Regina, U-D Jesuit off to a ‘nice start’ in Catholic high school XC invitational

“She’s our leader,” says Regina cross country coach Gregg Golden about Grace Zdankiewicz. “Her effort and consistency are there every time. It’s nice to know that we can count on that.” (Photo courtesy of Regina High School)

DEWITT — “A very nice start.”

That’s how Gregg Golden summed up the beginning of the cross country season for Warren Regina after the Saddlelites won the girls 5000-meter varsity race Saturday in the Michigan Catholic High School Cross Country Invitational, sponsored for the 16th year by the Knights of Columbus.

He could also be describing the performances of the Catholic High School League squads from the Detroit area who showed up at the St. Francis Retreat Center in Dewitt.

The CHSL swept the boys and girls 5000-meter varsity and junior varsity races. Regina won the girls varsity and Dearborn Divine Child the junior varsity race.

University of Detroit Jesuit won both races in the boys division.

“I was pleased with the entire team,” Golden said, starting off with senior Grace Zdankiewicz, who ran 20:12 for third place. “She’s our leader. Her effort and consistency are there every time. We depend on that, and it’s nice to know that we can count on that.”

Senior Jessica Jarski “ran a terrific race (11th place, 21:62),” Golden said. “When she runs well, our team has a good day in general.” 

Junior Ella Jenkins (19th, 22:43) “did a good job and had an exceptional finish in her first race of the year.” Freshman Elizabeth Ambroggio (20th, 22:49) was a step behind Jenkins. “She beat her time in her first race (a week earlier) on a much harder course,” Golden said.

Senior Sam Brown (32nd, 23:31) “set the pace for the No. 3 through No. 7 runners,” the coach said.

Freshman Natalie Lentine and sophomore Gabby Fernandez came in 38th and 53rd respectively. 

Golden also had a good word for junior Zoe Bamford (20th, 26:22) in the JV 5000 and freshman Bella Farah (8th, 18:27) in the two-mile JV race. 

This was the fourth time Regina has won the Bishop’s Trophy, Golden said. “We look forward to it. There are some good programs (among the Catholic high schools) in Lansing, Grand Rapids and Jackson. We use it as a benchmark to see what we need to work on and improve.”

Girls 5000 meters varsity top teams

Warren Regina 1st, 85 points — 3rd, Grace Zdankiewicz 20:12; 11th, Jessica Jarski 21:52; 19th, Ella Jenkins 22:43; 20th, Elizabeth Ambroggio 22:49; 32nd, Samantha Brown 23:31; 38th, Natalie Lentine 23:39; 43rd, Gabby Fernandez 24:03.

Dearborn Divine Child: 3rd, 112 points — 10th, Lyndsey Aho 21:27; 12th, Kirsten Koss 21:56; 17th, Kathryn Kurtinaitis 22:35; 28th, Tess Scicluna 23:18; 46th, Lauren Post l 24:23; 52nd, Ella Slade 24:48; 71st, Terah Ceccarelli 26:28.

Boys 5000 meters varsity top teams

University of Detroit Jesuit: 1st, 75 points — 3rd, Alec Koscielniak 17:35; 16th, Josiah Graddick 18:20; 18th, Alvin Stanton 18:22; 20th, Charlie Christensen 18:26; 22nd, Danny Miller 18:32; 26th, Owen Dorweiler 18:37; 34th, Noah Mualem 19:05.

Novi Detroit Catholic Central: 2nd, 115 points — 8th ,Michael Ehresman 17:55; 15th, Josh Lassaline 18:20; 27th, Joshua Aleva 18:37; 29th, Jack Kelly 18:42; 41st , Owen Ryan 19:27; 46th , Ryan Illikman 19:48; 58th , Eugene Haley 20:20.

Boys 5000 meters varsity team standings

  1. Detroit U-D Jesuit 75; 
  2. Novi Detroit Catholic Central 115; 
  3. Lansing Catholic 117; 
  4. Jackson Lumen Christi 140; 
  5. Dearborn Divine Child 148; 
  6. Grand Rapids Catholic Central 161; 
  7. Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central 188; 
  8. Ann Arbor Fr. Gabriel Richard 205; 
  9. Orchard Lake St. Mary’s 207; 
  10. Madison Heights Bishop Foley 230; 
  11. Warren De La Salle 249; 
  12. Pontiac Notre Dame Prep 264; 
  13. Allen Park Cabrini 336; 
  14. Grand Rapids West Catholic 357; 
  15. Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic 429

Girls 5000 meters varsity team standings

  1. Warren Regina 85; 
  2. Grand Rapids West Catholic 95; 
  3. Dearborn Divine Child 112; 
  4. Lansing Catholic 116; 
  5. Jackson Lumen Christi 128; 
  6. Clarkston Everest Collegiate 161.
  7. Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central 181; 
  8. Grand Rapids Catholic Central 183; 
  9. Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart 188; 
  10. Allen Park Cabrini 230; 
  11. Portland St. Patrick 241; 
  12. Pontiac Notre Dame Prep 264.

Contact Don Horkey at [email protected].