Tough Rhinelander team sinks Hatchet swimmers

For the Tomahawk Leader

RHINELANDER – The Tomahawk Hatchet boys’ swim team traveled to Rhinelander on Tuesday, Dec. 22 and fell to their conference rivals by a score of 136 to 28.

Head coach Marion Kohl didn’t mince words when describing how tough the Hodags are this season.

“So, this season within Great Northern Conference boys’ swimming, there’s Rhinelander, and then there’s the rest of us,” she said.

Kohl noted that scores against the Hodags so far this season have been Rhinelander 138, Medford 28;  Rhinelander 130, Shawano 37;  Rhinelander 107, Lakeland 52; and Rhinelander 136, Tomahawk 28;

“Rhinelander is, in a word, ‘strong’ again this season, and it’ll be an uphill battle for the rest of the four GNC teams against them all year,” Kohl stated.

Kohl said the team returned two additional swimmers to the lineup, who were previously suspended due to grades.

“It was good to have almost the whole group in the water, though with only seven swimmers, the toll it takes physically to swim back-to-back events throughout the meet is pretty taxing and doesn’t make for good times,” she stated.

Kohl added that the team is suffering from the effects of the weeks off for quarantine, and that was reflected in the swimmers’ endurance.

“Usually by this time of the season, we will have competed in multiple meets already and are beginning to settle into what will become the boys’ strongest events for the year, but at this point we’re still just getting into shape and trying things out,” she said.

The Hatchets mustered six third-place finishes, including two by senior Ethan Liebnitz in the 200 yard individual medley and the 100 yard backstroke, plus two more by senior Adam Hall in the 100 yard freestyle and the 100 yard breaststroke. The final two third-place finishes came from the 200 yard and 400 yard freestyle relay teams.

The Hatchet swimmers will be back in the water for their first home meet of the season on Tuesday, Jan. 5, when the Hodags visit Hatchet Pool.

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