EBEN JUNCTION - The Hancock girls' cross country team made impressive improvement Saturday at the Superior Central Invitational.
First among them was Erin McKenzie, the race winner in 23 minutes, 10 seconds.
"She is my go-to girl. She leads by example and gets things done," Hancock coach Matt Dennis said.
The Bulldogs finished a close second to Munising in the team standings in a field of six Division 3 teams.
Ashley Aho (24:11), Anna Meese (24:17) and Leslie Hamar (25:27) finished sixth, seventh and 10th, respectively. All three made significant improvements from the season-opening Jeffers Invite.
On the boys' side, Hancock took a season-best third in a close finish. Winner Norway totaled 40 points, followed by Munising two back and Hancock a further two off the pace.
Junior Jacob Jarvis came in third individually.
"We came to this meet to see some different competition and to get a preview of where we may be at come time for U.P. Finals. We were reminded that we will always have work to do to reach our potential, but also that we are doing what we need to do on a daily basis at practice. We know we are not where we want to be, but it's exciting to get a glimpse of where we might be headed," Dennis said.
Hayden Heikkinen (fifth, 20:14) and Gabe Rupright (ninth, 20:49) also notched top-10s.
Hancock rejoins local competition today in the Calumet Invitational at Copper Harbor.