Hatchet swimmers sink Raiders big 100-57 to head into GNC Championship on high note
By Jed Buelow
Tomahawk Leader Co-Editor, Sports and Nature Editor
The Hatchet boys’ swim team will head into the Great Northern Conference Championship riding high after finishing out the regular season with a blow out 100-57 conference win over Medford at Hatchet Pool Thursday.
The win improved Tomahawk’s conference record to 8-2 on the season. The Hatchets only two losses of the year came against an undefeated Rhinelander team, who will be hosting the GNC Championship this Friday, where a very deep and talented Hatchet team will look to pull the upset over the Hodags to claim the conference crown.
In the convincing win over the Raiders, Tomahawk placed first in every one of the scoring events and took advantage of the blow out to swim some senior-only relay teams that they likely will not get the opportunity to do again as they head into the playoffs.
Tomahawk also used the regular season finale to recognize the team’s six graduating seniors including first year swimmers Austin Snow and Jack Lacina. Speedster Travis Phillips’ name will likely remain on the walls of Hatchet Pool after breaking a number of school records during the two years he swam for Tomahawk. Senior Trey Miller was recognized for his three years swimming for THS and four-year swimmers and co-head captains, Keaton Jed and Brady Tjugum also were honored. In addition, the meet served as Parents Night as they were thanked for their love, support, transportation, many volunteer hours and food provided throughout the season!
Overall, times for some Hatchet swimmers were pretty flat and for others it was a stellar meet in regards to time drops against Medford. New freshman swimmer Taje Casey took a full 3.44 seconds off of his 100-yard freestyle as he swam the event as varsity for the first time. Junior Adam Hall won the 100 breaststroke event with a 2.82 second personal record down to a 1:10.54.
Sophomore Caleb Kretzschmar dropped considerable time in both of his individual swims taking .88 seconds off of the 50 free and an additional 5.53 seconds off of his fastest time from the end of last season in the 500 free for a total of 6.41 seconds drop in the one meet. Junior Ethan Liebnitz had a great night despite just getting over being ill for most of the past week – he dropped a cumulative 6.8 seconds in the 100 butterfly and the 100 breaststroke.
Junior Alex Norman also had a super night in the pool after first taking 7.70 seconds off of his fastest 500 free and another 6.70 seconds off of his 100 breaststroke for the highest time drop total of the night – a combined 14.40 seconds.
The Hatchet swimmers will look to keep momentum going heading into the GNC Championship in Rhinelander this Friday, Feb. 7 where they will look to pull the upset and sneak out of Hodag Country with the conference crown. Opening swim is at 5:30 p.m.