The Rhinelander High School boys' swim team finished 15th out of 35 teams on Friday night when they competed in the WIAA Division 2 state meet. The Hodags’ just missed the podium in the 200-yard freestyle with their best finish of the night on their seven entries at the UW- Natatorium in Madison.
Monona Grove easily cruised to their fourth consecutive Division 2 state team title and finished with 333 points. Edgewood was 142 points away in second place with 191 points. Ashwaubenon was third with 174 points and Great Northern Conference opponent, Lakeland finished fourth overall in the team standings with 143.50 points.
Max McHugh of the Sturgeon Bay Co-op team also broke the national high school record in the 100-yard breaststroke on the night by over 1.03 seconds, clocking in with the new record of 51.62 seconds. He also set the state D2 record in the 50 free at 20.34 seconds.
The Hodag team of Joseph Heck, Martin Hoger, Devon Gaber, and Russell Benoy had the sixth best seeded time in the state, and would miss the podium by only 0.34 seconds. They clocked in at 1 minute, 31.50 seconds to finish seventh place and would be Rhinelander's top finish at state. Although the Hodag team finished fifth overall in their heat, two teams in the prior heat edged out RHS despite finishing 0.12 faster than their seeded-sectional time.
The other state relay team Rhinelander had was in the 200-yard medley relay, where the team of Hoger, Thaddeus Heck, David King, and Benoy finished 12th which was their qualifying spot to start. Although they finished 0.44 seconds slower then their seeded time and finished at 1:45.06.
Benoy also competed in two individual events on top of two relay events. In the 50-yard freestyle Benoy beat his seeded time and finished at 22.41 seconds and placed 0.41 seconds off his seeded time.
In the 100-yard breaststroke, Thaddeus Heck would beat out his cousin Joseph Heck clocking in at 1:04.81 to finish 13th overall. Joseph Heck finished at 1:04.90 second and finished 15th, but both were off their sectional times. While King added a 14th-place finish in the 100-butterfly with a time of 56.15 seconds, but was off 0.51 seconds from his seeded time.
Despite not reaching the podium at the 2018 WIAA D2 State Swimming Meet, the Hodags finished an impressive season after advancing seven entries. Rhinelander remains optimistic about what the future holds, as their young state team consisted of two juniors, three sophomores, and one freshman will strive for yet another state appearance next season.
The Rhinelander High School boys' swim team answered any doubts about heading to the 2018-WIAA State Swimming meet on Saturday after an impressive sectional showing. The Hodags finished 3rd out of 11-teams at the Hudson WIAA Division 2 Sectional in Hudson.
Rhinelander was the second-best Great Northern Conference team to place on the day and won two sectional championships and had seven state-qualifying entries in the process.
Lakeland won the sectional title with 290.5 points and River Falls finished second with 272 points. RHS was only 10-points shy of River Falls in third. Tomahawk (4th), Antigo (8th), Shawano (9th), and Medford (11th) rounded out the remaining GNC teams at the Hudson Sectionals.
Rhinelander set the tone early, after earning one of their two automatic state-berths in the opening 200-yard medley relay. The Hodag team of Martin Hoger, Thaddeus Heck, David King, and Russell Benoy finished first with a time of 1 minute, 44.62 seconds. They also shaved off 2.5 seconds of their seeded team to edge out River Falls by 0.13 seconds.
The other Rhinelander automatic berth came later in sectionals, when Joseph Heck won the 100-breaststroke. Joseph Heck won with a time of 1:04.07 and edged out his cousin Thaddeus Heck by 0.43 seconds. Both improved on their seeded time by 0.75 seconds or more to punch their tickets to state. It also helped that Lakeland's Tyler Teichmiller, who was top seed in the event was out due to an injury.
Benoy not only qualified in the 200-yard medley relay, he was also part of the 200-yard freestyle relay team that advanced but he also qualified in two individual events; the 50 and 100 freestyle. He finished third in both the 50 (22.41 seconds) and 100 (49.83).
Rhinelander's 200-yard freestyle relay team of Joseph Heck, Hoger, Devon Gaber, and Benoy finished runner-up to Lakeland with a time of 1:31.62 to advance to state. It also proved to be the fourth fastest time in the state in Division 2.
In the 100-butterfly, King improved his seed time by 2.36 seconds and finished second at sectionals with a time of 55.64 to advance to state. He finished with the 12th fastest 100-butterfly time in Division 2 in the state.
King and Hoger went 4-5 in the 100-backstroke (King: 1:00.23, Hoger: 1:00.70). Joseph Heck added a sixth-place finish in the 50-free (23.16). Hoger also charted seventh in the 100-fly (59.43). And Rhinelander's 400-yard freestyle team of King, Gaber, J. Heck, and T. Heck placed fifth with a time of 3:33.84.
The seven Hodag state-qualfying entries will compete on Friday night in the WIAA Division 2018 State Swimming championships. The swimming timed finals begin at 6:30PM at the UW Natatorium in Madison.
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