MLive.com's Metro Detroit boys track and field individual event rankings - 4/5

Jared Purcell | MLive.com, April 05, 2011 5:56 p.m.

Waterford Mott senior Scott Albaugh (left) will be a top threat in the 1600m this year. - (Bill Khan | The Flint Journal)

New this spring, MLive.com's Jared Purcell will be providing his weekly thoughts on which boys track and field athletes you should keep an eye on in the Metro Detroit area. Purcell has provided three athletes in each event from Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties to be watching in the early goings of the season.

Check out our Metro Detroit boys track and field team rankings each Tuesday as well.

Check back each Tuesday to see what has changed. Watch for new girls track and field rankings each Wednesday.

100 METER DASH: Top Performer: Javontae Mackson, Sr., Belleville: The top D1 returnee from last year’s state finals will be a force on the track and should be sub-11 second potential on a consistent basis.

Next Threat: John Hill, Jr., Detroit Country Day: Had a runner up finish in the D2 finals as just a sophomore last year and is poised to be champion this year.

On The Rise: Jamarius McTyre, Sr., Ferndale: Should turn a lot of heads quickly as he flies by as Ferndale’s top dog.

200 METER DASH: Top Performer: Kilshon Wilcher, Sr., Detroit Cass Tech: Talk about speed. Sub-22 potential, Wilcher is the area’s best bet to bring home the D1 200 title.

Next Threat: Jake Spuller, Sr., Detroit Catholic Central: Will dominate the Catholic League and is at his best when it matters most.

On The Rise: Robert Merriweather, Sr., Highland Park: Runs a strong race from start to finish. An formidable 400 runner as well.

400 METER DASH: Top Performer: Philip Washington, Jr., West Bloomfield: Has a shot at being ranked in the top 10 nationally this spring. After running a blazing 48.42 to take the D1 400 title as a sophomore, Washington may even run sub-47 before the end of the season.

Next Threat: Keith Moore, Sr., Detroit Cass Tech: Moore finished on the heels of Washington in the state finals last year and will look to end his high school career on top.

On The Rise: Kevin Buford, Jr., Canton: Last year was a great year for sophomore’s in the 400. With Washington taking the spotlight on the state level, Buford will be a top contender in the state this year after a breakout sub-49 performance at the D1 finals last year.

800 METER RUN: Top Performer: Dan Martin, Sr., Salem: Came out of nowhere with the race of his life at the D1 state meet last year with a 1:53.67. Should return with another impressive finals appearance again this year.

Next Threat: Zachary Miklja, Sr., Auburn Hills Avondale: Had a runner-up finish in the D2 finals and should be a favorite to win it all once again this season.

On The Rise: Joshua Carolin, Jr., Detroit Catholic Central: One of the area’s best sophomore’s at the distance last year. Another season training in one of the area’s top programs could see Carolin placing at the D1 championships this year.

1600 METER RUN: Top Performer: Scott Albaugh, Sr., Waterford Mott: The surprise D1 state champion in cross country this fall, Albaugh is dangerous at any distance and will be a top talent in the 3200 as well.

Next Threat: Austin Zebrowski, Sr., Detroit Catholic Central: One of the three headed monster of distance seniors at Catholic Central that took the D1 team championship in cross country this last fall. Zebrowski has great track speed and may even flirt with 4:10 this year.

On The Rise: T.J. Carey, So., Lake Orion: Carey was one of the best freshman in the state last year. After a stellar cross country season, it is unclear whether Carey will focus more on the 1600 or 3200 moving forward. Carey is still a threat in either case.

3200 METER RUN: Top Performer: Andrew Garcia-Garrison, Sr., Detroit Catholic Central: Garcia-Garrison had an outstanding cross country career and should top it off by placing at the D1 state finals this year.

Next Threat: John-Paul Zebrowski, Sr., Detroit Catholic Central: Zebrowski will benefit greatly by racing against teammate Garcia-Garrison.

On The Rise: Cody Snavely, So., Milford: The future star of the 3200 may be able to finish top-10 this year after running 9:41 as a freshman in last-year’s D1 finals

110 METER HURDLES: Top Performer: Aaron Stuk, Sr., Oxford: Made it all the way to the final’s in the 110 hurdles as a junior last year and was the Oakland County champion. An athlete of multiple sprint events, Stuck could run 14.4 or better this year depending on how fresh he stays throughout the season.

