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October 22, 2019

Rhinelander’s Phoebe Moran swims the backstroke leg of the 200-meter individual medley during a Great Northern Conference girls’ swim dual against Antigo at the McKenna Aquatic Center Thursday, Oct. 3. Rhinelander won all 11 events and defeated Antigo 127-43. (Scott Walbeck/Antigo Daily Journal)
Rhinelander’s Phoebe Moran swims the backstroke leg of the 200-meter individual medley during a Great Northern Conference girls’ swim dual against Antigo at the McKenna Aquatic Center Thursday, Oct. 3. Rhinelander won all 11 events and defeated Antigo 127-43. (Scott Walbeck/Antigo Daily Journal)
10/5/2019 7:32:00 AM
Hodag swimmers sweep Antigo in 127-43 win

Jeremy Mayo
Sports Editor

The Rhinelander High School girls' swim team showed off its depth Thursday night in Antigo as it moved to 5-0 in the Great Northern Conference.

The Hodags won all 11 events and had eight different swimmers record a victory in a 127-43 rout over Antigo at the McKenna Aquatic Center.

Rhinelander swept the top two spots in seven events, including a pair of 1-2-3 finishes, and won despite mixing up their lineup and putting swimmers in events they do not normally swim.

"I think most kids swam an event they haven't swam since the beginning of the year or yet this season and it was really beneficial for us as coaches to see where we can use them in the future," coach Jenny Heck said.

Sophomores Sierra Woodford and Malia Francis were both four-event winners on the night for Rhinelander.

Woodford won the shortest race of the night, the 50-meter freestyle (30.40 seconds), as well as the longest race, the 400-meter freestyle (5:23.28). She was also on the Hodags' winning 200 medley and 200 freestyle relay squads.

"Sierra Woodford had a good meet. She won the 400 free and she hasn't swam that all year," Heck noted.

Francis took the 200 freestyle (2:13.60) and the 100 breaststroke (1:20.78) and was part of the team's winning 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams.

Rhinelander swept the top three spots in both the 100 butterfly and the 100 backstroke. Noelle St. Pierre led the way in the 100 fly (1:19.79) with Marisa McGuire and Gussie Gruett completing the sweep. Maria Heck (1:22.37) took the win in the 100 backstroke ahead of St. Pierre and Ella Cordy.

"It was fun to see we had a 1-2-3 in the 100 butterfly, which was fun with Noelle, Marisa and Gussie. Gussie was really able to do a great job," coach Heck noted. "We had 1-2-3 in the 100 backstroke. Ella Cordy was able to point. Some of the kids who don't always have the varsity chance were able to get it and we were pleased with how they stepped up."

Francis beat Makenna Winnicki to the wall for a 1-2 finish in the 200 freestyle. Woodford and McGuire went 1-2 in the 50 freestyle. Winnicki (1:04.23) and Johnson were 1-2 in the 100 freestyle. Rhinelander went 1-2 in the 200 freestyle relay with the team of Winnicki, Heck, Jaylen Janssen and Woodford (2:05.28) beating the quartet of St. Pierre, Phoebe Moran, Gruett and Johnson by roughly five seconds. The Hodags ended the night with a 1-2 finish in the 400 freestyle relay. The team of McGuire, Winnicki, St. Pierre and Francis took the win (4:30.84) while the squad of Heck, Genna Fugle, Cordy and Gruett finished second, beating Antigo to the wall by 0.14 seconds for the runner-up spot.

"The most exciting race of the night was the 400 free relay," coach Heck said. "It was a really close race at the finish and Gussie was able to hold off Antigo and was able to out touch here. That was cool to be able to go 1-2 in the 400 free relay."

Maria Heck added a win for Rhinelander in the 200 individual medley (2:53.08). Rhinelander added third-place finishes from Fugle in the IM and the 400 freestyle, Moran in the breaststroke and the 200 medley relay entry of Janssen, Hannah Rumney, Fugle and Moran.

Rhinelander maintained its one-game lead over Lakeland and Medford in the GNC standings. Medford and Lakeland will battle each other in Minocqua next Thursday while the Hodags will entertain 0-5 Mosinee at the Heck Family Community Pool.

Jeremy Mayo may be reached at

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