Hatchet harriers reach new heights as boys, girls dominate to sweep Three Lakes Invite
By Jed Buelow
Tomahawk Leader Co-Editor, Sports, Nature Editor
Half of the girls’ team and an impressive 14 of the 18 Hatchet boy runners set either seasonal best or personal best times as both teams went on to make it a sweep winning the Three Lakes Blue Jay Invitational Thursday.
Employing “pack-style” running, Tomahawk co-ed cross country was dominant at the Big Sand Golf Course.
“The change to the golf course at Big Sand was awesome, as it created an opportunity for our athletes to turn in some fast times. The course was flat and it ran really fast, despite the windy conditions,” stated Hatchet head coach John Zuesldorf. “Our pack-style plan that we had going into the meet worked to perfection with the two girls groups and our top boys. To run fast with your teammates by your side is fun and helped push many of our athletes to seasonal best performances.”
Coach Z said it was amazing the times his team put up considering it was a short week coming off a hard course over the weekend at Smiley. The team had been putting in some double practices to keep our mileage up, so it was expected they might be a bit gassed heading into the 10-team blue bird race.
If the Hatchets were tired at all it didn’t show in the final results, as the Lady Hatchets were led by senior Haley Voermans-Dean as she captured her second individual invitational title of the year running a sub-20 5K with a course record time of 19:50. Her teammates also showed no sign of being tired as Emily Lacina (3rd-20:57), Meagan Berg (4th-21:00), Macey Mann (5th-21:04), Kate Reilly (6th- 21:09-PR), each made podium with their medalist efforts.
Other Hatchets contributing to the team title were: Serena Reinke (16th-22:41-PR), Greta Tjugum (17th-22:44-PR), Neenah Fuste (23rd-23:10-PR), Gillian Buckwalter (24th-23:23) and Tiana Gerstenberger (33rd-24:31).
The varsity boys’ team kept the collective foot on the gas as they followed with their second sweep of the season scoring a season low 21 points in route to the title. The boys placed six in the top 10, led by junior Drew Bolder’s championship effort and seasonal best time of 16:48 – a new course record at the Big Sand course.
“Haley (Voermans-Dean) and Drew (Bolder) both ran solid races in winning invite titles. It’s nice to see both of them racing so well at mid- season, both running their second fastest times of their careers,” Coach Z said.
Noah Buckwalter had his second personal record (PR) in a row as he blistered the course in 17:18 to finish 2nd overall. Garron Albrent led a tightly grouped pack of Hatchets to the finish line as he placed 5th overall in 17:48-PR, followed by teammates Trey Baalke (6th-17:53- PR), Arden Ziert (7th-17:58-PR), Alex Norman (10th-18:13-PR), Keaton Jed (11th-18:31). Other finishers for the Hatchets were: Hunter VanRyen (15th), Jack Lacina (16th), Matt Johnson (23rd), Ethan Liebnitz (25th), Brady Tjugum (27th), Jacob Towle (28th), Reed Zedler (34th), Taje Casey (45th), Henry Calhoun (47th), John Mark Hawley (62nd).
Team Scores in Three Lakes: Girls – Tomahawk-19, Rhinelander-71, Laona/Wabeno-75, Three Lakes—82, Crivitz-131, Florence-142, Crandon-Inc, NPHS-Inc, Goodman/Pembine-Inc, Ewen/Trout Creek-Inc, Wausaukee-Inc
Boys – Tomahawk-21, Rhinelander-59, Northland Pines-96, Laona/Wabeno-117, Ewen/ Trout Creek-141, Crivitz- 169, Crandon-179, Goodman/Pembine-199, Three Lakes-Inc, Wausaukee-Inc, Florence-Inc
The Hatchet harriers will look to keep the impressive run going after dominating at Three Lakes as they travel to Athens for a 14-team meet that begins tomorrow (Thursday) at 4 p.m.