Best Distance Crews: Girls Week One

For this week’s version of the distance crews, I only included the 800m and 1600m. The next iteration will bring in the 3200m and 4x800m. The majority of meets thus far this season have been indoors, and they’ve either not featured the relay, not had a 3200m, or had a 3000m instead. Then half of the invitationals are listed as “indoor” for athleticnet lists (or just not listed at all), making my task more difficult, but I won’t complain too much.

To review, these “best crews” were started last year to try to recognize the best teams in each event area, whether that’s the jumps here, or sprints or throws elsewhere. Last year’s version was more complex and relied on having three participants in each event. I’ve changed things a bit this year, mostly to ease the process on my end and have the ability to include more teams.

Here’s the process:

Over the winter, I created my own version of World Athletics Tables, but for Michigan athletes. These are based on times/marks from the 2022 Outdoor Season throughout the US.



There are two guidelines for being included. Your mark has to be from this outdoor season and it has to be better than the Regional Additional Qualifying Mark. Here are those qualifiers for the individual events. Obviously, every team can run a relay at Regionals. For the 4×800, this standard is my own (not MHSAA’s) and the equivalent of if there was a standard.

EventD1 GirlsD2 GirlsD3 GirlsD4 Girls

EventD1 BoysD2 BoysD3 BoysD4 Boys

Marks from this season are taken from the athletic.net performance lists. There will likely be some instances where someone has run a time, but it’s not included on that list. I can’t help that! Please contact the necessary folks to get your name on there.

For each event, with a maximum of four athletes, those scores are added together. Then within a category, those events are added together. There is some scaling done for relays and more than four athletes included if you’re especially dominant in an event, but we’ll get to those in time. For example, Ann Arbor Pioneer’s 1600m girls:

11Rachel Forsyth4:53.0293.0Ann Arbor Pioneer1494
12Emily Cooper5:00.0300.0Ann Arbor Pioneer1463
11Sylvia Sanok Dufallo5:01.0301.0Ann Arbor Pioneer1459

They received 1416 points, the most dominant of any squad in any event, boys or girls, thus far.

I’ll try to give a shoutout or mention for each division (and when our friends north of the bridge start competin’, do the same for their divisions). We also have the Michtrack Newsletter and Jacob Tanner’s Three Stars mentioning outstanding performances. I’ll do my best to mention athletes not previously written about.

Also would like to give thanks to Miles Postema for use of his photo galleries. His photos are the backgrounds for many of my edits. In our Michigan Track/XC Coaches facebook group, Miles has given us free access to download and use these. As someone who is doing this for free and not looking to profit off high schoolers, a cost-effective way to promote our sport is invaluable.

These lists are comprised of meets through Monday.

In order to keep the tradition going, you have to add talent and you have to bring improvement in the talent that you have. West Ottawa has been at or near the top of the heap the past few years and with freshman additions such as Addie Birkholz, the Panthers should be to retain that position. In the fall, she progressed from a 22+ girl to a valuable contributor, sub-20 on a state title winning squad. On the track, she’s found her home in mid-distance. Her 2:18 opener was 2nd in the Laker Challenge and would’ve placed in the top-10 of all freshman girls in the 2022 season. Of course, this is just the start and who knows how many seconds will be dropped over the course of the season.

D1 RankTeam800m1600mScore
1Ann Arbor Pioneer47014161886
2Holland West Ottawa8508891739
4Grand Haven8190819
5Walled Lake Northern401377778
6Traverse City West7430743
7Zeeland East373345718
9Bay City Western367337704

Always a solid contributor, always a bit unheralded, Lily Parker seems primed to have her best track season yet. Her 800m opener was a personal best, her 1600m nearly the same. The longer distance appears to be more of her thing, evidenced by her two All-State honors on the grass. Those faster times at the shorter distances often lead to big gains at the longer ones, I wouldn’t be shocked if she’s on the medal stand come early June.

D2 RankTeam800m1600mScore
1Spring Lake7323581091
2Monroe Jefferson333309642
9Grand Rapids Catholic Central2970297

A major reason for Lawton’s inclusion on this early list is Kendra Koster. She’s coming off an outstanding indoor season where she set PB’s in the range of distance events. From 2:20 to 11:14, she established herself as someone that can be in the conversation when June rolls around. Although the State Finals haven’t been kind to her in November or June, I think her experience from the MITS meet will pay dividends down the line.

D3 RankTeam800m1600mScore
3Lansing Catholic349442791
4Kent City297352649
5St. Louis314320635
8Grandville Calvin Christian0511511

The Division 4 State Finals likely should bend to the will of Aiden Harrand. Whichever individual events she chooses to run, she’ll be the favorite. I think her past two outdoor seasons and this indoor season and cross-country campaign give her that honor. But in the relay, the distance girls of Rochester Hills Lutheran NW have already made a statement. Abby Rice opened with a solid 2:32. Just behind Abby, Madeleine Barge knocked out a PR in her first race of the season. Mackenzie Lemke won the 1600m in 5:30. The Crusaders also return Julia Troxel as the final component of their title defense.

D4 RankTeam800m1600mScore
1Rochester Hills Lutheran NW603333936
2Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart357169526
4Kalamazoo Hackett188176364
5Harbor Beach2200220

2 thoughts on “Best Distance Crews: Girls Week One”

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