Hatchets try course on for size
The Hatchet cross country team jumped into a challenging meet and field for the chance to preview their eventual sectional course last Friday.
The girls ranked fifth in the 21-team meet, and the boys ended up seventh.
“It was great to get an opportunity to compete on the course where our sectional meet will be held in less than two months,” THS coach John Zuelsdorf said. “All-in-all, an early season event like this amplifies your areas of weakness and can serve to focus the athletes on improving. If this happens we’ll be a vastly different team with different results next time we visit Freedom in late October.
“It is always a challenge when you ride for over two hours and then compete and some of our athletes handled it better than others. All of the other teams made significantly shorter trips than we did.”
Rachel Sudbury got out strong and stayed there, running second nearly the entire race and finishing there in 15:09. Rachael Miller (20th, 16:22) and Stephanie Welke (24th, 16:31) medaled, and Kelsey Renn (46th, 17:15), Amanda Koshak (54th, 17:32) capped the scoring. Jessie Harmon (64th, 17:54) and Deonna Schlinsog (84th, 18:36) also ran.
“Other than Rachel, our girls got out a little conservatively for the first mile and never really changed position through to the finish,” Zuelsdorf said. “We need to improve on this in the near future.
“Finishing as a medalist in a field of this quality is a plus for Steph. She has been a key to our early season success as she is pushing Rachael Miller and they both continue to improve due to that fact, which in turn makes our team better. She was also the only girl to run faster this year than last year on the same course, same meet.”
Bryan Tomek ran 6th in 17:02 to lead out the boys. Connor Ahrens (23rd, 17:53), Ryan Kuehn (47th, 18:48), Dylan Dahl (49th, 18:58), and Cody Bandoch (68th, 19:34) closed out the scoring. Zack Buesewitz (73rd, 19:48) and Thomas Miller (97th, 20:44) competed.
“Bryan had pre-race aspirations of going with the two leaders from Oconto Falls as he had beaten one of them previously and was close to the other last year, but he said heavy legs early in the race kept him from hanging on after the first 800 meters,” Zuelsdorf said. “Many of our boys spoke of this symptom (heavy legs) post-race and we are making adjustments to our practice schedule that may help prevent this in future races.
“Ryan continues to improve his times in comparison to last year on the same courses and at every practice he is setting the example for others to follow.”
Team standings-Girls-Freedom 88, Clintonville 105, Appleton N. 121, New London 137, Tomahawk 146, Chilton 176, Little Chute 201, Xavier 203, Peshtigo 209, Ripon 278, Seymour 297, Weyauwega 350, W. DePere 367, Brillion 375, Sevastapol 376, Fox Valley Luth 406, Iola 426, Oconto Falls 437, Reedsville 458, Gillett 532, Gibralter 623…….Boys-Freedom 59, Oconto Falls 76, Little Chute 136, Chilton 153, Seymour 173, Appleton N. 174, Tomahawk 180, Xavier 199, Gillette 291, Iola 303, Ripon 316, W. DePere 336, Clintonville 347, Weyauwega 356, Peshtigo 370, Brillion 381, Gibralter 451, Reedsville 491, Sevastapol inc., FVL inc., N.L. inc.