Cross country: Lady Hatchets, Rachael Reilly each take first place at Blue Jay Invite
Boys finish in second
For the Tomahawk Leader
THREE LAKES – The Tomahawk Hatchet cross country team traveled to Big Stone Golf Course on Thursday, Sept. 23 for the annual Three Lakes Blue Jay Invitational. With solid “pack-style” running, the Hatchets were dominant, bringing home two team trophies in the ten-team event.
“This course is flat and fast and conducive to seasonal bests and PRs, but a steady 10-15 MPH wind in the open areas may have prevented this from happening across the board,” said head coach John Zuelsdorf. “Despite the conditions, we still had one-third of the team run at seasonal best level, less than a week after 50% of them ran super at Smiley.”
In the first high school race of the day, a group consisting of Arden Ziert, Owen Dickrell, Brett Borchardt, Presley Gutbrod, and Sam Zastrow worked as a “pack” coming through both the first and second mile, separated by no more than two seconds. They gave Rhinelander a solid run for the title, placing all five scorers in front of the Hodags’ #4 runner. However, it was not enough to offset the Hodags’ low total of 35 points. Owen (7th-18:53), Brett Borchardt (8th-19:00), Arden (9th-19:01), and Presley (10th-19:02) were all medalists, and freshman Sam Zastrow placed 13th in 19:10.
That scoring split of 17 seconds was their best effort to date. Ty Anthes (23rd), Jacob Towle (30th), Taje Casey (39th) and JohnMark Hawley (46th) rounded out the effort for the Hatchets in the 60 runner field.
Boys team scores: Rhinelander-35, Tomahawk-47, Marathon-56, Crandon-119, NPHS-122, Goodman/Pembine-143, Lakeland-Inc., Florence-Inc., Laona/Wabeno-Inc., Three Lakes-Inc.
“The boys executed a ‘pack-style’ plan that nearly worked to perfection against the favored Hodags,” Zuelsdorf stated. “We were in a solid position with 1K left, but strong finishes by two of the Hodag runners worked to put Rhinelander on top. However, to run fast with your teammates by your side is fun and it gave our guys a ton of confidence.”
The varsity girls followed and gave the Hatchets their first outright championship of the day with a season-low 23 pts in route to the title. Like their counterparts, the girls placed four in the top ten earning medalist honors, led by sophomore Rachael Reilly’s first individual 5K championship of 2021 as she covered the course in a seasonal best time of 20:59, surging past a Three Lakes runner in the last 1000 meters to claim the crown. The other Hatchet medalists were seniors: Macey Mann (4th-21:35), Emily Lacina (5th-21:36) and Geena Wanta (9th-22:16 PR).
Other finishers for the Hatchets were: Kate Reilly (12th-22:25), Serena Reinke (14th-22:48), Morgan Hansmann (18th), Ava Dragosh (20th), Marie Gorell (21st), Kambyl Mattke (29th), Alli Palmer (30th), Halle Derleth (32nd), and Arawen Alberg (60th) in the 74-runner field.
Girls team scores: Tomahawk-23, Marathon-53, Rhinelander-66, Crandon-103, Laona/Wabeno-134, Three Lakes—Inc., Florence-Inc., NPHS-Inc., Goodman/Pembine-Inc., Lakeland-Inc.
“Our scoring runners for the girls got out strong and established themselves by the mile,” Zuelsdorf said. “Macey, Emily, Geena, Kate and Morgan really got out nicely. We also had a few of our girls serve to inflate the scores of the other teams as they were in front of the scorers from the other squads. Serena, Ava and Marie filled this role for us. Finally, to see Rachel run a solid last 1600 meters with a surge by the leader from Three Lakes with 1000 meters to go was awesome. She ran a strong race with a lot of confidence down the home stretch.”
The Hatchet harriers are set to travel to Athens on Thursday, Sept. 30 for a meet that gets underway at 4 p.m.
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