The Rhinelander High School girls' swim team opened their Great Northern Conference season on Thursday and picked up a 113-57 win at Colby/Abbotsford. The Hodags won all 11 events on the night and added three runner-up finishes that included eight different swimmers earning first-place.
Rhinelander was able to mix up their lineups for the conference dual meet, which gave them more of chance to push and compete against their own teammates. In the end it proved to have several closes races against each other and also resulted in a number of personal best times.
That proved to be most evident in the opening 200-yard medley relay where the team of Lisa Kennedy, Malia Francis, Abigale Johnson, and Jaylen Janssen beat out their teammates by 2.21 seconds to take first with a time of 2 minutes, 5.75 seconds. The team of Makenna Winnicki, Noelle St. Pierre, Maria Heck, and Gussie Gruett finished second at 2:07.94.
Francis led the way with four event wins included a pair of individual wins and two personal bests. She would win the second event of the night, the 200-yard freestyle and easily clocked in with the best time of 2:04.64. Francis also won the 100-breaststroke at 1:09.25.
Along with the 200-medley relay, Francis was also part of the winning 200-freestyle relay. Sierra Woodford, Genna Fugle, St. Pierre, and Francis would again edge their teammates by 1.25 seconds for the win with a time of 1:50.08. Heck, Johnson, Winnicki, and Kennedy were runner-up at 1:51.33.
In the 200-IM Rhinelander finished 1-2, led by St. Pierre who touched the wall first with a time of 2:30.96 over teammate Heck who clocked in at 2:41.59. St. Pierre also won the 500-freestyle and finished just over 30 seconds ahead of second place at 5:52.00.
Winnicki added a pair of individual wins for Rhinelander in the 50-free and 100-back. Right before the break Winnicki was first in the 50 at 26.53 seconds. Later she would record her second win in the 100-back with a time of 1:03.48. Kennedy would cruise to a win in the 100-fly at 1:06.75.
Woodford had a best time in the 100-yard freestyle, where she was able to edge Colby/Abbotsford's Elizabeth Strange by 0.13 seconds for the win with a time of 1:01.06.
Rhinelander closed the meet by going 1-3 in the 400-yard freestyle relay. The team of Johnson, Janssen, Fugle, and Woodford won with a time of 4:21.16. While Maddie Matthwig, Gruett, Phoebe Moran, and Ella Cordy finished third at 5:00.41.
The Hodags also added a number of third place finishes on the night; Woodford (50-free), Kennedy (200-free), Fugle (100-free), Moran (100-breast), and Cordy (500-free).
RHS advanced to 1-0 in the conference standings and will host Lakeland on Thursday for another GNC dual meet. The meet is set for 5:30PM at the Heck Family Community Pool.
The Rhinelander High School girls' swim team had one last opportunity to prepare before they open their Great Northern Conference season, and they proved they are ready for the challenge. The Hodags won 10 of the 11 events at the Lakeland Triangular meet in Minocqua on Tuesday to finish first.
RHS recorded 90 points on the evening to win the triangular. While the Thunderbirds won a single event and finished runner-up with 63 points and Wausau West finished third with 17 points. Rhinelander was also able to adjust their lineup and have swimmers featured in a variety of different events.
Leading the night was junior Makenna Winnicki and sophomore Malia Francis each won four events on the night. The two were both part of the winning 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay teams as well as each adding a pair of individual wins. Winnicki won the 200-IM (2:20.18) and the 100-free (56.74). While Francis won the 50 free (25.39) and the 100-fly (1:00.51). Three Rhinelander swimmers had top-four finished in the 100-backstroke (Sierra Woodford 2nd, Heck 4th).
The Hodags had three other swimmers take home individual wins; Maria Heck, Lisa Kennedy, and Noelle St. Pierre. Heck won the 500-free (6:08.05). Kennedy took the 100-yard backstroke (1:05.48). And St. Pierre finished first in the 200-free (2:08.91).
Kennedy and St. Pierre joined teammates Francis and Winnicki in the medley relay where they finished first with a tie of 1:56.90. And then Heck and Woodford paired with Winnicki and Franncis to win the 400 freestyle relay at 4:05.34.
Rhinelander's team of Kennedy, Genna Fugle, Abigale Johnson, and St. Pierre earned a runner-up finish in the 200-freestyle relay as well. The Hodags' second entry in their 200 medley relay (Woodford, Fugle, Johnson, and Heck) also placed third. Kennedy finished third in the 200 IM, Woodford charted third in the 100-free, and Riley Miller was also third in the 100-fly.
The Hodags will kick off their GNC dual season on Thursday when they travel to Colby/Abbotsford. RHS will have their home opener next Thursday when they host Lakeland at the Heck Family Community Pool.
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