The Rhinelander High School Nordic ski team both girls' and boys' divisions placed third at the Ashwabay Summit Race on Saturday. It would prove to be the Hodags final tune up before Rhinelander will compete at the Wisconsin Nordic Ski League state championship that will be held in Cable.
The lady Hodags had solid finishes on the day with all four varsity skiers charting top-15 finishes. Emma Hjelle led the way for Rhinelander and finished in eighth place with a time of 40:34.8.
Jenna Younker finished right behind Hjelle in ninth (41:24.2), and Emma Roberts charted 10th (41:34.0). Allie Fugle charted 13th (44:40.5), and Carleen Morien finished 14th (46:15.6).
Freshman Daniel Ritchie had a solid day and would led RHS finishing the 7-kilometer classic course with a time of 33 minutes, 15.7 seconds. Ritchie’s time was good enough for an 11th place finish.
The rest of the Hodag boys finished in a pack and all cracked the top-25. Breckin Younker placed 21st (35:32.4), Nicholas St. Pierre finished 22nd (36:30.3), and Levi Smith took 23rd (37:15.7).
Along with the RHS varsity competing, the Rhinelander middle school teams also skied well on the day.
Hayward girls' finished first with 10 points, with the Hodags right behind in second overall with 13 points. Anna Wood finished seond (20:27.5), Liana Teter took third (20:32.2), McKenna Nash finished eighth (24:01.3), Juliana Smith placed ninth (24:49.4), and Aubrey Younker took 10th (25:43.8).
The Rhinelander middle school boys' won their division Saturday beating out Canski, Drummond, and Hayward.
Zach Goodrich finished first on the day with the fastest time of 17:19.1. Jett Biolo finished in second with a time of 18:03.0. Kyle Morien finished fourth (18:09.8), Ryan Morien finished 11th (22:43.2), and Sam Rutkowski placed 15th (23:40.6).
It also was RHS’s final competition before state that will be held in Cable at the American Birkebeiner race course. Saturday’s course challenged the Hodags and also will help prepare them for their season finale.
The state course will set up as a 2.3-kilometer loop, which the skiers will race three laps in the freestyle race on Saturday. The classic will be three more laps on Sunday.