Cross country: Tomahawk wraps up season at Sectional meet in Colby
For the Tomahawk Leader
COLBY – The Tomahawk Hatchet cross country team traveled to Colby High School to compete at the WIAA Division II Sectional meet on Saturday, Oct. 21.
It was a cloudy and chilly fall day, with some parts of the course thoroughly soaked from the previous night’s rainfall.
A total of 16 teams faced the Hatchets for the right to advance to Wisconsin Rapids for the WIAA State Championships this weekend.
“Though the weather was nice, the condition of the course was not ideal after the previous night’s rainfall, and two Division III races already ran on the course before our boys touched it,” said coach Connor Ahrens. “Despite the environmental setbacks, both our boys and girls challenged themselves and had far better races than last season. Both finishes and race efforts are something the coaching staff and team should be very proud of.”
The first Division II race of the day was the boys at 2:45 p.m. One year can make a big difference, and this was extremely evident for the Hatchet boys, last year finishing 9th and this year placing 5th with very few points between them and the 3rd– and 4th-place finishing schools. Lakeland handily won the meet, with Shawano coming in behind them to also qualify for the State meet.
The Hatchets scored 158 points and were led by junior Sam Zastrow, taking 17th in a time of 18:13. The rest of the varsity squad included senior Presley Gutbrod (26th-18:34), junior Dominic Boos (30th-18:39), senior Owen Dickrell (44th-19:25), junior Nathan Rosenmeier (45th-19:27), freshman Drew Voermans (65th-20:19) and senior Trey Morrison (74th-20:43).
There were 100 runners in the boys’ race, with finishing team results as follows: Lakeland-47, Shawano-64, Oconto Falls-132, Rhinelander-137, Tomahawk-148, Medford-152, Colby/Abbotsford-153, Stanley-Boyd-228, Marinette-240, Peshtigo-243, Northland Pines-270, Mosinee-313, Wittenberg-Birnamwood-333, Merrill-347, Antigo-Inc., Menominee Indian-Inc.
The girls’ Division II race began at 3:45 p.m. This was an extremely close race for the second place spot and came down to just several runners from other schools. The girls were right in the mix and ended up coming just six points short of a trip to the State meet. Shawano ran away with the first-place finish, and Medford and Oconto Falls tied for the second spot, going down to the 6th runner, meaning Medford qualified.
The Lady Hatchets scored 78 points and were led by freshman Elise Gibeault, taking 11th in a time of 20:48. Encompassing the girls’ effort were junior Alli Palmer (12th-20:52), senior Rachael Reilly (14th-21:01), senior Halle Derleth (25th-21:40), sophomore Lydia Shaney (29th-22:12), senior Robin Schmidt (31st-22:19) and sophomore Faith Derleth (37th-22:37).
There were 76 runners in the girls’ race, with finishing team results as follows: Shawano-49, Medford-73, Oconto Falls-73, Tomahawk-78, Lakeland-144, Rhinelander-147, Peshtigo-161, Northland Pines-196, Merrill-258, Marinette-Inc., Wittenberg-Birnamwood-Inc., Mosinee-Inc., Menominee Indian-Inc., Antigo-Inc. and Stanley-Boyd-Inc.
“The girls’ team had their sights set on qualifying for State and fell just short,” said coach Steph Ahrens. “The boys had high hopes as well, but found themselves finishing fifth. Both squads ran their hearts out and left it all out there on the Colby five-kilometer course. The coaching staff could not be more pleased with how these two teams competed and showed respect while attending the awards ceremony.”
“Despite not qualifying any teams or individuals for the State meet, one must take a step back and look at the process,” said coach Bill Turgeon. “The student-athletes on this team accepted the training this year, and as a result greatly improved both mentally and physically. Keep in mind, both teams finished amongst the top five teams and both rosters are deep, meaning greater things are coming if the team can continue to grow and put in the work that is required.”
“With this being the final race of the season, it also means it was the last race for our seniors,” said coach Connor Ahrens. “The coaching staff will miss Robin Schmidt, Halle Derleth, Rachael Reilly, Izzy Lee, Kambyl Mattke, Presley Gutbrod, Owen Dickrell and Trey Morrison. They have put a lot of time, dedication and effort into this program. This group made team cohesion a priority and it showed. They will be sorely missed next cross country season.”
The Great Northern Conference (GNC) will be well represented in Wisconsin Rapids this weekend. The Lakeland boys’ and Medford girls’ teams qualified, along with individual qualifiers from Medford, Antigo, Mosinee and Northland Pines.
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