Divine Child boys, Regina girls win Michigan Catholic Cross Country Invitational

Anthony Hancock, left, and his brother Michael, right, get a hug from head coach Randy Williams, second left, and assistant coach Zach Ornelas for leading the Divine Child boys to victory in the Michigan Catholic Cross Country Invitational over the weekend. (Photo courtesy of Cristina Hancock-Morales)

DEWITT — The Catholic League did itself proud in Saturday’s Michigan Catholic Cross Country Invitational meet.

The Hancock twins — seniors Anthony and Michael — finished 1-2 the second year in a row to lead Dearborn Divine Child to the boys 5000-meter varsity championship.

A young Warren Regina team — four sophomores and a junior — won the girls 5000 varsity.

It was a first for both schools in the meet’s 14-year history hosted by Lansing Catholic High School at the St. Francis Retreat Center.

Novi Detroit Catholic Central, Warren De La Salle and University of Detroit Jesuit placed 3-4-5 in the boys race. Bloomfield Hills Marian and Divine Child ran 3-4 in the girls race.

Anthony Hancock set a course record with his 15:54.4 effort, a step or two ahead of brother Michael’s 16:04.8.

“We ran the first two miles easy (5000 meters equals 3.1 miles),” Anthony said, explaining their strategy, “and then kicked it all out for the last mile.”

Afterward, Anthony said, “The first two miles seemed too slow.”

They both expressed satisfaction with their performance in the season’s first competition. The ultimate target is the state meet Nov. 2, where they want to improve their 2018 places: Anthony fourth, Michael sixth.

Anthony has another goal in mind: to run the 5000 under 15 minutes. His best-ever is 15.15.

Everybody gets in on the fun celebrating the Regina girls' first-ever championship in the Michigan Catholic Cross Country Invitational. (Photo courtesy of Annie Sakalian)

Sophomores Grace Zdankiewicz (19:58.6) and Jessica Jarski (20:20.1) finished fourth and fifth in twin-like fashion to pace the Saddlelites.

Coach Gregg Golden, in his 23rd year at Regina, said, “Grace is a dream to coach.” About Jessica, “She ran a great race strategically, near her all-time best.”

Rounding out the roster are junior Sabrina Kroll and sophomores Grace Audisho, Samantha Brown and Lauren Droska.

There are two seniors on the team: Danielle Demers and Jo VanCerkum. 

“They provide great leadership,” Golden said.

The coach acknowledged his “gifted” assistants: Becky Hendren, Annie Zdankiewicz (Grace’s mother), Kevin Brender and Megan Manczyk.

Here’s how CHSL boys team fared:

  • 1st, Divine Child (52 points): 1st, senior Anthony Hancock 15:54.4; 2nd, senior Michael Hancock 16:04.8; 8th, freshman Michael Hegarty 17:20.60; 21st, Adam Polakowski 18:16.30; 23rd, junior Shaun Mcgrath 18:24.70.
  • 3rd, Catholic Central (69): Top performer, 3rd, senior Luke Perelli 16:13.80.
  • 4th, De La Salle (95): Top performer, 7th, junior Andrew Renaud 17:19.40.
  • 5th, U-D Jesuit (147): Top performer, 25th, sophomore Noah Mualem 18:39.70.
  • 11th, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (304): Top performer, junior Kobe Howcroft 19.46.50.

Here’s how CHSL girls team fared:

  • 1st, Regina (63 points): 4th, sophomore Grace Zdankiewicz 19:58.60; 5th, sophomore Jessica Jarski 20:20.1; 12th, junior Sabrina Kroll 21:04.70; 19th, sophomore Grace Audisho 21:51.80; 23rd, sophomore Samantha Brown 22:30.90.
  • 3rd, Marian (70): Top performer, 6th, junior Maya Harb 20:30.10.
  • 4th, Divine Child (81): Top performer, 8th, junior Erin Hegarty 20:31.80.
  • 8th, Clarkston Everest (189): Top performer, sophomore Avery Herrgott 22:44.20.

For the latest news and complete CHSL scores across all sports and teams, visit CHSL.com.