WEEK ONE JUMP CREW
Just taking a glance at the meet schedules throughout the state over the next few days, there’s a good chance we’ll get some great efforts in the vault and hurdles. Hopeful to get those events analyzed and ranked this week.
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. Their purpose is to compare across events. Here are the tables:
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. 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. Relays are scaled to match their importance within a meet. Often, at the state level, teams score more points from a relay than they would with four individuals running that event, so they’re given a bit more importance here.
Here’s an example of one of the better early season crews, the East Kentwood Boys high jumpers. The Falcons are always one of the more well-rounded teams in the State, 2023 looks to be no different.
|12||Nakia Willis||East Kentwood||1||6′ 0″||377|
|11||Elisee Kanda||East Kentwood||1||5′ 10″||349|
|12||Marshaun Flakes||East Kentwood||1||5′ 10″||349|
These are from this season only, containing meets up until MONDAY and included on the athleticnet lists.
One of the better all-around athletes on one of the better teams is back for another round of it, hoping to help lead his Falcons to a State Title. At 2022’s MITCA Team State, Nakia Willis placed in the top-10 in the 110h, High Jump, and Long Jump, a major factor in their third place finish as a team. Already this year, he’s found new lengths in the Long Jump, hitting over 21’ on both of his early season meets. Over the previous two years, he’d been 21’+ only twice. A new dimension for someone capable of contributing to a team goal come early June.
|12||Nakia Willis||East Kentwood||21′ 9.75″||415|
|12||Nakia Willis||East Kentwood||6′ 0″||377|
|11||Elisee Kanda||East Kentwood||5′ 10″||349|
|12||Marshaun Flakes||East Kentwood||5′ 10″||349|
|11||Holland West Ottawa||363||341||704|
|14||Battle Creek Lakeview||0||407||407|
|16||Ann Arbor Skyline||0||401||401|
|20||Detroit Catholic Central||0||384||384|
|22||Grand Rapids Kenowa Hills||0||380||380|
|24||Grosse Pointe South||377||0||377|
Funny how when you evaluate the jumpers, you get those multi-event kids who can handle pretty much anything. Ben Merkel is another one. In addition to his 6’2 High Jump (tied for the State Lead in D2), he contributed to Jefferson’s 4×2, 4×4, and long jumped to top it off. Look back to last year, he hurdled, he ran an 800. Back to that 6’2 though, it ties his personal best and is his second effort ever over 6’. I’m not sure what the future holds at the state level, but I know he’s the early favorite for the Huron League title.
|12||Gage Vanalstine||Charlotte||6′ 0″||377|
|12||Joe Davis||Charlotte||5′ 10″||349|
|12||Gage Vanalstine||Charlotte||19′ 8.5″||325|
|12||Kaeden Maynard||Charlotte||19′ 5.25″||314|
|11||Cutler Brandt||Charlotte||19′ 5″||313|
|7||Orchard Lake St. Mary’s||0||733||733|
|12||Grand Rapids Catholic Central||405||0||405|
|20||Forest Hills Eastern||349||0||349|
|20||Richland Gull Lake||349||0||349|
|20||Wyoming Godwin Heights||349||0||349|
|20||Lake Odessa Lakewood||0||341||341|
Even the best fail. Andrew Phillips failed at the 2022 Regionals, where he missed a state qualifier by an inch. Those failures are necessary on the road to success. His 21’9 season opener was the exact opposite of a failure. A school record by 6”, 1.5 feet longer than his regional leap, and the best mark in D3 thus far. Many early mornings, hour long winter drives, and intense dedication led to this. In over a month, lord willing and the creek don’t rise, he’ll get a chance to redeem those past failures.
|12||Shea Ruddy||Ottawa Lake-Whiteford||6′ 2″||405|
|11||Kolby Masserant||Ottawa Lake-Whiteford||20′ 2.5″||346|
|9||Mason DeBarr||Ottawa Lake-Whiteford||5′ 8″||321|
|12||Grand Traverse Academy||377||0||377|
|16||Grandville Calvin Christian||349||0||349|
|20||Saginaw Valley Lutheran||0||348||348|
|24||Holland Black River||0||323||323|
Top-8 marks, a Regional title in the Long Jump, all was set for Mekhi Wingfield to cause a scene at the 2022 D4 State Finals. Unfortunately, he was unable to compete and better his 3rd place Long Jump finish from his freshman year. Now in 2023, his early season marks have put D4 on notice. He’s high jumped 2” higher than his previous best, he’s hit 22’ for the first time ever. That long jump is quickly turning into a must-see event. Anthany Buford has already been over 22’ and you know Alex Affer ain’t giving up the crown that easily. June can’t come soon enough.
|11||Mekhi Wingfield||Concord||22′ 4″||437|
|11||Mekhi Wingfield||Concord||6′ 4″||434|
|12||Anthony Evans||Concord||19′ 10.5″||332|
|3||Detroit Frederick Douglass||0||698||698|
|10||The Potter’s House||335||0||335|
|14||Holland Calvary Christian||0||291||291|
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