Hatchet harriers sweep Screaming Eagles in Park Falls dual meet
For the Tomahawk Leader
PARK FALLS – The Hatchet cross country team traveled to Park Falls on Thursday, Sept. 24 and competed with the host Chequamegon Screaming Eagles at their home course on the school grounds.
Despite resting several key athletes, the Hatchets ran strong, sweeping both races. Seven out of 17 Hatchets raced to career or seasonal best 5000 meter efforts.
Senior Norman Alex raced to his first individual invitational title of his career as he topped the field with his time of 18:23 over 5K. He established himself at the front early on and never looked back in racing to the title.
Teammates also scoring for the Tomahawk varsity were Owen Dickrell (4th -18:57), Hunter Borchardt (5th-18:58-SB), Ethan Liebnitz (6th-18:59-PR), and Presley Gutbrod (9th -19:12). Other finishers for the Hatchets were Arden Ziert (11th), Brett Borchardt (17th) and Jacob Towle (18th).
Boys team scores were Tomahawk-25 and Chequamegon-30.
“Alex had an awesome race, taking the lead early and comfortably cruising to the title,” said head coach John Zuelsdorf. “He looked strong, ran relaxed and showed a lot of confidence in his abilities from the initial gun. It was nice to see Hunter (Borchardt) back in his first official race of the season, working with Owen and Ethan to solidify that important front-pack scoring for us and solidify the win for the boys. Ethan ran to a career best effort and looked very good down the stretch tonight for us.”
Freshman Rachael Reilly cruised to her first individual high school race championship as she covered the 5K course in a career best time of 20:10.
The Hatchets were too strong placing all five scorers in the top seven with: Greta Tjugum (2nd -20:55), Macey Mann (4th -21:36-SB), Kate Reilly (5th -22:07-SB), and Morgan Hansmann (7th -22:27). Other finishers for Tomahawk were: Tianna Gerstenberger (9th -24:13), Ava Dragosh (10th -24:17-SB), Kambyl Mattke (11th -24:40-PR), and Marie Gorell (14th).
Girls team scores were Tomahawk-19 and Chequamegon-40.
“Our boys started out aggressively and it cost us a bit in the end. We did not bring the last 1K home like we had been in recent meets,” Zuelsdorf continued. “If it wasn’t for some solid finishing kicks in the last 150 meters from a couple of our boys we may have come out on the short end of this one. Give Chequamegon a lot of credit for making this one close. Our top pack of girls shot out of the gate with some fire tonight and by 800 meters we had the top 5 spots. Park was able to sneak a couple of girls into our scoring pack in the second half of the race, but we were in control of our own destiny early on.”
The Hatchets travel to Cavoc Ski Trails in Rhinelander Thursday, Oct. 1, to compete in a triangular against the host Hodags and Ashland.