The Rhinelander High School Nordic Ski team is continuing to build and progress throughout the season. The 2017-2018, the team showed great strides and they added numbers to the program this season as they keep moving in the right direction. Here is a look back at there season and what to be looking forward to for 2018-2019 under head Coach Charil Reis.
The Northwoods Nordic Ski Club, which is the booster program for both the Rhinelander High School and James Williams Middle School teams used the Cedric A. Vig Outdoor Classroom (CAVOC) for a majority of their training this season. CAVOC also hosted the two-day Hodag Nordic Challenge in January in which they made a number of improvements to the trail.
RHS Girls' Team
The Hodags' girls were led by Jenna Younker, who had Rhinelander's best finish for the team at the Wisconsin Nordic Ski League State Meet held at Birkebeiner trailhead in Cable. Younker placed 50th individually. As a team the girls' finished 12th out of 12 qualifying teams
In the classic race on the first day of state, Younker finished the 7-kilometer in 51st and was able to gain a position on Sunday's freestyle and finished 50th and had an aggregate time of 50 minutes, 45.1 seconds.
The second best Hodag girl to finish at state was Carleene Morien who finished 81st in the field of 110 skiers. Morien was 80th in the classic and 81st in the freestyle with a time of 57:03.1.
Following Younker and Morien, the lady Hodags' would finish near the back of the pack. Abbie Henrichs was 84th (59:20.2), Valerie Dalka placed 85th (59.45.3), Emma Roberts charted 86th (1:00:04.6), Jaylen Janssen was 98th (1:07:55.3), and Malie Llanos finished 103rd (1:20:46.9).
The team was also with half of their top four finishers after the classic race due to illness. Gwyneth Lowry placed 79th with a time of 29:17.4 and Emma Ejelle finished 83rd at 29:34.5.
RHS Boys' Team
The RHS boys' team was led by freshman Zach Goodrich throughout the season and had the boys’ top finish at the Wisconsin Nordic Ski League State, finishing 77th out of 129. As a team the Rhinelander boys placed 13th out of 16 teams at state. Besides Alec Lowry, the Hodags' boys team consists of underclassmen. Goodrich's combined time was 44:39.8.
On the second day's freestyle at state, Nicholas St. Pierre held Rhinelander's fastest time and finished 75th and would place 81st overall with a combined time of 45:18.2.
Levi Smith placed 90th at 47:11.5, Breckin Younker finished 99th at 48:02.2, Lowry placed 103rd at 49:08.2, and Daniel Goldsworthy finished 108th at 50:31.4. Looking ahead
The future looks bright for the Rhinelander High School as well as the James Williams Middle School teams for the 2018-2019. The team will be looking to continue to rebuild their program and stress on strength as well as offseason training and continue to strive for the great culture of Nordic skiing.
The Hodags' return a strong core of skiers and will only lose one senior to graduation; Lowry. Not only do they return a majority of their team, but they have a large incoming freshmen group to continue to build their numbers. It was also Reis' most team members and state meet participants in her four years in charge.
The Rhinelander High School Nordic ski team competed at the Badger State Games held in Wausau on Saturday. The Hodags also had three skiers compete in both the morning 7-kilometer classic race and the 7-kilometer freestyle race in the afternoon.
With the warmer weather Friday paired with cooler weather to follow, it made the trails at Nine Mile Forest quick and icy. Carleene Morien, Nicholas St. Pierre, and Jenna Younker each competed in both races on the day.
Jenna Younker was the RHS's girls' top finisher in both races while Morien placed third for the Rhinelander girls' in both events. On the boys' side of action St. Pierre was the fast RHS boy to finish the classic race and second-fastest in the freestyle.
Finishing seventh in the girls' 13-16 division, Younker clocked in at 25 minutes, 55 seconds and placed 13th overall. Emma Hjelle finished sixth in the 17-19 girls' division at 27:03 and was 15th overall. While Morien was eight in the 13-16 girls' division and charted 16th overall. Emma Roberts was 17th overall and Alison DeNamur was 19th overall to round out the Lady Hodags.
In the boys' 13-16 division, St. Pierre was eighth and finished 20th overall at 23:21. Levi Smith (21st; 24:16), Breckin Younker (22nd; 25:31), and Daniel Goldsworthy (24th; 26:46) rounded out the RHS boys'.
The afternoon freestyle race had a much larger field then the morning race, and also was the WNSL state qualifying race for the Southern Conference. Once again, Jenna Younker paced the RHS girls' and was 24th in her class and 30th overall at 22:21 in her second race of the day.
Rounding out the Rhinelander girls' for the afternoon race and their overall place was Gwyneth Lowry (37th), Morien (44th), Abbie Henrichs (48th), Valerie Dalka (49th), and Malie Llanos (56th).
On the boys' side of action, Zach Goodrich placed 23rd in 13-16 division and was 30th overall. St. Pierre finished 36th overall. While Alec Lowry was 12th in the 17-19 division and 41st overall.
The Hodags' will compete in a Northern Conference meet today in Cable at the Birkie Trail. It will also be a good preparation for Rhinelander, as the WNSL state championships will be held at Birkie Trail this season.
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