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GNC BOYS SWIM MEET - Rouiller gets 500 mention; GNC meet a success

Rouiller gets 500 mention; GNC meet a success
Logan Rouiller smiles for the picture takers while on the awards stand after his thirdplace finish in Friday’s 500-yard freestyle during the GNC swim championships. MATT FREY/THE STAR NEWS
Rouiller gets 500 mention; GNC meet a success
Logan Rouiller smiles for the picture takers while on the awards stand after his thirdplace finish in Friday’s 500-yard freestyle during the GNC swim championships. MATT FREY/THE STAR NEWS


As expected, the Rhinelander Hodags dominated while the race for the middle spots in the team standings was close, and, as the Medford Raiders hoped, they took some more significant steps while chasing better times in Friday’s Great Northern Conference boys swim championships at the MASH pool.

Medford scored 126 points, led by a thirdplace finish by Logan Rouiller in the 500-yard freestyle and his fourth-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle and fourth-place finishes from Mason Reimann in the 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard butterfly.

Rouiller is Medford’s first top-three GNC finisher in boys swimming since Tyler Schumacher took second in the 200-yard individual medley and the 500-yard freestyle 11 years ago.

“I’m pretty happy,” Rouiller said. “My goal was just to cut time.”

Rouiller did that by 0.49 seconds, lowering his time to 5:51.97. He came in just 1.56 seconds behind runner-up Bruce Peetz of Tomahawk, while Rhinelander’s Judson O’Malley won it in 5:35.9.

“A little counts,” Rouiller said. When asked what’s gotten better as he’s dropped his time about 38 seconds from the season’s first meet, Rouiller had a simple answer. “Everything,” he said.

“There were only about three races where times were above what they’ve been,” Medford head coach Terry Werner said of the team’s solid effort. “They cut everything else.”

Rhinelander won every race, which was not a surprise, and clinched its sixth straight GNC boys swim championship with 372 points. Tomahawk held off Antigo 212-204 to place second and Shawano-Seymour was fourth with 182.

Hosting the meet this year was something that wasn’t on Medford’s radar coming into the season, but that changed in late November when the scheduled host, Lakeland, was unable to field a team and Medford was next up in the rotation.

“We had a lot of anxiety and stress while checking all the boxes, making sure everything was planned and ready,” Werner said. “I don’t think anything went wrong tonight. We had a great turnout.”

The meet was completed in an efficient one hour and 45 minutes and there were lots of smiles and laughs to go around among the competitors.

“I think the biggest thing about this was how much fun everybody had,” Werner said. “It’s a really small conference and I think we’ve gotten to know all of the other teams really well.”

“I feel like we did pretty good,” Reimann said. “I know I was a little nervous at the beginning, but then I felt really good.”

Reimann’s time in the 200-yard individual medley was 2:27.03, 2.83 seconds better than his previous best for the season. He trailed Rhinelander’s Shawn Denis (2:05.91) and Dolan O’Malley (2:08.77) and Tomahawk’s Dane DeKiep (2:19.85) and was well ahead of Shawano-Seymour’s Jeelat Rongroatpunyakul (2:39.87).

“My 200 IM was pretty good,” Reimann said. “Last time I PR’d in that was like two months ago. I need someone to push me even farther. That’s the only way I got that at that time. Now I figured out how to push myself without anybody really close to me, beating me.”

Reimann’s butterfly time was 1:07.89, just off his season-best of 1:07.13. He beat Antigo’s Rutger Busse (1:12.05) while trailing Rhinelander’s Brock Arrowood (54.63) and Zacha King (55.3) and Antigo’s Ezra Santiago (1:00.32).

“That’s like my average time. I’ve gotten that three times,” Reimann said of being in the 1:07 range. “I felt like I could’ve gone faster. I think my hips sank and then I died.”

Rouiller’s fourth-place time in the 200yard freestyle was 2:11.38, a 2.81-second improvement over his previous best. Rhinelander’s Samson Shinners won in 1:49.75, followed by Sam Zastrow of Tomahawk (2:01.48) and Peetz (2:09.59). Medford’s Rhys Buskerud was eighth. The freshman shattered his season-best by nearly nine seconds and finished in 2:46.82.

Rouiller, Roger Mann, Reimann and Buskerud started the meet by placing fifth in the 200-yard medley relay in 2:12.43, dropping 2.65 seconds. The Raiders beat B teams from Shawano-Seymour (2:19.27) and Antigo (2:21.06). Rhinelander won in 1:42.23, while Tomahawk was second in 1:52.52.

Medford’s team of Brandon Curtis, Reese Travis, Dawson Gasek and Rouiller finished the meet by cutting 7.05 seconds while placing sixth in the 400-yard freestyle relay at 5:04.4. Rhinelander had the top two teams in that race with times of 3:24.38 and 3:43.15.

Medford’s 200-yard freestyle relay team of Reimann, Buskerud, Mann and Travis was sixth in 2:06.8. Rhinelander again had the top two teams with times of 1:32.23 and 1:39.72.

Mann, a sophomore, improved his times in two individual events. Mann was seventh out of 10 finishers in the 100-yard breaststroke with his time of 1:23.06, which shaved 0.93 seconds off his previous best. Buskerud set his new best time as well while placing 10th in 1:49.89. Denis won in 1:03.06. Mann was eighth in the 100-yard freestyle at 1:04.16. He knocked off 2.7 seconds with that time and held off Antigo’s Aiden Anderson by 0.81 seconds for that spot. Travis was 12th in 1:08.95, cutting 2.78 seconds off his previous best. Shinners won in 50.21 seconds, edging teammate Mathias Fugle by 0.19 seconds.

Gasek was 10th for Medford in the 100yard backstroke with his time of 1:28.47. That race featured the only new conference record set in Friday’s meet. King got that for Rhinelander in 53.72 seconds.

Travis (30.97), Gasek (33.86) and Curtis (34.87) were 12th, 13th and 14th in the 50-yard freestyle. All three set their best times of the season in that sprint race.

“(Our improvement) is quite insane,” Reimann said. “Terry is a pretty good coach.”

Medford will get one more chance to improve its times when it competes in Saturday’s WIAA Division 2 Ashwaubenon sectional. The meet starts at 1 p.m. and features Rhinelander, Tomahawk and Antigo as well as the host Jaguars, Pulaski, the Sturgeon Bay Co-op and Menomonie, River Falls and Rice Lake from the Big Rivers Conference. Winners in each event, plus the top 12 non-winning times in each event from all four D2 sectionals will advance to the Feb. 16 state meet at Waukesha South.

As team manager Jordyn Johnson shows Logan Rouiller where his 500-yard freestyle lap count is, Rouiller’s teammates Roger Mann, Reese Travis, Rhys Buskerud and Brandon Curtis cheer him on to his third-place, honorable mention finish. MATT FREY/THE STAR NEWS

Medford’s Mason Reimann gets his arm action going again after making the turn in the backstroke leg of Friday’s 200-yard individual medley. Reimann placed fourth in 2:27.03. MATT FREY/THE STAR NEWS