Cross country: Boys defend GNC title at Edgewater, numerous Hatchets earn All-Conference honors
For the Tomahawk Leader
TOMAHAWK – On Thursday, Oct. 16, Tomahawk hosted the Great Northern Conference Cross Country Championships.
The boys successfully defended their Conference title, placing five runners in the top 10 and all the Hatchets on the All-Conference squad.
The girls closed the gap on a strong Medford team by placing all five scorers on the All-Conference squad and finishing within 14 points of the 4-time conference champions.
Both Hatchet JV squads started the evening off with conference wins as well.
Earning All-Conference medalist honors for the Hatchets were Noah Buckwalter, Drew Bolder, Alex Norman, Arden Ziert, Owen Dickrell, Hunter Borchardt, Rachael Reilly, Kate Reilly, Macey Mann, and Morgan Hansmann. Earning Honorable Mention status were Ethan Liebnitz and Greta Tjugum.
Noah and Rachael earned All-Conference 1st Team status as they both placed 2nd overall in their respective races with P.R. efforts (Noah-16:44/Rachael-19:59). Drew (4th-17:24) and Alex (7th-17:50-PR) also earned 1st Team status with their top seven finishes. Kate Reilly (9th-20:55), Arden Ziert (9th-18:10), Owen Dickrell (10th-18:10), Macey Mann (11th-21:07), Morgan Hansmann (12th-21:15-PR) and Hunter Borchardt (14th-18:47) earned 2nd Team All-Conference status by virtue of their placements in their respective races at the GNC event. Rounding out the All-Conference Honorable Mention squad for Tomahawk were Greta Tjugum (18th-21:42), and Ethan Liebnitz (20th-19:01).
Other Hatchet varsity finishers were: Emily Lacina (23rd), Ava Dragosh (30th), and Geena Wanta (32nd).
“We had awesome representation on the All-Conference team with 12 runners earning that status,” said head coach John Zuelsdorf. “To see Noah give the conference champ from Medford a race to the wire and PR (16:44) in the process was super exciting. Noah achieved 1st Team honors for the 2nd-straight year and AC honors for the 3rd time. Drew achieved his 4th All-Conference honor in a row (a distinction that puts him in an elite group of athletes at THS), and Kate and Macey earned honors for their 2nd time on the All-Conference squad. The rest were first timers!”
Varsity boys results: Tomahawk-32, Lakeland-63, Medforf-93, Northland Pines-109, Rhinelander-112, Antigo-119, Mosinee-163.
Varsity girls scores: Medford-38, Tomahawk-52, Lakeland-69, Mosinee-87, Rhinelander-115, Antigo-166, Northland Pines-203.
Freshman Presley Gutbrod topped the field in the opening GNC event of the day as he won the Boys JV title, taking the lead at 2000 meters and never looking back. Presley covered the 5K course in a time of 19:16. Helping propel the Boys JV to their 3rd straight JV title were Hunter VanRyen (2nd), Brett Borchardt (4th), Jacob Towle (5th), and John Mark Hawley-10th.
The champion girls JV squad was led by Serena Reinke as she won the 5K event in a time of 22:59. She was followed closely by Tiana Gerstenberger in a PR time of 23:11 for 2nd and Kambyl Mattke 4th with a 23:30 PR effort. Other Tomahawk girls JV placers were Autumn Peissig-6th and Robin Schmidt-15th.
JV boys results: Tomahawk-15, Lakeland-Inc., Mosinee-Inc., Medford-Inc.
“The boys ran strong as they defended their conference title and hit their ultimate goal of placing all team members on the All-Conference squad,” Zuelsdorf stated. “What impressed the coaching staff was placing all five scorers in the top 10.”
JV girls results: Tomahawk-27, Rhinelander-41, Mosinee-52, Medford-Inc., Lakeland-Inc., Antigo-Inc.
“The girls showed a lot of improvement against a Medford squad that dismantled us on their course,” Zuelsdorf said. “We broke up their top-end scoring pack and our #3-4-5 runners really competed well in the wave against their #3-4-5 runners. That’s the type of improvement we can build on going into sub sectionals next week.”
“Freshman Rachael Reilly ran a near perfect tactical race and was rewarded with a PR sub-20 minute 5K effort in the process,” the coach added. “To finish as a runner-up champion, ahead of the four Medford girls that beat her on their course, and in front of the Mosinee girl that beat her a week ago was another confidence booster for our young speedster.”
The Hatchet Harriers travel to Oconto Falls to compete in the 9-team Sub-sectional meet Tuesday, Oct. 20. The top two teams will advance to the WIAA Division 2 Northeastern Wisconsin Sectional race in Tomahawk on Saturday, Oct. 24th. The meet gets underway at 11 a.m.
The top two teams and the top five non-qualifying team members advance to the state meet the following weekend in Wisconsin Rapids.