2017-10-05 / Sports

Grant, Hendersons shine at Veronica Valley

St. Mary girls, Glen Lake boys capture top spots
By Jay Bushen
Sports Editor

THE ST. MARY girls team won the St. Mary Invitational at Veronica Valley Park on Saturday. Pictured from left are Grace McKillip, Mary MacDonald, Nicole Wittman, Hanna Grant, Lexi Schaub, Alexandra Kirt, Breanna Weber and Ciara Glynn. 
Photo: Carol Tondreau THE ST. MARY girls team won the St. Mary Invitational at Veronica Valley Park on Saturday. Pictured from left are Grace McKillip, Mary MacDonald, Nicole Wittman, Hanna Grant, Lexi Schaub, Alexandra Kirt, Breanna Weber and Ciara Glynn. Photo: Carol Tondreau

Cross country took center stage in Lake Leelanau on Saturday as eight area teams — including five from the peninsula — competed in the St. Mary Invitational at Veronica Valley Park.

“It was about all that Veronica Valley might be able to hold,” St. Mary coach Nick Papes said. “It was a spectacular event for us — especially our seniors in front of the home crowd — and the weather was just about perfect.

“We love our cold weather.”

The Lady Eagles proved it.

Senior standout Hanna Grant shattered her personal record by more than 27 seconds and flew away from the 48-member field in first place (19:16) as St. Mary finished first on the girls side with 37 points. St. Mary teammates Lexi Schaub (21:32) and Ciara Glynn (22:18) also cracked the top 10 in third and eighth place, respectively.

Frankfort took second with 53 points. Glen Lake (69), Leland (100), Grand Traverse Academy (119) and Suttons Bay (160) rounded out the list of programs with team scores.

“I gave Lexi an interesting challenge at the beginning of the day,” Papes said. “I gave her a goal to beat the Leland freshmen. Lexi used them as a barometer and was able to run one of her best races in a number of years.”

Those Leland freshmen, Emma Waskiewicz (21:59) and Twyla Walters (22:00), finished fourth and fifth.

Leland coach Kat Murphy knows her secret weapons aren’t so secret anymore.

“I am happily surprised by how well they handle the pressure,” Murphy said of the up-and-comers.

A pair of Glen Lake seniors, Allie Bonzelet (22:11) and Jennifer LaCross (22:12), hit PRs by crossing in sixth and seventh place and, in doing so, cracked the top-10 list of regional runners according to hypothetical meets on Athletic.net.

“We had had three hot, hilly, miserable meets in a row, basically, and had been working hard,” Glen Lake coach Ryan Schut said. “It’s really nice to get a real cross country race in where it’s cool and somewhat flat. I told both the boys and girls that if they wanted to get PRs and showcase their hard work, it was now. I told them both to put it all out there.

“Allie and Jen definitely showed that.”

Corinne Krumlauf paced the pack for Suttons Bay, meanwhile, in 28th place (25:52).

On the boys side, Glen Lake runners stole the spotlight thanks to a huge day from the Henderson brothers.

Noah Henderson (17:50), a freshman, outpaced older brother and runner-up Caleb Henderson (18:10) for the top spot — propelling the Lakers to a first-place team finish.

“Just before the race, I told Drake (Parker) and Noah to lead the way, push the limits as much as they could and make the field go faster,” Schut said. “I looked at Caleb and said, ‘You have the ability to really go here.’ I know he’s fast, and I know he’s got that ability, so I said, ‘I want you to just go and let it all out.’ The gun went off and Caleb led the way for the first 100 meters and never, ever, ever looked back. He was ahead the entire race, maintained that lead and ended up winning the entire thing.

“Older brother is happy. There’s some competition between them, but there’s a lot of praise and celebration among them, too.”

St. Mary (44 points), Grand Traverse Academy (63), North Trails (83) and Leland (137) finished second, third, fourth and fifth, respectively.

Five other Leelanau County runners cracked the top 10: Glen Lake runners R-Jay Willey (18:20) and Drake Parker (18:25.8) and St. Mary runners Max Gorcyca (18:15), Dan Butryn (18:25.4) and Avery Kohler (18:35.9).

“The goal year in and year out is to be the top team in Leelanau County,” Papes said of his Eagles. “Ryan has a sensational team over there. It’s nice to have such a chase ahead of us.”

Zach Fortuna (19:17) and Cormac Rasey (21:14) led the way for Leland in 14th and 36th place while Suttons Bay runners Jayce Konopka (19:36) and Derek Piglowski (20:18) crossed 19th and 24th.

“The whole boys team PRd — which I am extremely happy with,” Suttons Bay coach Jeremy Fenske said. “We will be running the conference championship at Veronica Valley next Tuesday so we are very excited to do even better next week.”

Xavier Harrell (22:57) led the way for The Leelanau School in 49th place.


Girls Team Scores: 1. St. Mary 372. Frankfort 53; 3. Glen Lake 69; 4. Leland 100; 5. Grand Traverse Academy 119; 6. Suttons Bay 160

Top 10 Girls: 1. Hanna Grant (St. Mary) 19:16; 2. Peyton Brooks (Frankfort) 19:56; 3. Lexi Schaub (St. Mary) 21:32; 4. Emma Waskiewicz (Leland) 21:59; 5. Twyla Walters (Leland) 22:00; 6. Allie Bonzelet (Glen Lake) 22:11; 7. Jen LaCross (Glen Lake) 22:12; 8. Ciara Glynn (St. Mary) 22:18; 9. Kaylynn Allen (GTA) 22:31; 10. Allison Derengowksi (North Trails) 22:32

Boys Team Scores: 1. Glen Lake 31; 2. St. Mary 44; 3. GT Academy 63; 4. North Trails 83; 5. Leland 137

Top 10 Boys: 1. Caleb Henderson (Glen Lake) 17:50; 2. Noah Henderson (Glen Lake) 18:10; 3. Max Gorcyca (St. Mary) 18:15; 4. R-Jay Willey (Glen Lake) 18:20; 5. Dan Butryn (St. Mary) 18:25.4; 6. Drake Parker (Glen Lake) 18:25.8; 7. Isaac Franklin (GTA) 18:33; 8. Jared Alton (GTA) 18:35; 9. Avery Kohler (St. Mary) 18:35.9; 10. Tristan Werden (Frankfort) 18:51

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