STAR JOURNAL REPORT
The Rhinelander High School boys swimming team placed first in all 11 events and also recorded seven runner-up finishes Thursday when the Hodags won their Great Northern Conference dual meet at home over Medford, 113-49.
RHS had 1-2-3 sweeps in two events. Martin Hoger, David King and Matthew O’Melia finished in the top three in the 100-yard backstroke in respective times of 1:06.29, 1:07.87 and 1:21.56. Nolan Francis, Russell Benoy and Conor Natrop were the respective top-three finishers in the 100 breaststroke in times of 1:10.29, 1:16.35 and 1:29.17.
Francis also won the 100 freestyle (53.47) with Hoger recording another first-place finish in the 100 butterfly (1:07.64). Other individual winners for the Hodags included Thaddeus Heck in the 200 freestyle (2:22.64), King in the 200 individual medley (2:31.06), O’Melia in the 50 freestyle (28.07) and Benoy in the 500 freestyle (6:12.24).
RHS’s first-place finishes in the three relay events came from: Francis, Benoy, Hoger and Conor Natrop in the 200 medley relay (2:01.97); Natrop, Heck, Francis and Devon Gaber in the 200 freestyle relay (1:47.03); and King, Hoger, Heck and Benoy in the 400 freestyle relay (4:08.16).
O’Melia, Gaber, King and Gerard DuBois added a runner-up finish in the 200 medley relay (2:16.24), while O’Melia, Zack DuBois, Zach Laxton and Jared Chizever came in third in the 400 freestyle relay (5:47.35).
Gaber placed runner-up in both the 200 individual medley (2:51.55) and 100 freestyle (1:03.2). Other individual runner-up finishers for the Hodags included Natrop in the 50 freestyle (28.43) and Heck in the 100 butterfly (1:19.59).
RHS also recorded a third-place individual finish from Laxton in the 500 freestyle (8:22.21).
The Hodags, who improved their conference dual meet record to 1-4 with their first GNC victory of the season, won’t be able to compete again until Jan. 7 when they are scheduled to be in an invitational at Ashwaubenon High School.
Due to RHS being closed with no practices taking place until Jan. 2 because of a high incidence of a variety of illnesses among students and staff, school activities director Brian Paulson said WIAA rules require the Hodag teams to have to practice for five days after being off for two weeks before being able to compete again.