Hatchet varsity, JV runners sweep Edgewater Invitational
For the Tomahawk Leader
TOMAHAWK – The Tomahawk Hatchet cross country teams hosted Mosinee, Three Lakes, and Phillips at Edgewater for their 45th annual invite on Thursday, Oct. 8. The boys took the top seven places and the girls placed all five in the top ten to help Tomahawk sweep both varsity level events. The junior varsity squads were equally impressive as they also topped the field.
“Our coaching staff was excited to see how fast they would run in ideal conditions on a fast course,” said head coach John Zuelsdorf. “We weren’t disappointed, as 14 of 26 competing runners either PR’d or ran seasonal best times over 5K.”
Noah Buckwalter defended his individual invitational title from last year as he raced to a seasonal best time of 16:48, leading a stampede of Hatchets to the top spots. Teammates Drew Bolder (2nd-17:05), Alex Norman (3rd-17:58-PR), Arden Ziert (4th-18:12-SB), and freshman Owen Dickrell (5th-18:16-PR) joined Noah on the podium as they earned medalist honors. Completing the true ‘perfect race’ in cross country with their 6th and 7th place efforts were Hunter Borchardt and Ethan Liebnitz, also running career-best times over the 5K distance.
Boys varsity team scores were Tomahawk-15, Phillips-50, Mosinee-83, and Three Lakes-DNS.
“When the boys came out of the woods loop at 800 meters, I had to look twice as we had our whole team in the top seven spots,” Zuelsdorf stated. “A lot of credit has to be given to the guys as they kept the hammer down and never let up keeping those positions all the way through the event. I can’t recall the last time we did that in a varsity level event.”
Freshman Rachael Reilly once again led the way for the Tomahawk girls, finishing 3rd overall in the 44- runner field and covering the 5K course in a time of 20:19. Rachel was the lone Hatchet medalist. However, the Hatchets closed the door on any hopeful challengers as they placed all five scorers in the top ten: Greta Tjugum (6th-21:02), Kate Reilly (7th-21:16-SB), Morgan Hansmann (8th-21:23-PR), and Macey Mann (10th- 22:08). Geena Wanta (15th) and Serena Reinke (18th) closed out the Hatchet attack.
Girls team scores were Tomahawk-29, Mosinee-34, Phillips-68, and Three Lakes-DNS.
“I thought that Rachael ran one of her best tactical races to date,” Zuelsdorf said. “Volk and Fitzgerald are top-notch runners from the area and Rachael hung right with them for 3000 meters. She didn’t go into anaerobic debt so early in her race today and it showed as she was able to push herself down the home stretch with a solid finishing kick.”
“Our depth really showed in the boys’ race, and was the key ingredient in propelling us to victory in the girls’ race,” Zuelsdorf added.
The Hatchet JV boys and girls both scored 19 points en route to victory and were led by medalists Presley Gutbrod (1st-19:08) and Ava Dragosh (1st-23:27-SB), Hunter Van Ryen (2nd-19:50), Tianna Gerstenberger (2nd-23:35-PR), Brett Borchardt (3rd-20:33-PR), and Kambyl Mattke (3rd-23:56-PR). Other top JV finishers for the victorious Hatchets were Jacob Towle (5th), Marie Gorell (6th), Autumn Peissig (7th), JohnMark Hawley (8th), and Robin Schmidt (14th).
“Some of our biggest PRs on the team came from Morgan Hansmann, Tiana Gerstenberger, Kambyl Mattke, Hunter Borchardt, Brett Borchardt, John Mark Hawley, and Ethan Liebnitz,” Zuelsdorf noted.
The Hatchets will host the Great Northern Conference Cross Country Championships at Edgewater at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 15.