The Rhinelander High School track team bounced back from competing at the Otto Bacher Invite on Friday, to competing in the Hatchet Invite on Tuesday held at Tomahawk High School. The Hodag girls' and boys' each finished in fifth place on the day and had several notable finishes as they approach the Great Northern Conference meet.
The lady Hodags finishing in fifth charted 79 points and placed ahead of Three Lakes (77 points) and Wabeno (23 points). Northland Pines finished first in the girls' field with 144.50 points. Stratford was runner-up with 133 points, and host Tomahawk finished third with 88 points.
The Rhinelander boys' also coming in fifth, finished ahead of Wabeno in the six-team field. Northland Pines boys also took first with 174 points. Stratford placed second with 147 points, and the Hatchets finished in third with 97 points.
A.J. Kopplin would give Rhinelander 10 of their 69 points, after winning the high jump. Kopplin jumped 5 feet, 6 inches. Brock Lieder finished in fifth in the high jump at 5'4" and Calvin Schneider charted ninth at 5'2".
The Hodag sprints also prevailed on the day and would place three runners in the top-six in the 100-meter dash as well as a top-three finish in the 110-meter hurdles.
Sophomore Josh Francisco recorded third place in the 100 with a time of 12.34 seconds. Teammates Nick Kriesel (12.79 seconds) and Chase Hunt (12.84 seconds) also had top finishes, placing fifth and sixth. And junior Alex Monk fished in third in the 110-meter hurdles, clocking in at 18.83 seconds. Monk also finished sixth in the 300 hurdles with a time of 49.21 seconds.
The Hodags 4x100 team would also record a win for RHS, clocking in at 47.39 seconds, in a close race with the top-four teams finishing in 1.49 seconds of each other. The team included three freshmen; Drake Martin, Hunt, Kriesel and sophomore Francisco.
Freshman Daniel Ritchie had a few top finishes for Rhinelander including a third-place finish in the 1,600-meter run with a time of 5:08.96. Ritchie also finished in seventh in the 400-meter run with a time of 59.22 seconds. Freshman Konnor Kennedy placed eight in the 1,600 at 5:46.63. And fellow freshman Peyton Erikson had a personal best in the triple jump at 37 feet, 6 inches.
The boys' 4x200 relay team (Schneider, Hunt, Erikson, and Kriesel) finished fourth, clocking in at 1:43.80. And the 4x400 relay team (Monk, Erikson, Schneider, and Lieder) also charted fourth at 4:05.21.
On the girls' side of action, Rhinelander had several top-10 finishes on the evening and was highlighted by a win in the 4x800 relay. Payton Hartman, Gracie Quinn, Lisa White, and Jade Forster clocked in with the quickest time of 11:30.77, which was 11.36 seconds ahead of Tomahawk who finished second. White, a freshman would also earn third in the 800, with a time of 2:51.22 and finished ninth in the long jump.
Quinn, a senior had a big night for the Hodags and would add a runner-up finish in the 1,600-meter run (6:21.91). She also finished third in the 3,200-meter run (13:41.67). Quinn joined Hartman, Erika Jorgensen, White for a third-place finish in the 4x400 relay (4:52.90). Forster finished sixth in the 1,600 as well.
In the 4x200 relay, the lady Hodags team of Samantha Siefert, Mattia Beske, Jorgensen, and Isabella Anderson also earned a third-place finish, clocking in at 2:01.68. Jorgensen added a seventh-place finish in the 100 hurdles (31.32 seconds), and Anderson finished fifth in the 100-meter dash (14.75 seconds).
The Hodags had four runners finish in the top-10 in the hurdles. Senior Hartman recorded a fourth-place finish in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 56.49 seconds. Freshman Morgan Johnson finished right behind Hartman in fifth place and also finished sixth in the 100 hurdles (21.45 seconds). Senior Lara Gardner placed seventh in the 300-hurdles and eighth in the 100 hurdles (22.06 seconds).
