Hatchet runners compete in 65th annual Smiley Invite
JV girls take first place
For the Tomahawk Leader
WAUSAU – On Saturday, Sept. 18, the Tomahawk Hatchet cross country team made the trek south to the Tribute Golf Course in Wausau for the 65th annual Smiley Invite. Over 50 teams and nearly 1,700 runners toed the line from across the state to compete for divisional bragging rights.
Tomahawk competed in D2/D3 races for all events.
“Smiley is our first real measuring stick of the season,” head coach John Zuelsdorf said. “This is a meet seems to attract some of the best cross country teams in the state. This year was no different. There were several state-ranked teams competing in each race.”
The Tomahawk varsity girls placed 4th in the overall D2/D3 race, behind state-ranked teams from Little Chute, West Salem, and Kiel. Nearly 30 varsity D2/D3 teams competed in the race. The varsity boys placed 10th overall and 6th in D2.
The varsity boys race was won by state-ranked West Salem, with Little Chute close behind.
The JV girls took top honors out of nearly 20 D2/D3 schools in the final D2/D3 race of the day.
“One twist this year was a ‘new’ course at the high school and middle school grounds,” Zuelsdorf stated. “The course was flat and fast for the first two miles, then presented the athletes with some challenging hill climbs late in the race prior to the finish. Fresh off our Kings Hill workout last week, we had expected to handle this better. However, many of our athletes struggled a bit after the hills to get back into race pace. This is something we have to improve on in the next few weeks.”
The 4th-place varsity girls’ squad was led once again by sophomore Rachael Reilly with a seasonal-best 5K effort, as she placed 12th in D2 (17th overall out of nearly 150 runners) in a time of 21:06. Emily Lacina joined Rachael on the podium as a medalist as she placed 17th in D2 (21st overall) in a time of 21:30. Macey Mann (29th), Kate Reilly (43rd), Morgan Hansmann (45th), Geena Wanta (51st), Robin Schmidt (53rd) and Ava Dragosh (77th) rounded out the Hatchet attack.
In the first varsity race of the day, the Hatchet boys were led by sophomores Presley Gutbrod and Owen Dickrell, as they raced to 36th- and 40th-place efforts in respective times of 18:38 and 18:43. Other varsity D2/D3 finishers included Arden Ziert (51st), Sam Zastrow (57th), Jacob Towle (101st), Brett Borchardt (110th) and Taje Casey (112th).
Finishing as medalists for the champion JV girls’ squad and the incomplete Hatchet JV boys’ team were: Serena Reinke, Sophie Urmann, Marie Gorell, Kambyl Mattke, Allie Palmer, Halle Derleth and Ty Anthes.
“We did have half the team run seasonal best times or PRs today, which is something we should start seeing with more regularity as we are in the speeding up phase of our season,” Zuelsdorf said after the race.
The next meet for the Tomahawk runners is on Thursday, Sept. 23, when the co-ed varsity squads will travel to Big Sand Golf Course southeast of Three Lakes for the 10-team Blue Jay Invite. The meet gets underway at 4 p.m.
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