Zach Hanse qualifies for State as Hatchet swimmers take fifth place at Sectional meet
For the Tomahawk Leader
RHINELANDER – The Tomahawk Hatchet boys’ swim team traveled to Rhinelander on Saturday, Jan. 30 for the WIAA Division II Sectional Meet and finished in fifth place, while sophomore Zach Hanse punched his ticket to the State meet in Waukesha on Friday, Feb. 5.
Rhinelander won the meet with 403 points, followed by Menomonie (313), Rice Lake (286), Lakeland (277), Tomahawk (226), Medford (174), and Wausau East (166 points).
“Not surprisingly after going 8-0 in the GNC regular season, and winning the GNC Conference Championship meet last week, the Rhinelander Hodags had a very strong showing, winning the meet handily with a whopping 403 points,” head coach Marion Kohl stated after the meet. “In a ‘normal’ year, our sectional would have had 11 teams instead of just the seven that were at Rhinelander today, but in keeping with COVID protocols, all of the sectional meets had smaller numbers of teams and no spectators allowed. RHS does a great job with their live-streaming of the meet, and so the parents were able to see the guys swim, just not in person.”
Kohl said the team’s focus at the end of the season is to “see just how fast we can go to finish out the year, with our sights of course on State Qualifiers as well.”
“We strive to train the boys just right so they can hit those fast times at the very end of the season, and after the frustrating schedule we endured this year, including a season shortened by the WIAA, as well as missing practices and meets at the beginning of the season due to quarantines resulting (in) less than ideal yardage buildups, thankfully the boys showed their resilience and swam solid end of season times,” she said. “The only real downside to the meet was the loss of Senior Noah Buckwalter to a shoulder injury suffered on the ski hill last Sunday afternoon, which just didn’t heal enough in time to allow him to compete in what would have been his last meet as a Hatchet.”
Of the 13 individual event swims that the Hatchets competed in, 11 of them were either personal best or at the very least season best swim times, one was a re-broken school record, and two were overall second-place finishes with times solid enough to qualify for the WIAA State Swim Meet.
Of the three relays that the Hatchets competed in, all three registered considerable season time drops with a third-place finish for the Medley Relay and a pair of fifths for the Freestyle Relay teams.
Scoring points for the Hatchets were:
200 Medley Relay – Caleb Kretzschmar, Zach Hanse, Ethan Liebnitz and Adam Hall in third for 32 points at 1:52.55; 200 Freestyle – Caleb Kretzschmar in ninth place for nine points at 2:05.74 Alex Norman in 10th place for seven points at 2:13.26 Cullen Flynn in 11th for six points at 2:17.78; 200 Individual Medley – Zach Hanse in second for 17 points and claiming a State Meet berth at 2:09.46, currently seeded 15th in the event; 50 Freestyle – Adam Hall in seventh place for 12 points at :24.08; 100 Freestyle – Ethan Liebnitz in sixth place for 13 points at :54.66. Alex Norman in ninth place for nine points at :57.92; 500 Freestyle – Caleb Kretzschmar in sixth for 13 points at 5:58.03. Taje Casey in 10th place for seven points at 6:52.88; 200 Freestyle Relay – Cullen Flynn, Taje Casey, Alex Norman and Ethan Liebnitz in fifth place for 28 points at 1:45.89; 100 Backstroke – Cullen Flynn in sixth place for 13 points at 1:12.18; 100 Breaststroke – Zach Hanse in second for 17 points at 1:02.66 and also claiming his second State Meet berth, currently seeded ninth in the event. Adam Hall in fourth for 15 points at 1:11.79; 400 Freestyle Relay – Ethan Liebnitz, Caleb Kretzschmar, Adam Hall and Zach Hanse in fifth for 28 points at 3:45.97.
Sophomore Zach Hanse will represent the Tomahawk Hatchets at the State Meet at Waukesha South High School Natatorium on Friday, Feb. 5, competing in both the 200 yard Individual Medley with a qualifying time of 2:09.46 as well as in the 100 yard Breaststroke, in which Hanse broke his own school record of 1:03.21, down to a 1:02.66.