The Rhinelander High School boys' swim team returning to action, after being off for two weeks for winter break. The Hodags put in some solid practices throughout the break and came back strong on Thursday night. RHS cruised to 110-53 Great Northern Conference dual win when they hosted Medford at the Heck Family Community Pool.
The Hodags won all 11 events on the night which included nine of their 10 swimmers contributing to at least one event win. Rhinelander also powered by the Raiders earning the top two spots in seven of their 11 wins. Medford fell to 0-7 in the conference standings and advanced to 3-3-1 in the GNC.
Freshman Joseph Heck, sophomore Thaddeus Heck, and junior Russell Benoy led the way for Rhinelander each recorded a pair of individual wins on the night. While junior Martin Hoger and sophomore David King also each scored a victory for the Hodags.
Joseph Heck won the 100-yard butterfly (1:09.08) as well as the 200-yard freestyle (2:07.35); Thaddeus won the 50-free (26.15) and the 500 (5:47.19); and Benoy won the 100 backstroke (1:02.97) and also the 200-individual medley (2:20.38).
Hoger would add a win in the 100 free (58.43) and King would finish first in the 100 breaststroke (1:17.08).
Rhinelander would set the tone early in the opening 200-yard medley relay and would finish with the top two positions and would take a 12-2 lead and never looked back. The Hodag team of Hoger, J. Heck, Devon Gaber, and Isaiah Piosalan would beat teammates Benoy, T. Heck, King, and Jared Chizever to the wall by 3.36 seconds.
In the 200-yard freestyle relay, Rhinelander team of Wiese, Hoger, Piosalan, and J. Heck would also edge out teammates Chizever, Gaber, senior Mathew Herman, and King by 2.66 seconds.
In the closing event, the 400-yard freestyle relay, Rhinelander would earn a 11.51 second win over Medford. The Hodag team of Herman, T. Heck, freshman Hugh Wiese, and Russell would earn RHS's final win.
The Hodags would tally several runner-up finishes on the night, and one of the closest races proved to be in the 500-yard freestyle. T. Heck would beat out teammate King by only 0.41 seconds.
Hoger (2:31.27 – 200 IM), Herman (1:14.31 – 100 free), and Gaber (1:10.49- 100 fly, 1:20.58- 100 breast) all added second-place finishes.
Rhinelander will be back in action as they compete in the Jaguar Invite at Ashwaubenon High School over the weekend. The Hodags will then return to their Great Northern Conference schedule on Thursday when they travel to Antigo.