Abby VanderKooi ♦ Senior
Muskegon Western Michigan Christian ♦ Cross Country
VanderKooi on Saturday became just the eighth runner in MHSAA history to win her fourth Finals individual championship, crossing the finish line in 18:06.58 to claim the Lower Peninsula Division 4 title at Michigan International Speedway. She became the first four-time girls champion since Breckenridge’s Kirsten Olling completed her run in 2013, and in the process VanderKooi also led Western Michigan Christian to its first Finals team title.
The 18:06 was VanderKooi’s third-fastest time at a Finals, and ranks seventh all-time for Division 4. All four of VanderKooi’s championship times at MIS rank among the top 10 for either Division 4 or Division 3 Finals – her teams were Division 4 in 2018, 2019 and this fall, and Division 3 in 2020. That 2020 time of 17:12.47 also remains the 10th-fastest from all Classes and Divisions since the race distance became 5K in 1980, and she is the only runner listed among that all-Class/Division top 10 who did not compete in LP Division 1 or 2. Her season-best time this fall was 17:29.9, and her personal record for high school was a 16:48.8 as a junior. VanderKooi also is the two-time reigning LPD3 track champion in the 3,200 meters.
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Nov. 4: Arianne Olson, Holland West Ottawa cross country - Report
Oct. 28: Jack Guggemos, Okemos soccer - Report
Oct. 21: Sachiv Kumar, Northville tennis - Report
Oct. 14: Kate Brody, Grand Blanc golf - Report
Oct. 7: Lilly Nelson, Negaunee tennis - Report
Sept. 30: Stella Chapman, Ann Arbor Pioneer swimming - Report
Sept. 23: Riley Hough, Hartland cross country - Report
Sept. 16: Josie Bloom, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep volleyball - Report
PHOTOS courtesy of RunMichigan.com.