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FEATURED STORY
2016 RHS Track Review
By Cassie Krueger - Posted on 06/20/2016
Photo By HodagSports.com Staff
The Rhinelander High School track team proved they are heading in the right direction in the 2016 season with second year Coach Chris Ferge. The Hodags are still looking for numbers to strengthen their program, but there were still several athletes that had impressive finishes to the year, and four advanced to sectionals in their journey.

A tough sectional lineup would not allow any Rhinelander athletes to advance to the WIAA state meet, and would mark the first time in seven years RHS would not being sending at least one member to state.

Both the girls' and guys' teams finished strong for the 2016 season, and were highlighted by some of their best performances of the year as they closed out their spring season.

The RHS girls' track team proved throughout the season to be the rock of the 2016 team, especially the distance crews. The girls' had their best Great Northern Conference finish since 2012 and finished fifth in the outdoor meet held in Rhinelander.

It also marked the first time in over 10 years that the RHS track team hosted a meet, in a huge help to be the track being resurfaced in 2015.

For the conference meet, the Hodag girls' won the 800-meter run, the 1,600, the 3,200, as well as the 4x800 meter relay.

Sophomore Alayna Franson, who also participates in soccer had a hand in three of the wins on the day and earned the GNC female runner of the year with her performance. She won the 1,600 and 3,200 distance runs for Rhinelander and also was part of the 4x800 relay.

Senior Eva O'Melia also had impressive runs as she earned the win in the 800, and anchored the 4x800 relay. Gracie Quinn and Payton Hartman also were part of the winning 4x800 relay team as well.

O'Melia, Franson, Quinn, and Hartman advanced to sectionals after charting a third place finish at the Wausau West regionals at the end of May. O'Melia qualified for sectionals in the 800 and Franson also individually qualified in the 1,600.

Despite any of the four advancing to state, there were notable finishes in the tough D.C. Everest sectionals. O'Melia was the closest to advancing, finishing fourth in the 800 and set a personal record time, and missed state by 1.13 seconds.

Senior Susanna Robert also had impressive showings for the 2016 season, and finished third in the 100 at the GNC meet. Senior Haley Klaver also had some notable runs and helped the Hodags out by running several events throughout the year.

Sophomore Ellen Padgett also remained consistent in both the 100 and 200 and showed great improvements throughout the season. And in the field events, sophomore Lexie Rick continued to improve and charted a third place finish in the GNC meet in the shot put.

Several underclassman on the girls' side earned all-conference honors for the 2016 season including Franson, Quinn, Hartman, and Rick. While sophomore Danielle Doughty and Padgett also earned top eight individual finishes at conference.

On the boys' side of action, senior Eric Tracy highlighted the team, and was the only athlete to return from last seasons' conference champion boys' 4x400 meter relay team.

Although for the 2016 season, Tracy predominately took part in the hurdles. He earned third place in the 110 high hurdles and the 300 intermediate hurdles at the GNC meet. Tracy was also the lone Hodag on the boys' side to earn all-conference recognition.

Josh Francisco and Alec Bess scored conference points in the 100-meter dash. And Colton Krueger (110 hurdles) and Reuben Guzik (300 hurdles) also charted individual points for the team. Max Brown also placed in the high jump and Anthony Kowalaski added points in the 400.

Both the girls' and guys' for the Hodags have young squads that will be returning several athletes. The boys' side was filled with a majority of underclassman including freshman Kowalski n Francisco. Sophomores Alex Monk, Krueger, and Guzik were also part of the hurdle crew for 2016 season.

On the girls' side, the Hodags will lose O'Melia, Roberts, and Klaver to graduation but have bright futures as the return a majority of their distance crew who advanced to sectionals. Tracy will be the biggest loss to graduation on the guys' side.

The 2016 RHS track team has take strides in the right direction this season, and although they lose some seniors to graduation the 2017 season had a lot to look forward to.











RHS Girls' Track comes up short at sectionals
By Hodagsports.com Staff - Posted on 05/27/2016
Photo By HodagSports.com Staff
All three events that the Rhinelander High School girls' track team qualified for, they came up short at the WIAA Division 1 sectionals held at D.C. Everest's Stiehm Stadium on Thursday.

Senior Eva O'Melia closed out her final run on the track as a Hodag and although she posted a personal record time in the 800 meter run, she finished fourth place with a time of 2 minutes, 20.71 seconds. O'Melia was 1.13 seconds behind the final qualifying spot that went to Kathryn Webb of Chippewa Falls.

Jumping off to quick start, O'Melia took the early lead with a 1:06 pace in the first 400 meters of the race. Entering the far turn, Abigail Hyland of Stevens Point and Webb (Chippewa Falls) passed O'Melia.

Clenching onto the final qualifying spot, O'Melia was passed by Autum Shurbet-Hetzel of Point in the final 150 meters. In the final straight stretch, senior O'Melia pushed right into the third lane in the final sprints, but came up short in the attempt for third.

O'Melia's 800 turned out to be Rhinelander's best chance at a state-qualifier. Sophomore Alayna Franson in the 1600 finished in fifth place, two-positions away from qualifying. And the girls' 4x800 relay finished in last.

Aubrey Roberts of Eau Claire Memorial, the defending D1 state cross country champion stole the show in the 1600 and finished with a time of 4:51.46, which was quicker than the eighth place finisher in the boys' 1600.

Franson held a steady pace and was in a four-way battle for second. She fell back of the pack and finished with a time of 5:30.01, which was 13.08 seconds away from the qualifying third finisher.

Rhinelander switched their 4x800 lineup, and started with Gracie Quinn and Payton Hartman, leaving Franson and O'Melia to close out the race. The Hodags quickly dropped behind in the first mile of the race, and by the time Franson and then O'Melia got the baton, it was far too late.

Despite Quinn and Hartman having their best split times of the year, they were up against some tough competition and fell behind early on. The Hodag relay team came in over a minute slower than the top three finishers with a time of 10:48.48.

It also marked the first year in the past seven years that Rhinelander did not send at least one athlete to the WIAA State track meet in La Crosse. The Hodag track team can still hold their heads high and be proud of the individual and team accomplishments they endured for the 2016 season.


MORE STORIES
Schedule
03/17
4:30PM
Invite @ Northland Pines
04/05
4:30PM
Invite @ Northland Pines7th of 7
04/14
4:30PM
Invite @ Medford High School 7th of 9
04/21
4:00PM
Dale Peterson Invite @ Listle Field (Antigo High School)
04/28
4:30PM
Invite @ Northland Pines
05/03
4:00PM
Invite @ Three Lakes High School
05/06
5:00PM
Invite @ Merrill High School
05/10
4:30PM
Invite @ Tomahawk High School
05/17
4:00PM
GNC Meet @ RHS
05/23
Regionalsboys 9th of 9
girls 7th/9
05/26
Sectionals girls T 14th
06/03
State
06/04
State
Standings
Boys
Lakeland216.5pts-
Medford163pts-
Mosinee98pts-
Northland Pines81.5pts-
Antigo48pts-
Tomahawk47pts-
Hodags42pts-
Girls
Lakeland171.5pts-
Medford158.5pts-
Northland Pines115.5pts-
Mosinee70.33pts-
Hodags70pts-
Tomahawk63.17pts-
Antigo46pts-
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