The Rhinelander High School girls' swim team closed out their Great Northern Conference dual portion of the season with a convincing 115-55 win over Colby/Abbotsford on Monday night. The Hodags won 10 of the 11 events which included finishing with the top two positions in six of the events at the Heck Family Community Pool.
The victory advanced RHS to 6-1 in the GNC and are runner-up to Tomahawk in the conference standings. Colby/Abbotsford fell o 2-5 in the GNC standings. The Hodags were also able to mix up their lineups and create more competition against each other especially in their relays.
In the opening 200-yard medley relay, Rhinelander proved to have one of their closest races of the night against their own teammates. Maria Heck, Allie Fugle, Makenna Winnicki, and Marisa McGuire (2:07.36) edged out teammates Maddie Quinn, Noelle St. Pierre, Grace Heck, and Riley Miller by 0.28 seconds.
Winnicki swam back-to-back events and after winning the opening 200-medley relay she won the 200-yard freestyle. She clocked in with a winning time of 2:04.55. St. Pierre was runner-up in the 200-free (2:15.35) and Miller finished 4th (2:27.16).
Grace Heck followed with a victor in the 200-yard individual medley and clocked in with the quickest time of 2:32.96. Quinn finished second (2:41.08) and Fugle placed fourth (2:51.18).
The only event Rhinelander did not win on the evening was the 50-yard freestyle that Izzy Stange of Colby/Abbotsford won at 27.19 seconds. RHS went 2-3-5 to follow led by Kennedy (27.24) only 0.05 seconds behind; McGuire placed third (28.47) and Sierra Woodford finished fifth (28.68).
Right after her runner-up finish, Kennedy won the 100-yard fly with a time of 1:08.39 to beat out teammate McGuire (1:11.75). Colby/Abbotsford went 3-4-from there and Allysa Schueremann of the Hodags finished fifth.
Rhinelander went 1-2 in the 100-yard free and Winnicki picked up another win. She beat St. Pierre to wall by 0.34 seconds with a winning time of 57.19.
The Hodags would go 1-3-4 in the 500-yard free. Maria Heck was the only swimmer of the evening to crack six minutes and finished with the winning time of 5:57.46. Woodford finished third (6:33.22) and Miller placed fourth (6:33.62).
RHS's 200-freestyle relay team of McGuire, Kennedy, Woodford, and Winnicki would beat out Colby/Abbotsford by just under four seconds with a time of 1:49.68.
The Hodags took the top three positions in the 100-yard back stroke led by Grace Heck who finished at 1:08.66. Quinn was runner-up (1:12.70) and Maria Heck placed third (1:15.17).
Rhinelander followed with a 1-4 finish in the 100-breast, while Colby/Abbotsford went 2-3-5. Fugle won for RHS at 1:22.06 and Alexis Denny finished fourth at 1:36.44.
And in the final 400-yard freestyle relay, the Hodags had a convincing win with the team of Kennedy, M. Heck, G. Heck, and St. Pierre at 4:07.41. Colby/Abby was runner-up at 4:19.32.
The Hodags will now focus their attention on the Great Northern Conference meet which will be held next Friday in Minocqua a Lakeland Union High School. Tomahawk has won four consecutive GNC titles and won 10 events alone in last year's conference meet. Rhinelander knows they will face tough competition but will look take home several conference honors.