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2016-2017 RHS Alpine Skiing Preview
By Hodagsports.com Staff - Posted on 01/09/2017
Photo By HodagSports.com Staff
The 2016-2017 Rhinelander High School Alpine Ski and snowboard team are looking for an improved winter season, despite the late start due the whooping cough outbreak. Looking ahead to their season, the alpine ski team has several returning varsity members and have steady numbers, but on the snowboarding side of action, the Hodags may not have enough athletes to count in team standings.

Rhinelander was scheduled their on-hill training days, but were pushed back when all practice and games were cancelled from December 17th-January 2nd. If the Hodags are unable to get outside they are losing crucial practice time, that will prove to be nearly impossible to make up, which may set back their season.

The Hodags will host a training race at Ski Brule on Saturday January 7th, before they kick off the Northern Conference season. Rhinelander's first conference meet will be held at Granite Peak in Wausau on Thursday January 12th.

Rhinelander will compete against Ashland, Ashwabay (Washburn/Bayfield), D.C. Everest, Rice Lake, Wausau East, and Wausau West. 

After the Hodags kick of their Northern Conference season, they will get about 10 days to prepare for their next conference meet that will take place on Monday January 23rd at Mt. Christie in Bruce.

The vast majority of the team is the downhill ski squad, who make up 12 of the total 16 athletes and are evenly split at six girls and six boys.

Leading the way on the boys' side will be senior Duncan Seidel, who finished in second in the Northern Conference behind Jack Eder of Wausau West. The conference title was a battle in the final race of the season, where Eder finished third, and Seidel placed 37th.

Minus Seidel, who will be competing his senior season, RHS has a fairly young and inexperienced group coming in, but the Hodags are optimistic and up for the challenge.

On the girls' side of action, Rhinelander has enough to field a full team this season, and striving to compete at the 2017 state meet, which would mark the first time in several years.

Returning starters for the lady Hodags that will be returning to the lineup are Cayla Fritz, Haley Seefeldt, Alexis Pyrchalla, and Tori Roberts.

In 2015-2016 Fritz faired the best, placing 13th in the Northern Conference, followed by Seefeldt in19th, Pyrchalla in 20th, and Roberts in 24th.

The Hodags will get an edge to the girls' lineup as they add McKenzie Imm, a transfer from Tomahawk. Imm finished seventh in the conference and skied independently. Along with Imm, freshman Marisa McGuire will also be in the lineup for Rhinelander.

On the snowboarding side of action, the Hodags will not have enough athletes for another team state championship, but will be looking to add an individual state title with two boarders. With the few numbers of snowboards, the Hodags could possibly compete independently as well.

Leading the way was Colin White, who finished third in the conference. But on Mt. La Crosse would edge Northern Conference champion Ike Brunsvold by a single point. While Kaiya Scrader led last season, and was the high-placing underclassman at fifth overall at state.

Rhinelander will get to ski twice this season on their home hill at Ski Brule, which will include the final conference meet on February 11th. And the WIARA state meet will be held at Mt. La Crosse February 18th-20th. 
Alpine Skiers Close out conference season
By Cassie Krueger - Posted on 02/11/2016
Photo By HodagSports.com Staff
The Rhinelander High School Alpine ski and snowboarding team closed out their Northern Conference season on Tuesday in Wausau at Granite Peak. The Hodag girls' and boys' snowboard teams each finished second. While the boys' skiers placed fourth and the girls' skiers finished fifth.

Two Rhinelander snowboarders finished with individual wins on the day. Both Claire Hjelle and Alex Woynich finished first overall in the girls' and guys' snowboarding.

Hjelle had convincing runs as she swept all three events on the day with flying colors. In the boarder slalom she finished with a time of 38.59 seconds, and the only girl to finish under 40 seconds. Hjelle took the boarder giant slalom with a winning time of 30.41 and finished ahead of one her biggest competitors of the year, Annie Erickson by 3.09 seconds in the boardercross, finishing at 42.49 seconds.

Along with Hjelle, Kaiya Shrader also medaled for the Hodags by finishing third place. Shrader earned third place on her giant slalom run, which helped her finish fourth place overall in final conference results. Brodie Kasmarek finished 10th place.

Even with his first place finish, Woynich would not be able to catch Ashland's Ike Brunsvold for the Northern Conference title, but proved he could have easily been there. He finished first place in the boarder slalom and placed second in both the boardercross and the GS. Despite Brunsvold taking first in two events, Woynich's win was enough to earn the overall win by just 0.47 seconds.

Not far behind Woynich was Colin White, who charted third overall on the day. In the final conference standings, Woynich and White earned second and third respectively. Brandon Carlson finished fifth and Gavin Cook placed 11th. The Hodag boys' overall finished second, right behind Ashland.

Battling for a conference title, Duncan Seidel started the day off with a win in the super G with a time of 38.55. But after fourth place finishes in the slalom and giant slalom, he finished in third place overall.

Justin White had a strong start and was tied for third place but due to a crash he did not finish the race and fell to 11th place. White then finished fifth place in the final standings of the Northern Conference. Breyden Luebke placed 13th. The Hodag boys' would finish high enough to tie for second with D.C. Everest in the conference.

The Rhinelander girl skiers fell just shy of the cut-off mark for state, and finished fourth place. The Hodags need a third place finish or better to notch a trip to state. Overall the girls' finished fifth place on the day.

Sophomore Cayla Fritz was pushing to qualify for state individually, and needed a top-10 finish on the day to put her in the top-10 in the conference and a trip to state. Fritz was just short of qualifying, as she finished 14th on the day, putting her at 13th place in the conference. Haley Seefeldt finished with a top-20 finish on Tuesday, charting 19th. Tori Roberts placed 23rd and Alexis Pyrchalla tied for 24th place.

After closing their conference season, the RHS girls' and boys' snowboarding team, as well as the boys' ski team will take part in the WIARA state meet in La Crosse over the weekend.

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