Tomahawk runners take part in 66th annual Smiley Invite
JV girls win D2/D3 race
For the Tomahawk Leader
WAUSAU – On Saturday, Sept. 17, the Tomahawk Hatchet cross country team made the trek south to Wausau East High School for the 66th annual Smiley Invite.
Over 50 teams and nearly 1,200 runners from across the state made their way to Wausau to compete in divisional races.
“Smiley is one of the biggest meets our runners get to compete in,” said coach Connor Ahrens. “It includes more than 50 teams, many of whom are state ranked squads. It’s a good gauge for where we sit within our Sectional and how much more we need to adapt to face the coming challenges.”
The Hatchets competed in D2/D3 races for all events.
The Tomahawk varsity girls placed 4th in the overall D2/D3 race, behind state-ranked teams from Little Chute, West Salem and Kiel. When scores were tallied for just D2, the girls took 5th place by a hair.
The varsity boys placed 11th overall and 7th in D2. The varsity boys race was won by 2021’s WIAA State Champions, Shorewood West Salem.
The bright spot at the meet was that Tomahawk’s JV girls won the D2 and D3 race.
The varsity girls squad was once again led by junior Rachael Reilly with a time of 21:52, as she placed 21st in D2 (28th overall out of 135 runners). Morgan Hansmann (23:06), Halle Derleth (23:23), Serena Reinke (23:27), Marie Gorell (23:38), Izzy Lee (24:11) and Kambyl Mattke (25:36) rounded out the Hatchet squad.
In the first varsity race of the day, the Hatchet boys were led by junior medalist Presley Gutbrod, who placed 19th in the D2 race (28th in the combined D2 and D3 race standings) with a seasonal best time of 18:16. Other varsity D2/D3 finishers for the Hatchets included Sam Zastrow (19:23), Owen Dickrell (19:32), Ty Anthes (19:53), Taje Casey (20:11), Jacob Riemer (21:24) and Brett Borchardt (21:16).
Finishing as medalists for the champion JV girls squad were Abi Micke (24:39), Lydia Shaney (26:35), Faith Derleth (27:07), Kailynn Hanse (27:08), Summer Gaedtke (30:45) and Jennie Frederickson (35:39).
The 5th-place JV boys team included Nathan Rosenmeier (21:32), Jeremiah Johnson (21:53), Jacob Towle (21:58), Masen Towle (23:10), Bruce Peetz (23:51), Elliot O’Connor (24:53), Gerard Gorell (25:22), Cayden Shepler (26:07) and Eli Albrent (26:38).
“Unfortunately we were down two of our varsity female athletes, and a good portion of our team is fighting some sickness, so we didn’t get the best idea of where we stand amongst many of the best teams in the state,” Ahrens stated, noting that Marie Gorell, Halle Derleth, Izzy Lee, Abi Micke and many of the Hatchet boys delivered standout performances.
“On the varsity side, seniors Ty Anthes and Taje Casey had seasonal best times, while Presley Gutbrod almost PR’ed,” Ahrens continued. “Great signs with where we need the boys varsity to start heading if we want to honestly compete at the Sectional level.”
Ahrens added that freshman boys Masen Towle, Elliot O’Connor, Gerard Gorell, Cayden Shepler and Eli Albrent also had solid improvements, continuing to find their strides and find ways to keep getting faster.
“Though not everyone was 100%, many of our student-athletes rose to the occasion and competed, going out in new paces to push their limits,” said coach Bill Turgeon.
The next race for Tomahawk is on Thursday, Sept. 22, when the co-ed team will travel to Big Stone Golf Course southeast of Three Lakes for the Blue Jay Invite. The meet gets underway at 4 p.m.
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