Best Distance Crews: Boys 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, Hart’s 800m boys:

12Wyatt Dean2:07.0127.0Hart3267
12Easton Vander Zwaag2:10.1130.1Hart3218
12Caleb Bitely2:10.2130.2Hart3217

They received 702 points and were the only boys 800m squad with three under the regional qualifier.

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. Sadly the Aquinas Challenge is not included.

Last fall’s cross season missed out on a sure top-10 finish from Grand Haven, Nolan Clark having to sit out the final six weeks of the season. In spite of that half season, Nolan’s bio has plenty of accolades. All-State in cross as a junior, 4th in the 3200m last spring. Early returns suggest he’ll make up for lost time, 1:56 in a rustbuster is mighty impressive.

D1 RankTeam800m1600mScore
1Grand Haven4417901231
3Zeeland West6980698
4East Kentwood0660660
6Saginaw Heritage3840384
7Bay City Western3750375
8Portage Central0361361
9Ann Arbor Pioneer3470347
10East Lansing0321321

Earlier in the month, I mentioned how I was already anticipating the D1 Boys 800 matchup. Similar excitement exists for the D2 one. Nik Schilling has exponentially rose these past few months, Aiden Sullivan looks to defend on his home track, and Tyler Heath laid down some burners during indoor. His 1:55.9 was good for 7th at Indoor State and a 2:02 opener shows he’s still in prime form.

D2 RankTeam800m1600mScore
2Monroe Jefferson267407674
3Dearborn Divine Child280308588
5Saginaw Swan Valley317241558
7Spring Lake0520520
10Ortonville Brandon3570357

I know they’re two separate people, but I can’t help but think of the similarities. Blonde hair, Virginia Tech, and the propensity to shock you in their senior year. For Garrett Winter, it was that cross performance that we all remember. For William Winter, it was another cross performance and the 4:18 he laid down in New York. Folks, he’s not done yet. May have had the best double of this early season with his 2:01/4:22 at the Laker Challenge.

D3 RankTeam800m1600mScore
6Grandville Calvin Christian0346346
7Kent City0316316
8Remus Chippewa Hills0264264
9Holland Black River2600260

I spend most of my time trying to find darkhorses, overlooked talent, nameless runners from schools that are unthought of. Over in Marine City lies a tiny Catholic school named Cardinal Mooney. Tyler Lenn is their main star and he had a marvelous indoor season, crushing his 3200m at State, racing to a 9:17. Beyond him, I wouldn’t be shocked if their 4x800m makes some noise. They return everyone from a 9th place squad and Isaac Zammit just ran a 3 second personal best in his opener.

D4 RankTeam800m1600mScore
1Marine City Cardinal Mooney179387566
2Kalamazoo Hackett215342557
5Southfield Christian0217217
6Holland Calvary Christian0126126
7The Potter’s House0110110

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s