Lady Hatchet swim team finishes 4th at Chasing the Tiger
By Jed Buelow
Co-Editor, Sports, Nature Editor
The past couple years it was more like chasing the Hatchets as Tomahawk dominated at the early-season Chasing the Tiger Invite held in Marshfield.
After losing a core of key swimmers to graduation who helped secure a 3rd place finish as a team at the WIAA State Division 2 State Championship last fall, the Hatchet girls’ swim team will need to form a new identity this season, as a group of new and up-comer swimmers step in to fill those shoes.
The bulk of the heavy lifting will come from Hatchet phenom Kylee Theiler, who finished with three 1st place finishes at this year’s Chasing the Tiger to help the Hatchets finish in 4th place overall with 147 points. Rhinelander won the seven-team invite scoring 224.5 points and Marshfield (208) and Merrill (167) finished just ahead of the Hatchets to round out the top three.
Tomahawk Hatchet head coach Theresa L’Esperance said a real bright spot came in the final relay of the night. Finishing in a time of 3:55.69, the 8×50-yard relay team of Megan Miles, Karli Woodall, Courtney Cecil, Julliana Skubal, Taya Johnson, Savanna Ristau, Annie Begotka and Molly Mott turned in a real team effort to pull off a 2nd place finish just four seconds off the lead.
The impressive relay was one of three Tomahawk had in Marshfield, as the 100 free relay of M. Mott, Dallas Dosch, K. Woodall and K. Theiler scored a 1st place finish in a time of 53.59. And the podium finish was just one of three for Theiler on the day, as she also finished in the top spot in the individual 50 free in 25.43 and took 1st in the 100 free in a time of 54.63.
The Lady Hatchets also had a strong finish from the 100 medley relay team of J. Skubal, Allyson Carstensen, Joanna Phillips and Abby Jaecks as they finished in 3rd place in 1:07.59 to score 20 points for the team.
Coach L’Esperance said she was really pleased with the team effort at the Tiger Invite and the new personal records set by freshman Brynnen Stefan (5th in JV 50 free) and J. Phillips in Marshfield.
“We really are a young, small team having lost such great swimmers (from last year’s team),” the coach said. “We will need to find our own way and set our own personal goals.”
As the coach stated last week as a new season got underway, it will take tremendous effort from the girls to get a relay to state this season, but added she is confident the team will give it their all.
And based on how the relays finished in Marshfield, the Lady Hatchet swim team certainly appears to be giving it their all to get one or maybe even more teams down to Madison later this fall.
The Lady Hatchets were back in action yesterday (Tuesday) as they traveled to Wausau East to take part in an invite before hosting Mosinee in their Great Northern Conference home opener this Thursday, Sept. 5. The meet against the Indians gets underway at Hatchet Pool starting at 5:30 p.m.