(Riley Hough has put together an unblemished 2022 indoor campaign with seven event victories in as many starts)
Saturday at Grand Valley State University will mark the 8th running of the Gazelle Sports Elite 3200m events.
The 3200's are the featured attraction of the MITS - GVSU Series Meet No. 5. The headlining contests have consistently drawn the who's who of Michigan-based distance runners over the years, as well as a plethora of out-of-state talent, including an appearance by Katelynne Hart (Glenbard West, IL), who captured 1st place honors at the event's 2019 installment.
"This year we had the most applications from out-of-state athletes that we've ever received," said event coordinator Josh Vork.
"This is a testament to an increased willingness for athletes to travel in search of elite competition," said Vork.
In the men's race, Michigan State University recruit Riley Hough enters as one of the pre-meet favorites. Hough claimed the Eastbay National XC title in December and has rode that momentum into indoor. Included in his '22 body of work are 14:24.76 and 4:08.33 efforts for the 5k and the imperial 1 mile distances.
Hough figures to be tested by a collection of his in-state rivals not to mention a notable entry coming in from the Hoosier State.
Izaiah Steury (Angola, IN) was the 2020 IHSAA cross country state champion and the 2021 runner-up. He was second team All-American at the Eastbay Cross Country Championships this past fall with his eighth place finish. The Notre Dame University recruit recently ran indoor PR's of 4:08.67 for the mile and 8:08.32 for 3000m.
On the women's side, the deep line-up features Michigan's top ranked 800m and 1600m competitor Rachel Forsyth, four-time Michigan Division 4 XC state champion Abby Vanderkooi, Arianne Olson (13th at Eastbay XC Nationals) and Lauren Pansegrau (21st at Eastbay XC Nationals).
Also, similar to the men's contest, some firepower from Indiana will be in action in the ladies race.
Sophia Kennedy, the daughter of Olympian Bob Kennedy, is coming off of an outstanding cross country season where she was third at the IHSAA Cross Country finals and seventh at the Eastbay Cross Country Championships. The latter earned her second team All-American recognition. Kennedy owns a strong set of PR's, including 17:18 for 5k in cross country, 10:14.09 for the full two-mile event, and 4:49.08 for 1600m.
If the competitors toeing the line on Saturday have record breaking aspirations in mind, they certainly have their work cut out for them. The event's standing all-time marks reside with Wolverine State high school legends Nick Foster (8:57.56 in 2019) and Zofia Dudek (9:56.72 in 2020).
* This is technically the ninth year of the event's existence, however the 2021 edition was canceled due to Covid-related restrictions.
Men's Elite 3200m Start List
GVSU MITS ELITE 3200 FINAL FIELD
Event Record: 8:57.56 - Nick Foster (2019)
|Owen Bosley||Thiensville, WI||11|
|Nick Cockerel||Otsego, MI||12|
|Quinn Cullen||Brighton, MI||12|
|Klay Grant||Muskegon, MI||12|
|Ian Hill||Spring Lake, MI||12|
|Riley Hough||Fenton, MI||12|
|Caleb Jarema||Pinckney, MI||12|
|Owen Johnson||Ann Arbor, MI||12|
|Hunter Jones||Thompsonville, MI||11|
|Parker Lambers||Holland, MI||12|
|Josiah Magley||Ionia, MI||12|
|Brady McArdle||Davison, MI||12|
|Caden Meyer||Zeeland, MI||12|
|Noah Morrow||Manton, MI||12|
|Lezawe Osterink||Wyoming, MI||11|
|Conor Somers||Fremont, MI||12|
|Izaiah Steury||Angola, IN||12|
|Luke Venhuizen||Traverse City, MI||12|
|Jeremy Williams||Lapeer, MI||12|
|Garrett Winter||Kalamazoo, MI||12|
|Matthew Zeleke||East Lansing, MI||12|
Women's Elite 3200m Start List
GVSU MITS ELITE 3200 FINAL FIELD
Event Record: 9:56.72 - Zofia Dudek (2020)
|Meghan Beute||Grand Rapids, MI||12|
|Lani Bloom||Ithaca, MI||12|
|Allison Chmielewski||Roscommon, MI||12|
|Haley Deighan||Birmingham, MI||12|
|Julia Flynn||Traverse City, MI||12|
|Meghan Ford||Mason, MI||10|
|Rachel Forsyth||Ann Arbor, MI||10|
|Sarah Forsyth||Ann Arbor, MI||12|
|Madison Foster||Lambertville, MI||12|
|Madelyn Frens||Grand Rapids, MI||12|
|Clara James-Heer||Grand Rapids, MI||10|
|Sophia Kennedy||Carmel, IN||11|
|Drew Muller||Grand Rapids, MI||10|
|Arianne Olson||Holland, MI||11|
|Lauren Pansegrau||Verona, WI||12|
|Mary Richmond||Frankenmuth, MI||10|
|Helen Sachs||Holland, MI||9|
|Faith Smith||Jackson, MI||12|
|Rylee Tolson||Munith, MI||12|
|Abby Vanderkooi||Fremont, MI||12|