Tomahawk cross country team kicks off season, hosts 21st annual Alumni Scrimmage
For the Tomahawk Leader
HURLEY – The Tomahawk Hatchet cross country team’s season officially got underway on Saturday, Aug. 13, with the Paavo Nurmi Marathon in Hurley, the oldest marathon in Wisconsin.
The Hatchet harriers followed up the marathon with Bond Falls Cross Country Camp and the 21st annual Alumni Scrimmage.
Paavo Nurmi Marathon
Tomahawk had two teams compete in the Paavo Nurmi Marathon five-person relay race.
Team “Top Gun,” which was comprised of Presley Gutbrod, Owen Dickrell, Morgan Hansmann, Rachael Reilly and Abigail Micke, took both first place in the mixed team division and overall five-person relay team with a blistering time of 3:20:03.
Team “The Mericans,” made up of Serena Reinke, Robin Schmidt, Hall Derleth, Kailynn Hanse and Marie Gorell, took first place in the women’s team division with a time of 3:46:22.
Tomahawk had 30 high school student-athletes attend the season starting cross country camp in Bond Falls, Mich.
This was the 27th annual camp since Coach John Zuelsdorf started the tradition in 1995.
Student-athletes eclipsed a 30-mile week by running two times daily while bonding and enjoying a variety of camp games and activities.
On Saturday, Aug. 20, the cross country team hosted the 21st annual Alumni Scrimmage at the entrance to Bradley Park, where the 2022 Hatchet harriers competed against former alumni and local Tomahawk Area Runners Association (TARA) members.
The race takes runners through the main loop of Bradley Park several times and once through the hilly Hog’s Back Trail by Mirror Lake.
Leading the alumni in the 5000-meter men’s event was the new head coach, Connor Ahrens, class of 2012, in a time of 18:42. Other alumni finishers were: Ethan Liebnitz (class of ’21-8th), Garron Albrent (class of ’21-10th), coach Kurt Reinke (TARA-13th), coach Kurt Cordova (class of ’08-14th), Jack Reilly (TARA-15th), Ted Towle (class of ’01-16th), Phil Dahl (class of ’83-17th), coach Bill Turgeon (class of ’86-19th), Steve Graeber (class of ’76-21st), Ryan Montag (TARA-23rd), and Mark Gass (TARA-26th).
The high schoolers were led by junior Presley Gutbrod’s 19:24, second-place effort. Placing in the top ten were sophomore Sam Zastrow (19:25-3rd), junior Owen Dickrell (19:53-4th), senior Ty Anthes (20:50-5th), junior Brett Borchardt (22:03-6th), senior Taje Casey (22:06-7th), and freshman Jeremiah Johnson (22:48-9th).
The remaining Hatchet finishers for the boys were Jacob Towle (11th), Nathan Rosenmeier (12th), Masen Towle (18th), Bruce Peetz (20th), Elliot O’Connor (22nd), Cayden Shepler (24th), and Eli Albrent (25th).
“Coming off a high mileage week, a baseline mile workout Thursday and dealing with hot and humid conditions all week, the high school Hatchets were able to handily beat the alumni men,” Ahrens noted. The ‘unofficial’ alumni score was 46, while the high school Hatchets finished ‘unofficially’ with 20 points.”
The alumni women were led by former Hatchet standout (class of 2020) Haley Voermans-Dean with her first-place overall finish in a time of 21:16 over the hilly 5k course.
Other alumni finishers were new assistant coach Stephanie Ahrens (class of ’13-3rd), Rachel Palmer (class of ’99-13th), Charlee Lund (TARA-15th), Joa Reilly (TARA-16th), Meagan Berg (class of ’20-17th), Kate Reilly (class of ’22-18th), Ava Dragosh (class of ’22-19th), and middle school coach Shirley Derleth (class of ’87-23rd).
The 2022 high school Hatchets placed eight finishers in the top ten and topped the alumni by an “unofficial” score of 24 to 48.
The high schoolers were led by Morgan Hansmann with a time of 21:58, taking second place. Rachael Reilly, Robin Schmidt, Serena Reinke and Alli Palmer decisively beat the alumni, placing 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th, respectively, in times of 22:36, 23:16, 23:19, and 23:59 for the hilly 5K.
Teammates Izzy Lee (8th), Halle Derleth (9th), Marie Gorell (10th), Kambyl Mattke (11th), Faith Derleth (12th), Abi Micke (14th), Kailynn Hanse (20th), Summer Gaedtke (21st) and Jennie Frederickson (22nd) helped keep the high school Hatchets streak of seven-straight victories over the alumni intact.
Full unofficial results of the 21st Annual Alumni Scrimmage can be found at www.bit.ly/3T4tYme.
The Hatchets will take part in their first official meet of the season at Rhinelander High School on Thursday, Aug, 25. The meet gets underway at 10 a.m.