2017-11-16 / Sports

Grant to keep on running at Aquinas

Two-time all-state performer
By Jay Bushen
Sports Editor


LAKE LEELANAU St. Mary senior Hanna Grant signs her national letter of intent to run cross country at Aquinas College on Saturday alongside her family. Pictured from left are Steve Grant, Elizabeth Grant, Hanna Grant, Jessica Grant, Becky Grant, and Benjamin Grant. Not pictured are siblings Thomas Grant and Emily Grant. LAKE LEELANAU St. Mary senior Hanna Grant signs her national letter of intent to run cross country at Aquinas College on Saturday alongside her family. Pictured from left are Steve Grant, Elizabeth Grant, Hanna Grant, Jessica Grant, Becky Grant, and Benjamin Grant. Not pictured are siblings Thomas Grant and Emily Grant. It’s safe to say she’s a natural.

Lake Leelanau St. Mary senior Hanna Grant — a second-year cross country runner — signed her national letter of intent with the college of her dreams, Aquinas, on Saturday.

“The fact that she is relatively new to the sport of running leads me to believe her upside is through the roof,” Aquinas coach Mike Wojciakowski said. “She is competitive in nature and comes from a very supportive family. She is a fantastic start to our newest group of Saints.”

Grant captured all-state honors at the 2016 and 2017 Division 4 cross country championships at Michigan International Speedway, finishing 29th as a junior and ninth as a senior.

She landed academic all-state honors in both seasons, as well.

St. Mary coach Nick Papes, the girls regional coach of the year, said he’s pleased to see his star senior choose his alma mater.

“It was such an honor to work with her,” said Papes, a former Aquinas baseball player. “Having her as a student prior to a runner, you just see a work ethic. It makes practice and meets that much more exciting to watch. You see the results of everything she does.”

Papes said Grant’s running style is unlike most in cross country. She starts at a slow, comfortable pace and progressively turns on the burners.

“She has a lot of patience, that’s for sure,” Papes said. “That’s a discipline you don’t see a lot of in racing.”

Grant said she chose Aquinas due to its small, family atmosphere.

“I felt most at home here through the positive vibes and the friendly staff and students,” she said.

Grant, a member of the National Honor Society and the daughter of Becky and Steve Grant, will be a key member of the 2017-18 St. Mary basketball team. The all-county returner will tip off the season with her teammates at Alba on Nov. 28.

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