Most race times continue to get faster despite loss in Tomahawk
MEDFORD BOYS SWIMMING
Again, missing two key swimmers while facing a strong opponent, the Medford Raiders again rose to the challenge Thursday, shattering several personalbest times during a 100-57 loss at Tomahawk.
The defeat left the Raiders in fifth place in the six-team Great Northern Conference at 2-6-1 as the dual-meet portion of the schedule came to an end.
Tomahawk, meanwhile, finished 8-2 behind 10-0 Rhinelander, who will be the odds-on favorite to win the GNC title Friday in its home pool.
This time, the Raiders and head coach Shari Bergman rearranged the lineup to account for the unavailable Matt Buchan and Tahtankka Damm and they made it work quite well.
The success started right away with Ethan Kraemer, Jacob Mitchell, Abe Miller and Isaac Dittrich posting Medford’s best time of the year in the 200yard medley relay at 2:09.28, good for second, 11.67 seconds behind Tomahawk’s top team.
Tomahawk swam the last race, the 400-yard freestyle relay, as an exhibition event so Medford’s team of Jack Griesbach, Blaze Kesan, Dittrich and Miller was credited with the win in 4:18.92, another best time of the season for the Raiders. Dylan Kraemer, Christian Di Benedetto, Nathan Sislo and Mitchell were second in 5:04.31. Griesbach got under the 2:40 mark for the first time in the 200-yard individual medley, finishing second in 2:39.72 behind Hatchet Zach Hanse (2:14.96). The senior added a new best time of 1:01.15 in the 100-yard freestyle, good for third place, while Di Benedetto was fourth in 1:06.2, his best time by four seconds.
Ethan Kraemer took nearly a threesecond drop while taking second in the 100-yard backstroke in 1:13.28 behind Hatchet Trey Miller (1:06.64).
All three Raider entrants in the 500yard freestyle posted their best times of the season. Dittrich dropped to 6:39.15 and placed third in a race won by Tomahawk’s Keaton Jed in 5:37.16. Kesan was fifth in 7:20.3, cutting over 18 seconds from his time the previous week against Antigo. Kraemer was sixth in 7:30.41, knocking off almost six seconds.
Earlier, Kesan knocked off 0.8 seconds from the previous week while taking third in the 50-yard freestyle at 27.61 seconds. Abe Miller was next at 28.73 seconds and Di Benedetto was fifth in 30.86 seconds. Jed won in 24.16 seconds.
Sislo shaved another 1.35 seconds off his 200-yard freestyle and took third in 2:32.73, while Dylan Kraemer was fourth and almost four seconds faster in 2:45.29. Travis Phillips won the race for Tomahawk in 1:54.29.
Mitchell lowered his personal-best time in the 100-yard breaststroke by 2.3 seconds, finishing third in 1:17.31. Adam Hall of Tomahawk was the winner in 1:10.54.
Without Damm, Miller was inserted into the 100-yard butterfly spot and took third in 1:11.51, while Ethan Kraemer was fifth in 1:13.64, dropping by about 1.8 seconds. Hanse won that race in 1:03.16.
Griesbach, Kesan, Di Benedetto and Mitchell placed second in the 200-yard freestyle relay at 1:58.11, well behind the Hatchets’ top team (1:36.6). Ethan Kraemer, Sislo, Dylan Kraemer and Dittrich were third in 2:03.39.
Friday’s conference meet starts at 5:30 p.m. at Rhinelander’s Heck Family Community Pool. The meet is the sole determination of final team and individual placement in the conference. The dual results do not factor into the final standings.
All GNC teams will move on to WIAA Division 2 sectional competition in Wisconsin Rapids Feb. 15.