The Rhinelander High School boys' swim team finished with a perfect 10-0 Great Northern Conference record for the second straight year. The Hodags would win seven of the 11 events to cruise to a 110-58 victory over Lakeland on Thursday at the Heck Family Community Pool.
Rhinelander was able to slightly mix up their lineup, as the Thunderbirds did not have enough depth to compete in the dual meet format. RHS raced out to winning the first four races and would take a 44-17 lead at the intermission and never looked back. Devon Gaber and Joseph Heck led the team and both recorded three-event wins on the night.
Starting the night, the Hodag team of junior Joseph Heck, senior Thaddeus Heck, senior David King, and freshman Charlie Heck set the tone and edged Lakeland by 0.59 seconds. RHS clocked in at 1 minute, 46.32 seconds to beat out Lakeland's Avery Tucker, Tyler Teichmiller, Brandon Boh, and Liam Hogan. Freshman Carter Gaber, sophomore Jacob Schoppe, sophomore Gavin Ostermann, and freshman Marcus O’Malley placed third at 1:54.37.
Rhinelander extended their lead to 23-7 after finishing 1-2-3 in the 200-yard freestyle. Senior Devon Gaber led the with with a time of 1:58.34 following by freshman teammate Daniel Gillingham (2:00.75) and Schoppe (2:12.04). RHS added a 1-2-4 finish in the 200-Individual Medley led by freshman Jack Antonuk (2:13.24). King was runner-up (2:18.29) and O'Malley recorded fourth (2:39.64).
And in the final event before the break, the Hodags finished 1-4 led by Joseph Heck who beat out Teichmiller by 0.30 seconds with a winning time of 23.63 seconds. Boh finished third for Lakeland (23.91) and Charlie Heck was fourth (24.08) to give Rhinelander a 27-point lead at intermission.
Hogan would win the 100-yard butterfly for Lakeland to beat Antonuk to the wall by 0.19 seconds at 57.65. Rhinelander did take the final three positions after Hogan; Antonuk (57.84), Ostermann (1:02.45), an O'Malley (1:11.99).
The Thunderbirds would go 1-3 in the 500-yard freestyle that Teichmiller won at 5:21.41. King was runner-up (5:25.59) and was followed by Boh and Carter Gaber (6:14.30), and sophomore Ashton Cole (6:18.57).
Rhinelander responded and clenched the GNC dual after going 1-2 in the 200-yard freestyle relay. Gillingham, J. Heck, C. Heck, D. Gaber won at 1:35.72. While teammates T. Heck, Antonuk, Ostermann, and Cole finished second at 1:43.28.
Tucker would win the 100-yard backstroke for Lakeland as well, but again RHS swept the final three spots; Joseph Heck (1:00.510) Carter Gaber (1:08.44), and freshman Eli Lundt (1:12.20). Thaddeus Heck would take the 100-breast (1:05.71) to beat out Hogan (1:09.78) and Schoppe placed third (1:12.90).
And Lakeland closed the meet, winning the 400-yard freestyle relay with the team of Boh, Tucker, Teichmiller, and Hogan (3:29.92). Rhinelander went 2-3 in the 400-free relay. Gillingham, Antonuk, D. King, and D. Gaber were runner-up at 3:34.92 and C. Gaber, Lundt, Schoppe, and O’Malley finished third at 4:10.03.
Rhinelander finished the GNC dual portion of the season 10-0 but now shift their focus to the conference championship which will determine the title. The Hodags will host the GNC championship next Friday at the Heck Family Pool beginning at 5:30PM.