Metro Detroit boys cross country state finals preview

Metro Detroit boys cross country state finals preview

Provided by Jared Purcell |

The boys cross country state finals for all four divisions will be held on Saturday at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. Team titles and individual glory is at stake for many Metro Detroit runners.

Here is a quick guide to Metro Detroit teams and athletes you should be keeping track of on Saturday.

Division 1

Top team: Milford

Milford has come on especially strong in the second half of the season. Brian Kettle, Cody Snavely and Paul Ausum placed first, third and fourth respectively at the ultra competitive Brighton region finals to lead Milford. Kettle is only a sophomore and he won with an area leading time of 15:25.

Team contenders:

Waterford Mott – The Lakers dominated its region on a challenging Hess-Hathaway course in Waterford. Junior Nathan Burnand took top individual honors for Mott with a time of 16:07. Senior Brandon Carson took fourth in 16:16 while freshman teammate Sam Albaugh – younger brother of last year’s Division 1 state champ Scott Albaugh – placed fifth with a time of 16:41. 

Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice – The Warriors had been dealing with the injury bug lately but the regular varsity squad that led the team to such great early season success is back together. Whether or not the Warriors will be at full health on Saturday is yet to be seen. If they are, they will surprise a lot of people. Brother Rice placed a distant second in the Waterford region behind Mott last weekend. 

White Lake Lakeland – Just because this team placed third in its region doesn’t mean it won’t contend at the state meet. Keep in mind that the Brighton district that Lakeland qualified our of was the most challenging in the state. Garret Zuk will look to contend for an individual title

Others teams to watch for: Romeo, Clarkston, Lake Orion, U-D Jesuit,

Top Individual:Brian Kettle, So., Milford – This was a difficult choice but the way he held off veteran Lakeland senior Garrett Zuk at the Brighton region finals was impressive. He’s got the fastest time in the Metro Detroit area this season.

Individual contenders:

Garrett Zuk, Sr., White Lake Lakeland – One of the most impressive individuals in the area all season, Zuk can run with anybody.

Cody Snavely, Jr., Milford – Snavely will continue to challenge his teammate Kettle at the state championships.

Nathan Burnand, Jr., Waterford Mott – Will be in the mix for an all-state bid for sure

Tom Girardot, Sr., Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice – Seems to be past whatever sickness issues he’s had in past races and should turn in his best race at states.

Derek Gielarowski, Sr., Plymouth

Sam Tanielian, Sr., Clarkston

T.J. Carey, Jr., Lake Orion

Stephen Biebelhausen, Jr., Rochester Adams

John Worthington, Sr., Warren Mott

Isaac Peipszowski, Sr., U-D Jesuit

Dan Sims, So., Northville


Division 2

Top team: Dearborn Divine Child

Nicholas Soter and Griffin Miller lead the deepest Division 2 squad in the Metro Detroit area. Soter and Miller placed 1-2 respectively in the region finals despite being 40 seconds apart.

Team contenders: 

Detroit Country Day – There is plenty of depth here as well. If Country Day has another performance like it did on Saturday, it could very well place higher than Divine Child. 

Bloomfield Hills Lahser – Lahser will be very much in the race for a podium spot. Finished just one point behind Country Day at the Metro Beach region. 

Ferndale – It’s top runner Leo Kopeck led Ferndale to its best performance of the season by grabbing the third and final qualifying spot at the Metro Beach region. 

Top Individual:Nicholas Soter, Sr., Dearborn Divine Child – Soter has been a front runner all season among Metro Detroit runners. The Wayne County champion is practically a lock for an all-state spot. Can he challenge for an individual title? He’ll need is best performance  to do so.

Individual contenders:

Dallas Shields, Jr., Hazel Park: Dallas Shields easily won the OAA Blue title and recently ran a career best time of 15:57. He will be in the mix for an all-state performance.

Jarred Bratley, Sr., Bloomfield Hills Andover: Bratley is one of the best Division 2 runners in the Metro Detroit area and in the state.

Michael Gawlik, Jr., Bloomfield Hills Lahser


Division 3 

Top team: Macomb Lutheran North

North was the only Division 3 team to qualify for states this year but should represent well as its top six took half of the top 12 spots on last weekend in its region final. The top six are also only separated by just 32 seconds. If that gap doesn’t get any bigger, it should really help out North points wise on Saturday. 

Top Individual:Parker McGoldrick, Jr., Macomb Lutheran North – McGoldrick is one of the best in the area for Division 3 but will need a massive improvement to contend for any kind of all-state recogniation.

Individual contenders:

Joel Trent, Sr., Warren Michigan Collegiate

Ryan Bailey, Sr., Clawson

Sam Parks, Sr., Riverview Gabrielle Richard


Division 4

Top team: Royal Oak Shrine

Shrine took home yet another region title and placed three boys in the top seven of its region. Sophomore Ben Kendell and senior Mat Sutton placed first in second in the team race and second and third overall.

Team contenders:

Auburn Hills Oakland Christian

Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes

Lutheran Westland

Top Individual:Evan Carter, Jr., Southfield Christian: Carter has emerged as the area’s best Division 4 runner over the course of the season and has the best shot at finishing with all-state honors.

Individual contenders:

Ben Kendell, So., Royal Oak Shrine

Matt Sutton, Sr., Royal Oak Shrine

Ryan Sullivan, Jr., Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes

Jacob Weaver, So., Novi Franklin Road Christian

Jake Fairbairn, Sr., Lutheran Westland

Jimmy Parks, Jr., Plymouth Christian Academy