Hatchets run in circles, fast
The Hatchet teams may have surrendered their combined traveling trophy at Fall Creek’s 14-team Knudtson Invite on Saturday after a 9-year run, but they did it grudgingly.
A new squad from the Twin Cities, Henry-Sibley, won both races, but Tomahawk tied for 2nd for the girls and ranked 3rd for the boys.
Bryan Tomek captured his varsity major individual title with a 16:40 performance, and he was backed up by Ryan Kuehn (9th, 18:31), Troy Van Strydonk (16th, 19:00), Austin Kaiser (30th, 19:53) and Jacob McGuire (35th, 20:16) for 91 total points. Ben Bartz (43rd, 20:45) and Dakota Tomek (45th, 21:04) also ran.
The girls broke the Colfax tie with a 39th-place finish from Talyn Jones (20:04). Stephanie Welke (7th, 17:33), Alex Zedler (12th, 17:54), Dani Whiting (16th, 18:10), Emmy Larson (19th, 18:16) and Audrey Dichsen (29th, 19:09) gave the girls 83 points.
“(Henry-Sibley) came back virtually intact from last year and ran great with their veteran experience,” THS coach John Zuelsdorf said. “We were pleased with the way our young athletes stepped it up and handled the competition and course. Normally at Fall Creek there are few, if any, seasonal best times or PR’s. We had nearly a dozen athletes run seasonal bests on what is the toughest course they will see all year. That’s phenomenal!
“In the last three years, with the addition of Henry-Sibley High and larger schools from the Eau Claire area, the quality of the meet has really elevated.”
Tomek avenged last year’s loss to Eau Claire Immanuel’s Darin Lau by nearly 200 meters.
“One of Bryan’s strengths is hill running,” Zuelsdorf said. “He had a great workout last week on Kings Hill and we knew that if he was within striking distance of Lau, Bryan could return the favor this year.
“Bryan not only did that, he put the hammer down and buried Lau in the last mile. Lau has a better PR, placed high in D3 at state last year, and had already gone under 17 minutes this year. None of that meant anything to Bryan as he took charge in mile two and finished strong to win his first major invitational.
“Emmy Larson really came out of the hilly portion of the course with a purpose and impressed us with her determination and strong finish. And for Talyn to hold the key to our runner-up team title with her solid effort and finish in our sixth runner position was awesome!”