The Rhinelander High School cross country team competed in their largest invite of the season, and not only faced some of their top competition, but they faced a blistering hot race conditions on Saturday.
The Hodags finished last overall in the Division 1 race at the 62nd Bill Smiley Invitational held at the Tribute Golf Course in Wausau. The field was divided into a small and large division based on school enrollment. The RHS girls finished 10th and boys placed 12th.
Both Rhinelander and Lakeland ran D1 Small but will be running in Division 2 for sectional and state. All seven Great Northern Conference schools competed on Saturday at the Smiley Invite as well.
Senior Bridge Flory would once again have the best finish for the Hodags on the day and placed 14th overall in the D1 race. In the 5k course, Flory clocked in at 17 minutes, 54.91 seconds out of a D1 small field of 89 runners. There were a combined 175 D1 boys' who competed Saturday. On the girls' side there were 76 harriers in the D1 Small and 157 total girl runners in D1.
Sophomore Jacob Weddle was RHS's second top boy finisher on the day. Weddle finished at 19:40.85 and placed 55th. Freshman Jaden Beske finished 70th with a time of 20:22.92.
The final varsity positions for the RHS boys finished in a pack in the 80's. Sophomore JC Adams (82nd; 21:59.35), freshman Jack DeNamur (83rd; 22:04.37), freshman Tristan Fuss (84th; 22:09.36), and sophomore Daniel Goldsworthy (86th; 22:34.39) rounded out Rhinelander's top-seven.
On the girls' side of action, the Hodags were led by sophomore Abbie Henrichs who has established herself as Rhinelander girls' top runner this season. Henrichs finished 48th with a time of 23:42.19. Sophomore Ali DeNamur wasn't far behind, finishing 55th at 24:16.11. And freshman Audrey Schiek placed 59th with a time of 24:35.15.
Freshman Sage Flory (65th; 25:27.64), freshman Megan Brown (66th; 25:33.21), freshman Emma Germain (67th; 25:36.44), senior Claire Bowman (73rd; 26:30.96), and junior Jenna Younker (75th; 27:03.61) rounded out the top-seven for the RHS varsity team.
The Hodags will be back in action on Thursday evening with they compete in a smaller invite at Lions Park in Sugar Camp hosted by Three Lakes. Varsity is set to run at 5:00PM.
The Rhinelander High School volleyball team hosted the first Great Northern Conference tournament on Saturday and went 0-2 on the day. The Hodags dropped a pair of matches on Lakeland and Northland Pines and remains without a conference win this season.
Rhinelander's first match of the day proved to be their most competitive but they still faded late and would fall to the Thunderbirds in four sets. Lakeland started strong with a 25-9 before the Hodags turned the tables and rallied back to tie the series with a 25-21 set win. But RHS could not keep that momentum going and dropped the final two sets in matching 25-14 score.
In the final two sets against Lakeland, Rhinelander quickly fell behind in each set, and never were able to catch up from there. The closest the Hodags would get would be early in the set at 10-6.
In the final round of the GNC tournament, Rhinelander faced Northland Pines but would have no answer for conference leader in kills, Jacqueline Smith. The Eagles would sweep the Hodags and three sets, which RHS only combined to score 32 points. Smith is first in the GNC with 36 kills, averaging nine per match.
Smith sparked Pines in the first set as they raced out to an early 16-4 advantage. They finished on a 12-4 run to seal the deal with a convincing 25-8 victory. RHS stuck with the Eagles early in the second set and were only down two points at 14-12. But Smith charted two straight kills to lead Pines on a 11-2 run and they would earn an 11-point win in the second set.
Not only was Pines efficient at the net, but they used strong serving in the third and final set to cruise to a 25-10 win to seal the match. Smith had seven straight serves in the final set to once again spark the Eagles.
Rhinelander's defense was without senior libero Mikayla Evenstad and utilized freshman Carly Schmidt in her position on the day. Schmidts finished with nine digs and was perfect at serving on the day at 14-of-14 and added three aces for the Hodags. Senior Brook Mork had the team high digs with 19.
Hannah Worachek led Rhinelander's offensive attack with seven kills while Mork would record six kills. Kahlie Arneson finished with five kills and two blocks.
The Hodags fell to 0-5 in the GNC standings and 1-25 overall. Rhinelander will host Mosinee in an early match at the Jim Miazga Community Gymnasium. The Indians lead the conference and are 5-0. First serve is set for 5:30PM.
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