Yami Albrecht and CarLee Stimpel had some memorable races against each other this year.
But Caro and Cass City are in different cross country divisions this season, which meant they didn’t meet at the state finals — so neither had to settle for second place.
Caro’s Albrecht won the Division 3 state meet, and Cass City’s Stimpfel won in Division 4. The duo highlight this year’s All-Advertiser Boys’ Cross Country Team.
In fact, the entire team is made up of Caro and Cass runners. Caro’s Zak Drews and Caleb Cotton combined with Albrecht to help the Tigers to a Tri-Valley Conference championship, regional championship and fifth-place state showing. Led by Stimpfel and All-Advertiser teammate Zane Wright, Cass City took 11th in Division 4.
The All-Advertiser Girls’ Cross Country Team was highlighted by North Branch senior Heather Czarnecki and Frankenmuth junior Hannah Loucks.
One thing that both the boys’ and girls’ team have in common is youth. There are only three runners, out of 20, that are seniors on the all-Advertiser teams.
Here is a look at this year’s crop of top Advertiser-area runners.
Athlete: Yami Albrecht
2016 best time: 15:47
Highlights: Division 3 state champion; set personal record in each of his last three races; regional champion; runner-up at Thumb Area Cross County Championship; winner at TVC “big meet” Championship; took first place at Reese XC Invite, Linden Classic, Mike Jackson Memorial and Bret Clements Bath Invitational; led Caro to fifth-place D-3 finish.
Athlete: CarLee Stimpfel
School: Cass City
2016 best time: 15:39
Highlights: Division 4 state champion; won each race in which he participated with the exception of two, the MSU Spartan Invite (Stimpfel placed eighth in a field that included many of the state’s best D-1 and D-2 teams) and Reese XC Invite where he finished second to D-3 state champ Yami Albrecht; 2016 championships include: D-4 regionals, GTC Meet, Thumb Area Cross Country Championship and Portage Invite; led Red Hawks to 11th-place at D-4 state meet.
Athlete: Zak Drews
2016 best time: 16:15
Highlights: Earned Division 3 all-state for the second consecutive year with a 22nd-place finish; won TVC-East Jamboree No. 1; placed fourth at TVC “big meet” Championship; fifth place at Thumb Area Cross County Championship; third at D-3 regional; No. 2 runner for Caro at D-3 state finals, helping the Tigers to fifth place.
Athlete: Zane Wright
School: Cass City
2016 best time: 17:05
Highlights: Missed earning all-state honors by one spot, finishing 31st at Division 4 state championship; No. 2 runner for the Red Hawks, who placed 11th in the state; runner-up to teammate CarLee Stimpfel at GTC championship; placed second at Cass City Invitational and third at Ubly Invite; took third at D-4 regional meet.
Athlete: Caleb Cotton
2016 best time: 16:52
Highlights: Placed 74th at Division 3 state meet, helping Tigers to fifth place; took sixth at D-3 regional meet; finished 20th at TVC ‘big meet” Championship; improved from 10th place at first TVC-East Jamboree to fifth at third TVC-East Jamboree; took ninth at Thumb Area Cross Country Championship.
Aaron Hulbert (So.) Caro
Bryden Miller (So.) Caro
Austin Pung (Jr.) Cass City
Donald Dunn (Sr.) Marlette
Lane Torrey (So.) Kingston
Athlete: Heather Czarnecki
School: North Branch
2016 best time: 19:41
Highlights: Thumb Area Cross Country meet champion; took first in last two TVC-East meets; fourth place at Division 4 regional; won LakeVille Invite and Lapeer County Press Invitational; took third at TVC “big meet” Championship; placed No. 98 at D-2 state meet.
Athlete: Hannah Loucks
2016 best time: 19:44
Highlights: Division 3 all-stater with 28th-place finish; took first place at TVC-East Jamboree No. 1; was fourth at TVC “big meet” Championship; placed fifth at both the Saginaw County Cross Country Championships and D-3 regional meet; helped Eagles to 18th place at state meet.
Athlete: Sophee Robinson
2016 best time: 20:02
Highlights: GTC champion; missed out on Division 3 all-state by one place, finishing 31st at state championship; won USA Invite; took eighth at Thumb Area Cross Country Championship; placed second at D-3 regional.
Athlete: Riley Ford
2016 best time: 20:00
Highlights: Placed 53rd at Division 3 state championship; runner-up at GTC meet; won first meet of the year — the Brown City Invite; took sixth at Thumb Area Cross Country Championship; placed second at D-3 regional meet.
Athlete: Samantha Rapson
2016 best time: 20:14
Highlights: Showed great improvement over the course of freshman season, emerging as the Eagles’ No. 2 runner; placed 123rd at Division 3 state meet, Frankenmuth finished 18th; took eighth at Saginaw County Cross Country Championship; was seventh at D-3 regional.
Kallie Lindow (Fr.) Frankenmuth
Zoe Nierink (So.) Frankenmuth
Allison Hawken (Fr.) Reese
Madeline Horton (So.) Millington
Victoria Hale (Sr.) Kingston