The Tomahawk cross country teams put up solid efforts in a grueling week with meets at N. Pines and home exacerbated by a measure of illness.
The boys placed third in Saturday’s 12-team home event at Edgewater Country Club, while the girls ended up fourth.
“It’s been a common theme of ours this season for our boys, in smaller races our pack-style running has been very effective, but as we get into larger races our pack is getting busted up,” THS coach John Zuelsdorf said. “At our invite this was evident again as we didn’t get out as a group and many of our runners used too much effort in regrouping early in the race which in turn cost them down the stretch.
“Troy (Van Strydonk) and Cayton (Scholz) ran the type of races that we are looking for at conference and sectionals.
Those sub-18 minute efforts will be critical to our team success and need to be matched by our scoring pack and even our 6th runner as a ‘pusher’ to be effective.”
Van Strydonk ranked 10th in a career-best 17:13, and Scholz (17:51, 22nd) and Justin Jarvensivu (18:25, 34th) also set personal records.
Alex Johnson (26th, 18:02), Lucas Tjugum (28th, 17:51) and Kyle Klopatek (38th, 18:31) also competed well.
Dani Whiting medaled 3rd (20:35), and Rylie Swan (22:56, 28th), and Lauren Bauman (23:07, 31st) PR’ed. Maggee Renn (29th, 23:05), Kate Krueger (33rd, 23:12) and Sara Kouba (56th, 25:13) rounded out the Hatchet varsity.
“Dani, coming off a bad cold earlier in the week, looked solid at our home invite working from the front for two miles and holding on for a third-place finish with her second best time of the season,” Zuelsdorf said. “It’s been sort of a frustrating week for the girls, with one of our top scorers (Lizebeth Edwardsen) out due to injury. As we are looking to improve in our competitiveness with conference teams like Rhinelander, Mosinee and Pines it’s been difficult when we are not at full strength. To make matters worse, our girls have been battling the same upper respiratory stuff that affected the boys in mid-September.”
Team standings– Boys– Lakeland 29, Chequamegon 82, Tomahawk 120, Shawano 125, Nekoosa 130, Phillips 186, Mosinee 193, Rhinelander 195, Crandon 214, Laona-Wabeno 238, Antigo 273, Hurley 315……. Girls– Lakeland 37, Mosinee 77, Rhinelander 88, Tomahawk 120, Nekoosa 128, Shawano 133, Chequamegon 137, Crandon 206, Hurley 219, La-Wa inc., Antigo inc.
The boys put all five in the top 10 of Tuesday’s six-team meet with Troy Van Strydonk (4th, 17:52), Alex Johnson (6th, 18:04), Mason Webster (7th, 18:07), Cayton Scholz (8th, 18:15) and Lucas Tjugum (10th, 18:23), but couldn’t grab the title from Pines.
“We couldn’t offset (Pines’) 2-3-5 combination of their top runners,” Zuelsdorf said. “We were pleased with our scoring split of 31 seconds and liked how the boys worked together as a pack throughout the event.”
Krueger (7th, 23:22), Renn (9th, 23:34), Bauman (11th, 23:39), Swan (12th, 23:45) and Kouba (14th, 24:36) pushed THS to 3rd despite missing their top two.
Team standings– Boys– N. Pines 30, Tomahawk 35, Rhinelander 84, Antigo 97, Mercer 144, Florence 150…….Girls– Rhinelander 29, N. Pines 40, Tomahawk 53, Three Lakes 113, Antigo inc.