Junior Lexie Rick had the best field event finish for the Rhinelander girls', finishing in fourth in the discus with a throw of 91 feet, 4 inches. Rick added a fifth-place finish in the shot put as well. Freshman Madison Carpenter finished 11th in the discus and 13th in the shot put.
The Hodags will take part in the Great Northern Conference meet on Tuesday that will be held at Mosinee High School.
The Rhinelander High School track and field team showed improvements when the competed against more than 11 fielded teams on Friday at the Otto Bacher Invitational held in Merrill. In their largest regular season meet of the year, the Hodags boys placed eighth out of 11 teams, while the girls finished 10th out of 12 teams. RHS has several notable individual finishes and strong showing especially in sprints on the evening.
The Lakeland boys earned the team title at Merrill with 145 points. Medford (128.5), Merrill (120.5), Wausau East (75.5), and Antigo (67) rounded out the top-five boys' teams. The RHS boys finished with 32 points, charting eighth and was highlight by three top-five finishes on the day.
The top Hodag finish for the boys came from freshman Daniel Ritchie, who finished the 400-meter dash in 58.35 seconds, good enough for third place.
Rhinelander also had two-fifth place finishes for the boys'. Alex Monk earned fifth in the 110-meter hurdles, clocking in at 19.09 seconds. And A.J. Kopplin also finished in fifth in the high jump with a height of 5 feet, 6 inches. Also, placing in the field events was freshman Peyton Erickson who recorded a sixth-place finish in the triple jump at 35 feet, 9 inches.
Other individual boys' points for the Hodags came from sophomore Josh Francisco and freshman Nickolas Kriesel who charted sixth and seventh place in the 100-meter dash. Francisco came in at 11.98 seconds and Kriesel clocked in at 12.14 seconds.
The RHS boys' relay teams also picked up nine team points just in their relay events. The 4x100 relay team of Kriesel, Francisco, Martin Drake, and Chase Hunt earned a fourth-place finish with a time of 47.66 seconds.
In the 4x200, Erikson, Hunt, Kriesel, and Calvin Schneider also had a top-10 finish. The Hodag team took sixth, clocking in at 1:43.04. While Monk, Anthony Kowalski, Brock Lieder, and Schneider placed eighth in the 4x400 at 4:08.28.
On the girls' side of action Marshfield easily earned the team title with 147 points. Wausau East (106.5), Lakeland (99.5), Medford (71), and Mosinee (61) would close out the top-five finishes. While the RHS girls' only scored 10 points, finishing in 10th out of the 12-team field, they had several personal best times on the evening.
The only individual points in the girls' division for the Hodags came from junior Ellen Padgett who finished in sixth place in the 200-meter dash. Padgett clocked in with a time of 28.62 seconds. And freshman Ellen White was the only other Hodag to chart points in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:48.21.
Valerie Dalka had a person best in the 3,200-meter run at 14:20.41. Dalka finished in 10th place, just two positions out from scoring points.
The lady Hodags also recorded three top-eight finishes in relays to add points for Rhinelander. The top relay for RHS came in the 4x800, where Jade Forster, Lisa White, Gracie Quinn, and Payton Hartman placed sixth at 11:22.9, earning three points.
In the 4x100, Isabella Anderson, Brianna Hagen, Samantha Siefert, and Mattia Beske also scored points with a seventh-place finish in the 4x100 with a time of 59.05 seconds. Anderson, Erika Jorgensen, Siefert, and Beske also teamed up in the 4x200 to finish with one point for their eighth-place finish with a time of 2:03.8.
Both the RHS track team continue to show great strides and improvements as the season progress and had several personal-bests in Merrill to show.
The Hodags will be back in action on Tuesday when they travel to Tomahawk to take part in the Hatchet Invitational. It will also mark Rhinelander’s final invite before the Great Northern Conference meet held on Tuesday May, 16th in Mosinee.
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