Tomahawk is tops, twice
Thursday’s 11-team Waupaca Invite was as much a learning experience for the Tomahawk cross country teams as it was a competition.
Still, the Hatchets ended up capturing the overall title behind a girls’ victory and boys’ runner-up finish on the site of the Oct. 20 sectional meet.
The girls put three in the top 10 and all five scorers in the top 30, while the boys ranked three in the top 15-including champion Bryan Tomek-to trail only state-ranked Little Chute. The Hatchets nipped the Mustangs 167-170 for the combined championship.
“We had never competed on the Waupaca course and our staff thought it would be important to get a feel for the course, have a chance to try a race strategy out with each team and get some feedback from the athletes,” THS coach John Zuelsdorf said.
Tomek triumphed in 16:33, well below the norm.
“Bryan received some extra motivation prior to the race as the Waupaca coach stated that very few (male) athletes crack the 17-minute barrier on the challenging course,” Zuelsdorf said. “Bryan took that as a challenge and ran away from the field in taking his third invite title this year and gaining a mental edge in conquering the course prior to the tournament meet next month.”
The girls took first behind Stephanie Welke (6th, 16:55), Alex Zedler (9th, 17:19), Dani Whiting (10th, 17:19), Emmy Larson (24th, 18:00) and Audrey Dichsen (27th, 18:09). Talyn Jones (48th, 19:07) also competed.
“Our girls ran with a purpose and continue to improve as a team,” Zuelsdorf said. “The gap between our top five scorers is getting smaller and with that we are more effective as a team. The boys are pushing each other in the #4-#9 positions, but that group needs to close the gap on our #3 runner and start dropping their times into the low 18’s for our team chances to improve.
Ryan Kuehn (12th, 18:12), Troy VanStrydonk (13th, 18:15), Austin Kaiser (39th, 19:41) and Jacob McGuire (40th, 19:43) backed up Tomek. Jared Jarvensivue (49th, 20:11) also ran. Jared Kiander (19:53), Vic Ierulli (20:01) and Dakota Tomek (20:13) and Jacob Panzer (20:37) turned in solid JV times.
Team standings-Girls-Tomahawk 76, FVL 88, Winneconne 90, Little Chute 106, Amherst 110, Weyauwega 120, Waupaca 129, Iola 200, Manawa 266, Westfield 271, St. Mary’s 273…….Boys-Little Chute 64, Tomahawk 91, Waupaca 104, Winne. 110, Iola 111, FVL 116, Westfield 144, St. Mary’s 156, Amherst 218, Manawa inc., Marinette inc.
Flying over Eagles
The Hatchets matched those showings in Monday’s decidedly lower-profile Northland Pines Invite.
The girls’ win was keyed by Welke (2nd, 16:32), Zedler (4th, 17:01), Larson (10th, 17:35), Dichsen (11th, 17:41) and Whiting (12th, 18:00). Jones (15th, 18:34) and Claire Kuehn (28th, 19:42) were close. The girls tipped Rhinelander 39-48.
The boys hung within 35-44 of the Hodags even with Bryan Tomek held out of the race. Kuehn (2nd, 17:39), VanStrydonk (4th, 17:53), Kaiser (10th, 19:07), McGuire (12th, 19:12) and Jarvensivu (16th, 19:32) scored, and Kiander (17th, 19:40) and D. Tomek (23rd, 19:44) competed.
Team standings-Girls-Tomahawk 39, Rhinelander 48, 3 Lks. 80, N. Pines 80, Crandon 176, Florence inc…….Boys-Rhine. 35, Tomahawk 44, N. Pines 69, Crandon 117, Florence 122.