Tomahawk swimmers sink Medford, Shawano with tournaments on horizon

For the Tomahawk Leader

TOMAHAWK – The Tomahawk Hatchet boys’ swim team hosted the Medford Raiders at Hatchet Pool on Tuesday, Dec. 12 and came away with a 95 to 39 victory.

Head coach Marion Kohl noted that in the two teams’ December matchup, Tomahawk was down multiple swimmers. This time, the tables were turned, as Medford could only swim five out of eight of it swimmers.

“Just another illustration of how this very odd season has panned out for all of us,” Kohl stated.

The Hatchet swimmers were able to take top honors in all but one event, with the exception being the 200 yard Medley Relay.

“Even that event was odd, however, in that Medford had requested to be able to swim their Medley Relay team as exhibition, in order to be able to give their guys a chance to better their season split times in that event before we head into Conference and Sectionals,” Kohl explained. “This meant that their event win didn’t net them any points, but also that they were able to still compete in the normal four events per swimmer with their exhibition relay as a fifth event.”

Kohl said her squad’s times were “a bit flat” with the exception of a few events.

“Senior Noah Buckwalter continues to improve each meet, again dropping a cumulative 2.23 additional seconds from his 50 and 100 yard freestyle events, for a pair of 4th place finishes,” Kohl stated. “Senior Cullen Flynn was able to drop 1.86 seconds from his 100 yard Backstroke, setting a career best time of 1:15.98 and claiming 2nd place for the effort. His old time of 1:17.84 was set at the very end of last season at the WIAA Sectional meet.”

Kohl noted that sophomore Zach Hanse swam the pair of distance freestyle events at the meet and showed “marked improvement in both.” Hanse took first place in the 500 yard Freestyle and swam 4.31 seconds faster than his time from last season with a 5:37.94.

“Senior Ethan Liebnitz broke the 25 mark for the first time in the 50 yard Freestyle event and took 1st place in the event with a :24.56, a .85 second personal record,” Kohl said. “And finally, Senior Alex Norman swam his heart out in the 100 yard Breaststroke event, finishing just .85 seconds behind Medford’s Nathan Sislo in a close finish. Alex’s time of 1:22.58 was 2.36 seconds faster than his last time out in the event.”

Kohl said Tomahawk’s rematch against Shawano on Thursday, Jan. 14 was nearly a “carbon copy” of their previous meet, with the Hatchets scoring 82 points (the same as the Saturday, Jan. 9 meet) to the Hawks’ 75 (one more point than in the previous meet).

“The biggest difference was that the Hatchets only had this dual meet left to do any event adjustments with the guys before we (faced) off with the Lakeland T-Birds (on Tuesday, Jan. 19),” Kohl stated, adding that she thought the meet against Lakeland would be a “barn burner.”

In Shawano, Kohl explained, the Hatchets turned in some of the great mid-season times that had eluded them before.

“This bodes well for our showing next week and into Conference and Sectionals in the next two weeks – hard to believe we’re already headed into the tournament schedule,” she added.

Tomahawk went 1-2 in three of the nine individual events. The 200 yard freestyle saw junior Caleb Kretzschmar in first at a personal record of 2:12.04, and Senior Alex Norman not far behind at 2:16.18.

In the 100 yard freestyle, seniors Ethan Liebnitz and Norman went 1-2 with a pair of ‘57’s – personal records for them both as well.

The 100 yard Breaststroke saw sophomore Zach Hanse drop down to a season-best 1:04.78, only slightly off his 1:03.21 school record in the event. Senior Adam Hall finished second with a solid swim at 1:13.21.

The Hatchet swimmers turned in four more first-place finishes in Shawano, with the 200 yard Medley Relay team of Hanse, Hall, Kretzschmar and Liebnitz, Zach Hanse in the 100 yard Butterfly at a personal record 0:59.99 time, Caleb Kretzschmar in the 500 yard freestyle with a season best 6:02.19, and the 400 yard Freestyle Relay team of Norman, Kretzschmar, Hall and Hanse with a season best 3:55.31 – four full seconds faster than their previous season-best time of 3:59.69.

The Tomahawk swimmers hosted Lakeland at Hatchet Pool on Tuesday, Jan. 19 for a 7 p.m. meet and will return to Shawano on Friday, Jan. 22 for the Great Northern Conference meet that starts at 5:30 p.m. Rhinelander is set to host Sectionals on Saturday, Jan. 30.

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