisa MasonHolland32.00
2910Lexie RuffingSpring Lake35.92
3012Sarah DixonForest Hills Eastern35.97
3110Eva ThompsonCroswell-Lexington37.28
3210Nicole SchaferWilliamston38.16
3311Abby YoungSt. Johns38.63
3412Sophie EndrudDetroit Country Day42.05
3512Ellory ClasonForest Hills Eastern42.32
3611Nora O’LearyPetoskey42.72
3711Camille DeColaMarshall43.53
3810Brooklyn KhonArmada45.37
3912Kaylee PestaTecumseh46.09
4010Ava CrewsMiddleville Thornapple-Kellogg47.11
4112Ariel WarnerShepherd47.98
429Natalie FoltzFrankenmuth48.74
4311Emma DeVriesGR West Michigan Aviation50.18
4412Camryn BodineEast Grand Rapids50.21
4510Joy EvansAlma50.41
4612Olivia BarabasWayland Union50.76
4710Layla JordanGoodrich52.23
4811Ashlyn SmithForest Hills Eastern55.45
4912Olivia IppelSt. Joseph56.25
5011Emma SteeleVicksburg57.27
5111Morgan NewtonCroswell-Lexington57.48
529Meredith CookZeeland East57.65
5310Kayla WilliamsDeWitt57.84
5412Gianna-Marie SchubertAnn Arbor Gabriel Richard58.23
5510Jaiden GriffithWilliamston58.23
5610Summer BrowerLudington59.27
579Linnea PaigeFremont60.97
5812Catrina FarrisHamilton62.09
599Brooklynn BrownCadillac62.21
6012Lauren HunterHaslett62.23
6111Ellia AgarGrand Rapids South Christian63.27
6211Sophia LadoEast Grand Rapids63.63
6310Natalia DeMeaChelsea66.19
6410Josie JenkinsonOwosso67.18
6512Abby O’BrienComstock Park68.69
6611Remington ArneyNewaygo70.50
6711Libby SummerlandOwosso71.51
689Berkley HoltzSturgis72.16
6910Mea D’agostinoOrchard Lake St. Mary’s74.42
7010Karie KeeferFreeland75.85
719Chloe RinzemaGrand Rapids South Christian75.97
7211Bea ReeserSpring Lake76.21
739Alexis KotkowiczSpring Lake76.31
749Jada PrescottFreeland79.03
7512Ariana TreatWhitehall79.04
7611Anastee DavisAdrian81.80
7711Alexis WaringGoodrich82.41
789Christina TheisLudington82.79
7910Maria NunningPontiac Notre Dame Prep82.92
8010Emma DrnekZeeland East82.98
8112Ava PergitoneSt. Clair83.06
8210Autumn ThompsonDeWitt84.24
8311Yoselin Fermin-CamposAdrian84.30
8412Ava BuhlmanAllendale84.57
8510Sophy SkeelsAdrian84.81
8612Sarah TimmerGrand Rapids Christian85.86
8710Madison JohnsonPaw Paw86.05
889Sydney FergusonDeWitt87.35
8910Desiree Duque-RicoGR West Michigan Aviation88.67
9011Brianna AlbersRichmond88.88
9110Avery ByrneGoodrich92.44
9210Maddie BruxvoortHudsonville Unity Christian92.74
9310Elizabeth AmbroggioWarren Regina92.77
9410Marisa ChueyTrenton92.78
959Josie LongcorePlainwell94.35
969Ellie ScholmaGrand Rapids Christian95.66
9710Nadia GriersonLudington95.69
9812Abigail PetrEast Grand Rapids97.68
999Meghan GuczwaSpring Lake101.03
10012Anna TriezenbergGrand Rapids Christian102.15

The individual title looks to be a competitive head-to-head throwdown between two conference foes. Both have grabbed victory in matchups between each other, Drew Muller in more recent races, Natalie VanOtteren early in the year. The two ventured separate ways for Regionals, both winning their respective races. Natalie had an impressive effort, pulling away from Allison Kuzma in the late miles, Drew may have been saving herself for this big weekend ahead.

Both Kuzma and Mary Richmond have been here before, All-State, placing highly in their sophomore races. They have the greatest chance of anyone to climb into the top two.

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