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February 18, 2020

Ty Springer competes in giant slalom during a Northern Conference ski race at Granite Peak in Wausau Tuesday, Jan. 14. (Photos by Bob Mainhardt for the River News)
Ty Springer competes in giant slalom during a Northern Conference ski race at Granite Peak in Wausau Tuesday, Jan. 14. (Photos by Bob Mainhardt for the River News)
Rhinelander’s Kyleigh Allen catches air on a jump during girls’ boardercross in a Northern Conference ski race at Granite Peak in Wausau Tuesday, Jan. 14.
Rhinelander’s Kyleigh Allen catches air on a jump during girls’ boardercross in a Northern Conference ski race at Granite Peak in Wausau Tuesday, Jan. 14.
1/16/2020 7:34:00 AM
Hodag skiers open season at Granite Peak

Jeremy Mayo
Sports Editor

Rhinelander/Northland Pines kicked off the Northern Conference season Tuesday at Granite Peak in Wausau.

According to unofficial results tabulated by the River News, the Hodags placed first out of four teams in boys' skiing and second out of five teams in girls' skiing. Not all results from Tuesday's snowboarding competition were provided to the River News prior to deadline and the Northern Conference had yet to post official results on its Facebook page.

Coach Rod Olson said the day went well for his team, as it was finally able to race after a couple of months of on-snow training.

"There were a lot of things we could see and we got some video and pictures," he said. "When you get some times to go with things you can see, 'OK, here's what led to this.' That's always good to use for coaching and learning."

The Hodag dominated, unofficially taking second, third and fourth in the overall standings in boys' skiing.

Ty Springer, a junior from Northland Pines and the two-time reigning Northern Conference champion, nearly started the year with another win, but had a hiccup at one of the final gates of the slalom competition, dropping him to 12th in the race and third overall. Springer won the giant slalom and Super G races earlier in the day. Springer's Northland Pines teammate, Patrick Stemper, was the runner-up on the day with third-place finishes in slalom and giant slalom and a fifth in Super G. Rhinelander senior Daniel Ritchie finished fourth overall with top-six finishes in all three events.

"Ty missed the second or third to last gate in the finish (of slalom) so he had to hike, otherwise he had a pretty dominant day. But that took him down a little bit (in the overall standings). Patrick skied great. Daniel Ritchie did great," Olson said.

On the girls' side, freshman Tommie Jo Springer, Ty's younger sister, dominated the competition, winning all three races in convincing fashion. In fact, her time in the Super G (34.70 seconds) would have placed second in the boys' race, behind only her older brother.

"Tommie Jo did awesome. There were only a half a second difference between her and Ty in Super G," Olson said.

"We weren't talking too loud about it, because we didn't want to make Ty feel (bad), but half a second, boy to girl, just with the difference in upper body strength to get speed going, the skiing may have been better on one side or the other. She had a day that we expected," Olson added.

Kathryn Borski also cracked the top 10 overall for the Hodags, with a ninth-place finish in girls' skiing.

Her day was highlighted by a seventh-place fin in giant slalom and a ninth-place run in Super G.

Luke Fritz (14th), AJ Gillespie (16th) and Riley Zarm (19th) rounded out the boys' skiing standings for the Hodags. McKenna Nash was 11th in girls' skiing followed by Marisa McGuire in 15th, Izzy Haverkampf in 19th and Lily Berger in 25th.

Bailey Schwab led the Hodag boys' snowboarders with a fourth place finish in both slalom and boardercross. Joey Sturzl added a sixth-place run in slalom. Max Durkee was seventh in boardercross. Kylee White was third in girls' slalom and fourth in girls' boarder cross.

"Kylee was third and fourth in slalom and GS for boarders. I think boardercross she's probably third or fourth too. That was things I could pick up just looking over shoulders," Olson said. "Bailey did pretty good, he was right around that fourth or fifth spot again."

Results for boarder giant slalom were not available prior to deadline.

The second round of the Northern Conference season will take place at Christie Mountain in Bruce on Monday.

Jeremy Mayo may be reached at

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