Next Threat: Shammah Carter, Sr., North Farmington: Flirted with the 15-second barrier a few times last year and should be poised for sub-15 performances in his final high school season.

On The Rise: Derek Kim, Sr., Novi: After a disqualification in the Div 1 semifinal race last year, Kim will be out to prove a point this year. Expect big things from this talented hurdler.

300 METER HURDLES: Top Performer: Aaron Stuk, Sr., Oxford: The top dog in the 110 hurdles potentially is the area’s top 300 hurdler as well. Should be below 40 seconds multiple times throughout the season and should make some noise at the state finals.

Next Threat: Alex Roberts, Jr., Lake Orion: Was the best sophomore in Oakland County last year at this event. Unable to qualify for states last year, Roberts will be a lock to make it this season.

On The Rise: Mark Zheng, So., Novi: This sophomore has a lot of upside after a solid freshman season in a difficult event. Depending on how his offseason training went, Zheng could be the next big thing this season.

HIGH JUMP: Top Performer: Dartis Willis, Sr., Detroit Country Day: Jumped the top height in the nation during winter indoor competition with an astounding 7-feet-2.25 jump. No one should be able to beat him this outdoor season in the state -- and possibly the country.

Next Threat: Yusuf Naser, Sr., Dearborn Fordson: Jumped a personal best of 6-foot-5 last season and is expected to add some inches to that this season.

On The Rise: Ryan Brancheau, Sr., Auburn Hills Avondale: Hit 6-6 last year but couldn’t improve upon that in the D2 championships. We’ll see if the best is yet to come for Brancheau.

LONG JUMP: Top Performer: Nathan Fraeyman, Jr., Romeo: Eclipsed 22 feet as a sophomore and also finished third at the D1 finals. Fraeyman will contend for a state title in D1 this year as the top finalist returnee from last year.

Next Threat: DeQuante Humphrey, Sr., Waterford Kettering: Showed signs of greatness last year but will have to jump 22-feet on a more consistent basis this season to compete for a state title.

On The Rise: James Vincent-Taylor, Sr., Farmington: He will look to make a statement this season. Has an outside shot to hit the 22-foot mark as well.

POLE VAULT: Top Performer: Rich DePalma, Sr., Browstown-Woodhaven: With a solid junior season last year, DePalma should be jumping over 14-feet on a consistent basis if his improvement continues and should place at D1 states.

Next Threat: Shaquille Tipton, Sr., Romulus: Has a chance of placing at D1 states this year if he can get over 14-feet.

On The Rise: Jacob Janke, Jr., Walled Lake Western: A solid sophomore season last year in a difficult event should prepare Janke for a trip to states this season.

DISCUS: Top Performer: Feerooz Yacoobi, Jr., Dearborn: Yacoobi is one of a few strong favorites to win the title in D1 this year in what is a usually a senior dominated event. If he can hit 170 feet this season, it should be enough for him to take the title. Was the state champ in shot put last year.

Next Threat: Tom Czerwienski, Sr., Fraser: Should be one of the few that can top Yacoobi this season and will look to throw 160-plus after hitting 152-9 last year.

On The Rise: Matthew Godin, Jr., Detroit Catholic Central: Was shadowed by two of his talented teammates last year but should own the spotlight now. Had a breakout throw of 148-11 at the Catholic League championships last year.

SHOT PUT: Top Performer: Feerooz Yacoobi, Jr., Dearborn: Yacoobi had the shortest D1/Class A winning throw since 1990 with his 55-10.75 effort last year. With capturing the title last year, Yacoobi could become the first D1/Class A three-time champion since MSU standout T.J. Duckett did that from 1997-99.

Next Threat: Louis Daranda, Sr., West Bloomfield: Will look to throw at least a 55-footer this year and contend for a medal at D1 states. Threw 52-1 last year.

On The Rise: George Darany, Sr., Detroit Catholic Central: One of many talented throwers on Catholic Central, Darany will have great practice competing against his teammates and should rise through the ranks all year.

TOP RELAYS TO WATCH: 4x100: Detroit Country Day 4x200: Detroit Cass Tech 4x400: Detroit Catholic Central 4x800: Detroit Catholic Central

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Do you think someone was left off of the list? You can contact Jared Purcell with your thoughts and suggestions at japurcel@mlive.com