Ten Hatchet harriers earn All-Conference honors
Connor Ahrens named GNC Coach of the Year
For the Tomahawk Leader
WAUSAU – On Saturday, Oct. 14, the Tomahawk Hatchet cross country team traveled south to Nine Mile Forest in Wausau for the Great Northern Conference (GNC) Cross Country Championships.
“The weather turned out to be excellent, cool conditions,” said coach Kurt Reinke. “Our student-athletes took advantage of the course and ran some very impressive times. What’s more is that they raced for place and got the reward of great times to boot.”
The girls’ junior varsity team started the meet off with a first-place finish, and the junior varsity boys took third. The junior varsity squads had a combined six runners finish in the top ten of the first race of the day.
The girls’ varsity won by toppling the seven-time defending champions, Medford. This was achieved by having all five of the girls scoring runners attain All-Conference Honors.
Due to the girls’ team’s first-place finish, coach Connor Ahrens took home the Great Northern Conference Coach of Year award.
Like last year, the boys once again placed third, but this time behind Lakeland and Rhinelander.
“Both of our teams had a game plan, and it came down to executing the plan to the best of their abilities when no one was watching,” said coach Connor Ahrens. “I’m happy to say that the girls excelled at achieving the game plan, and though the boys took third again for conference, there were many races to be proud of. The mental toughness of our student-athletes was on full display at Nine Mile Forest.”
Junior Alli Palmer and freshman Elise Gibeault earned All-Conference 1st Team for the first time in their careers, placing 6th and 7th overall in times of 20:11 and 20:13.
Earning All-Conference 2nd Team were senior Rachael Reilly (10th-20:41), senior Halle Derleth (11th-20:42) and sophomore Lydia Shaney (12th-20:47).
Presley Gutbrod earned All-Conference 2nd Team for the third year in a row, as he took 8th overall in a time of 17:16. Sam Zastrow and Dominic Boos earned All-Conference 2nd Team, placing 10th and 13th, respectively, with times of 17:34 and 17:52.
Attaining All-Conference Honorable Mention were senior Robin Schmidt (18th-21:34) and sophomore Faith Derleth (19th-21:52).
Completing the Hatchet varsity competitors were Kambyl Mattke (28th-22:55), Trey Morrison (26th-19:08), Drew Voermans (27th-19:08), Nathan Rosenmeier (28th-19:11), Jeremiah Johnson (29th-19:13) and Owen Dickrell (32nd-19:45).
Girls’ varsity scores: Tomahawk-36, Medford-42, Lakeland-78, Rhinelander-92, Northland Pines-120, Antigo-Inc., Mosinee-Inc.
Boys’ varsity scores: Lakeland-24, Rhinelander-76, Tomahawk-77, Medford-81, Northland Pines-99, Mosinee-Inc., Antigo-Inc.
“We had a great bounce back performance out of senior Rachael Reilly, and having three boys run sub-18 minutes is a huge step in the right direction,” said coach Bill Turgeon. “These are the kinds of improvements we needed to see for these two teams to keep pushing.”
Winning the junior varsity girls’ race was sophomore Abi Micke with a new personal record of 22:33.
The junior varsity boys were led by Beau Stromberg, who placed 2nd with a time of 19:31.
The rest of the junior varsity Hatchets included Izzy Lee (2nd-22:50), Norah Mann (4th-23:01), Abbie Rosenmeier (5th-23:13), Reese Molitor (9th-24:03), Kailynn Hanse (14th-26:17), Jennie Frederickson (16th-26:24) and Summer Gaedtke (17th-26:37).
Girls’ JV scores: Tomahawk-20, Medford-35, Northland Pines-Inc., Rhinelander-Inc.
Boys’ JV scores: Lakeland-26, Medford-49, Tomahawk-62, Antigo-Inc., Northland Pines-Inc., Rhinelander-Inc.
“Talk about an exciting conference meet,” said coach Steph Ahrens. “Season bests and personal records occurred with nearly every Hatchet runner. This is an excellent sign leading into the sectional week. If the team can keep its focus, there’s no telling what these kids could run Saturday in Colby.”
The Hatchet harriers were slated to travel to Colby High School on Saturday, Oct. 21, to compete in the WIAA Division II Sectional meet. The top two teams and the top five non-qualifying team members were set to advance to the State meet in Wisconsin Rapids this weekend.
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