The Rhinelander High School boys' swim team finished the Great Northern Conference championship meet with winning the 200-yard medley relay which was one of their seven all-conference swims on Friday at Lakeland Union High School. Overall the Hodgas finished fourth of six teams and reached the podium in every event except the 500-yard freestyle. The top three finishes in each event earned all-conference honors.
Lakeland won their second straight GNC title and would win eights events on the night. In the process, the Thunderbirds also set five new conference records. This season also marked the first time only the GNC meet results determined the final conference results. Tomahawk finished runner-up and Shawano placed third. The Hodags were 5th in dual meet records, but would finish a spot better in fourth in the GNC meet. Antigo and Medford would round out the conference teams.
Rhinelander's 200-yard medley relay A team took advantage of Lakeland's A relay team being disqualified. Martin Hoger, Thaddeus Heck, David King, and Russell Benoy would earn first with a time of 1 minute, 47.13 seconds.
Not knowing the Thunderbirds were disqualified at the time, RHS and Antigo were battling in what they thought was for second-place. Benoy anchored the Hodags and pulled ahead of Antigo's Holden Meidl in the final 50-yards to push Rhinelander ahead.
The Hodags' A 200-yard freestyle relay team of Joseph Heck, Hoger, Devon Gaber, and Benoy earned a runner-up finish with a time of 1:34.29. Lakeland finished in first at 1:32.44 (Brandon Boh, Liam Hogan, Grant Gibson, Jack Garcia). Rhinelander's 400-yard relay team of King, Gaber, J. Heck, and T. Heck also added a fourth-place finish at 3:41.73.
Rhinelander also had several top-finishes in individual races on the night. One of the closest individual races proved to be the 100-yard breaststroke. Tyler Teichmiller of Lakeland earned first and set a new conference record with a time of 1:03.66.
Cousins and teammates Joseph Heck and Thaddeus Heck had a close battle for runner-up. Joseph Heck would edge Thaddeus by 0.06 seconds for second place with a time of 1:05.19. It also marked J. Heck’s fastest time this season.
Benoy also added two individual all-conference finishes by placing third in both the 50 and 100-yard freestyles. Benoy clocked in at 22.80 seconds in the 50 and 51.26 seconds in the 100. In the 100-butterfly, King placed third with a time of 58.00 seconds.
Adding a pair of top-five finishes, Hoger finishes fourth in the 100-yard backstroke at 1:04.26. And he would place fifth in the 100-fly at 1:03.00. Joseph Heck and King went 4-5 in the 200-yard IM. Joseph Heck clocked in at 2:16.44 and King was right behind at 2:16.93. Gaber added a sixth-place finish in both the 50 and 100-yard freestyle. While Thaddeus Heck recorded sixth in the 200-free.
Rhinelander and the remaining five GNC teams will take part in the 11-team WIAA Division 2 River Fall Section on Saturday in Hudson. The timed finals will begin at 1:00PM at Hudson Middle School.