The Rhinelander High School cross country team earned nine medals as the girls cruised to a runner-up finish and the boys placed third at the Stratford Invite on Tuesday. The Hodag girls have four harriers in the top-15 while the boys had five runners in the top-15 in the six-team invite. But one of the most important showings for Rhinelander was their times dropping this meet.
Prentice won the girls title with 46 points, and Rhinelander was five points behind for second place with all seven varsity runners finishing in the top-19 on the evening. Stratford girls were third followed by Athens, Spencer, and Own-Withee.
Junior Abbey Henrichs would again pace the RHS girls and finished sixth overall out of a field of 53 runners, clocking in with a time of 22 minutes, 17.7 seconds. Rhinelander junior Alison DeNamur was not fair behind placing eight at 22:48.1.
Sage Flory was just outside the top-10 but still earned a medal taking 11th (23:04.2). And earning the last medal for the Hodag girls was Emma Germain who finished 14th (23.20.4). Audrey Schiek was one position away from a medal in 16th followed by her sister Ella Schiek in 18th and Megan Brown finished 19th.
On the boys' side, RHS had five harriers medal and six runners break the 20-minute barrier on the evening out of 70 total runners. Athens won the boys team title with 39 points and Stratford was second with 41 points. Rhinelander was third with 55 points, finishing ahead of Prentice, Spencer, and Owen-Withee.
The Hodags top runner was Jacob Weddle, who recorded his fastest time of the year and placing sixth with a time of 17:49.9. Jaden Beske had a person best, finishing eight at 18:19.6. And Cal Laggis was not far behind finishing at 18:32.1, earning a medal for his 12th place finish. Daniel Goldsworthy placed 14th (19:06.9) and JC Adams had the final medal position in 15th (19:14.7). Levi Smith finished 19th and Cody Ruetz was 27th to round out the varsity.
Rhinelander will have one of their biggest invitationals coming up on Saturday in Wausau when they take part in the 63rd Bill Smiley at Tribute Golf Course. The Hodags will face some of the top competition in the state and will race Division 1 with the girls race starting at 10:35 and the boys to follow.