THS girls oh-so-close; Tomek there
The Hatchet girls raced within a single point of a runner-up finish in Thusday’s 14-team Colby Invite, while the boys ran to a solid fourth behind Bryan Tomek’s outright victory.
“We ran a brutal workout in Bradley Park on Tuesday less than 48 hours prior to race time,” THS coach John Zuels­dorf said. “We wanted to see how the athletes responded to racing with heavy legs. They handled it admirably, no complaints on race day. We actually had 12 athletes either run seasonal bests or PR’s, which we thought was amazing having just run so well at Smiley combined with the hard workout on Tuesday.”
Tomek, a junior, turned in a time of 16:37 to win the race, while senior Ryan Kuehn medaled 12th in 18:19. Rounding out the boys varsity performance were freshman Troy Van Strydonk (16th, 18:34), and sophomores Austin Kaiser (34th, 19:20) and Jacob McGuire (53rd, 19:46). Ben Bartz (58th, 20:01) and Jared Kiander (61st, 20:08) also ran.
“Bryan picked up his second win, this one avenging two earlier losses to one of the top area runners, Andrew Studinski from Marathon,” Zuelsdorf said. “Bryan used an awesome kick down the final 200 meters after covering several late race surges that the Marathon runner attempted. With each race Bryan gains tactful racing strategies that will help him later in the season at tournament time. Ryan also ran a gutsy race by battling through a dozen runners over the last two miles to place in the hardware. Troy and Austin PR’d and as they continue to get better so will our boys team results.”
The girls scored the races of senior Welke (3rd, 16:42), sophomores medalists Alex Zedler (11th, 17:17) and Emmy Larson (15th, 17:29), freshman Dani Whiting (19th, 17:31) and sophomore Audrey Dichsen (31st, 18:09). Kayla Gass (57th, 19:46) competed.
“Stephanie ran a great race going out with the leaders and breaking up an early 1-2-3 Colby pack,” Zuelsdorf said. “She really pushed and challenged herself and it showed in her best individual finish to date. Emmy Larson also had a super performance as she pushed herself hard for the last 1000 meters to a PR and passed several runners after the mile, working her way into medal contention.
“Our season base-building long runs are starting to ‘pay-off’ for the team as a whole as we’ve seen most athletes PR over the last two meets and a few more are on the verge of attaining their career best times.
“At the halfway point in our schedule, there are still a few areas that concern the coaching staff and that we have to improve upon, but we are addressing them and it should make us a better team at tournament time.”
Team standings-Girls-Colby 47, Phillips 78, Tomahawk 79, Chequamegon 115, Marathon 122, Stratford 147, Medford 170, Wittenberg 185, Pittsville 206, Loyal 267, Spencer 274, Athens inc., Prentice inc., Augusta inc……..Chequamegon 49, Marathon 66, Medford 79, Tomahawk 116, Wittenberg 173, Phillips 209, Loyal 236, Augusta 246, Pittsville 268, Prentice 283, Spencer 316, Edgar 347, Athens 351, Stratford 360.