Buckwalter, Bolder, Reilly lead Hatchet runners at Medford dual meet
For the Tomahawk Leader
MEDFORD – The Hatchet Cross-Country team traveled to Medford Area High School for a dual meet on their school grounds on Thursday, Sept. 17.
In the boys’ race, Hatchets Noah Buckwalter and Drew Bolder and Joe Sullivan from Medford took command early, establishing a lead pack. In the woods, just before the 3000 meter mark, Sullivan made a nice move, which neither Hatchet could cover as he blistered the 5K distance in a nice time of 16:50. Noah (2nd) and Drew (3rd) followed in times of 17:30 and 17:39, respectively.
Alex Norman had his best race to date (4th -18:07), and along with teammates Owen Dickrell (5th -18:20), Arden Ziert (7th -18:42), Presley Gutbrod (8th -19:05), and Hunter VanRyen (9th -19:09) left little doubt which team was controlling their own destiny by the finish. The Hatchets placed all seven varsity runners in the top nine spots as they cruised to a 21-40 dual meet title.
Other finishers for Tomahawk were: Ethan Liebnitz 14th, Brett Borchardt 16th , and Jacob Towle 17th. Eight out of ten boys that competed had either seasonal bests or career best 5K efforts.
“Noah and Drew really crushed Monday’s workout and that may have taken the edge off of their race, but we really challenged them this week,” said Hatchet cross country head coach John Zuelsdorf. “Alex did a nice job keeping the leaders in striking distance and looked strong throughout his race with his best race of the season. Freshman Owen Dickrell continues to impress us and we’re still not sure we know what his limits are this season. Arden, Presley, Hunter (VanRyen), and Brett all ran strong races for us tonight as well.”
In the girls’ race, Medford showed they are the team to beat in the GNC as they took the top four spots and placed six in the top ten to best Tomahawk by a 17-41 tally.
Tomahawk was led by freshman Rachael Reilly as she placed 5th in a personal best 5K time of 20:54. Other scorers for the lady Hatchets were: Greta Tjugum 6th (21:16), Emily Lacina 9th (21:44), Macey Mann 10th (21:50), Morgan Hansmann 11th (22:25-PR), and Geena Wanta 14th (23:06-PR).
Rounding out the finishers for Tomahawk: Kate Reilly (15th), Tiana Gerstenberger (16th), Marie Gorell (17th), Ava Dragosh (18th), Kambyl Mattke (19th) and Autumn Peissig (21st). Eight out of thirteen girls that competed had either seasonal bests or career best 5K efforts.
“Rachael really went after it and held the lead for the first 2000 meters,” Zuelsdorf said. “The Medford pack then made a strong move and sealed the deal by the 4K mark. Greta established herself early and finished strong, and Emily and Macey worked well together throughout the race. Finally, Morgan and Geena ran strong PR’s and continue to improve each meet.”
“It was nice to have nearly ideal racing conditions for the athletes in Medford tonight. Many of our boys and girls responded with outstanding 5K times,” Zuelsdorf continued. “It was gratifying for those athletes to know that their hard work is paying off!”
The Hatchet runners will travel compete again tomorrow (Thursday, Sept. 24) when they travel to Park Falls for a dual meet.