Lady Hatchets score championship finish, boys finish in 3rd place at Freedom Invite



On Saturday the Tomahawk co-ed cross-country team traveled to Freedom for a multi-team invitational featuring some of the top programs in the east central part of Wisconsin. For a second straight week the Hatchet ladies had a strong finish as they captured the team championship in the 14-team small school (D2/D3) race, and placed 4th overall (of 32 teams), while their counterparts the boys placed 3rd in the small school division (7th overall of 35 teams).

Haley-Voermans-Dean paced the lady Hatchets with her 19:45 clocking and 6th place overall finish in the nearly 200-runner field. Voerman-Dean’s time is the second fastest 5K ever run by a Lady Hatchet and a personal record (PR) for her. Other medalists in the overall race were senior Meagan Berg, as she clocked a PR of 20:28 to place 23rd. A trio of sophomore scorers paced Tomahawk next as Macey Mann (32nd-20:46), Emily Lacina (38th- 21:00), and Kate Reilly (46th-21:32) all raced to PR bests in the near perfect conditions in Freedom. Gina Wanta (93rd-23:14) and Greta Tjugum (107th-23:35) rounded out the varsity attack, both with PR’s as well.

“I think that even though we are still in our high mileage phase, the athletes are getting used to running with tired legs and they are able to better handle it. To have 18 (out of 31 competing) athletes run to PR’s in this phase of our training is nothing less than incredible. I think another determining factor in the large number of solid times was that the course is relatively flat and fast, wasn’t water logged and the weather was ideal for distance running, stated Hatchet head coach John Zuesldorf.

“Our girls had the best collective 5K “team” effort since the distance was changed a few years ago. We have never had all of our scorers under 21:32 before. They really ran awesome races! Haley (Voermans-Dean) got the job done up front running with several All-State caliber runners and our scoring pack got things done in the trenches. To place as well as we did against the larger schools is a credit to how much these girls believe in themselves and how hard they have worked. It’s nice to see that their efforts are paying off.”

Drew Bolder cracked the 17-minute barrier and placed 9th in the 200 runner field with his 16:56 5K effort. He was the lone medalist for the Hatchet boys with his second fastest 5K time of his career. Noah Buckwalter (36th-17:56), Keaton Jed (52nd-18:14 PR), Trey Baalke (58th-18:22 PR), and Arden Ziert (80th- 18:48) completed the varsity scoring for the 3rd place Hatchets. Garron Albrent (102nd-19:18) and Alex Norman (118th-19:43) rounded out the varsity finishers for Tomahawk.

“Drew (Bolder) really put together a nice race today. He was right in the mix with the top group and to see him crack that 17-minute barrier once again is a feather in his cap! The rest of our boys did a nice job keeping a tight pack through the 1K mark in the early stage of the race, but two athletes had some cramping issues and fell off as the race progressed. It was nice to see Arden Ziert (the team’s number 7) take the initiative and run his strongest race to date and finish in a respectable scoring position,” coach Z added.

“Our coaching staff is really looking forward to the trip this weekend to the hills of Fall Creek. We feel that we are a much stronger, more experienced team than the past two seasons and it will be fun to watch and compare our improvement at the event.”

The girls JV squad placed 4th overall and were led by freshman Neenah Fuste as she knocked over two minutes off her previous best 5K with her time of 23:31-17th place effort. Other JV finishers in the 188-runner field were: Gillian Buckwalter (26th-24:01), Serena Reinke (29th-24:05 PR), Autumn Peissig (38th-24:33), Tiana Gerstenberger (39th -24:34), Ava Dragosh (51st-25:00 PR) and Leslie Vance (82nd-26:16 PR).

The 9th place boys JV squad was led by senior Jack Lacina’s 13th place medalist PR effort of 19:20. Hunter Borchardt (33rd), Hunter VanRyen (34th), Reed Zedler (80th), Jacob Towle (98th-21:43 PR), Brady Tjugum (110th), Henry Calhoun (113th-22:14 PR), Taje Casey (134th-23:15 PR), John Mark Hawley (142nd -23:53 PR), and Trey Miller (142nd) completed the JV finishers for Tomahawk.

Boys Varsity Small School (D2/D3) Team Scores: Brillon (63), Gillett (69), Tomahawk (72), Chilton (111), Peshtigo (164), Weyawega (169), Southern Door (173), Sevastopol (208), Hilbert (219), Gibraltar (232), Coleman (239), Northland Pines (312), St Marys Springs (362), Assumption (Inc), Oneida Nation (Inc), Providence Academy (Inc), Sturgeon Bay (Inc) and Wausaukee (Inc).

Girls Varsity Small School (D2/D3) Team Scores: Tomahawk (34), Gillett (58), Assumption (143), Weyauwega (156), Coleman (184), Brillion (190), Southern Door (191), Chilton (193), Peshtigo (202), Sturgeon Bay (225), St Marys Springs (242), Gibraltar (300), Northland Pines (321), and Wausaukee (Inc).

This Saturday, Sept. 14 the Hatchets make their annual trek to the western side of the state to compete in the 10-team Fall Creek Cricket Invitational at Fall Creek High School starting at 10 a.m.

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