By Paul Lecker
MARSHFIELD – Following near misses in dual meets against Wisconsin Rapids and Wausau East, and a third-place finish at Chippewa Falls a week prior, the Marshfield boys swim team finally got a taste of victory.
Marshfield placed second in six of the 11 events to finish in a three-way tie for first place at the Hodag Relays on Dec. 9 at Rhinelander High School.
Marshfield tied with Lakeland and Rhinelander for first place at 84 points, with Tomahawk just two points behind in fourth place. It is Marshfield’s first team invite win since 2008.
The Tigers did not win an event but placed second in six events and third in two others.
Second-place relay teams for Marshfield were: the 200 medley team of Calvin Lawler, Scott Thompson, Alec Brenner, and Ethan Dagit (2:03.85); the 800 freestyle relay team of Isaac Eberl, Brock Hamm, Connor Berres, and Myles Jensen (9:27.80); the 200 freestyle relay team of Hamm, Connor Berres, Eli Swansen, and Adam Elhendy-Gunnarsson (1:54.31); the 500 decrescendo relay team of Jensen, Connor Berres, Justin Kang, and Dagit (5:15.22); the 3×50 mixer relay team of Jacob Dick, Jeffrey Berres, and Nathan Albanito (1:43.97); and the 400 freestyle relay team of Albanito, Jeffrey Berres, Dagit, and Jensen (3:50.69).
“The boys knew I was definitely not in a good mood after our loss Thursday night at East and they know it takes a lot to put me there so Friday’s practice was all seriousness in preparation for Saturday,” Marshfield coach Jason Karrels said. “We went back to the fundamentals of breath control to work on those things that cost us Thursday. It’s a good thing we did since that is what gave us our piece of the crown on Saturday.
“It was great to compete against some of the northern schools who we typically stack up better against, than our own conference powerhouses. I was really impressed with the change in demeanor that we had Thursday to Saturday and the dedication that the boys put in.”
The Tigers lost a Wisconsin Valley Conference dual at Wausau East on Dec. 7, 86-84.
Jensen won the 200-yard freestyle in 2:05 and the 500 freestyle in 5:40.37, and Dick took first in the 100 breaststroke in 1:12.51 for Marshfield’s three individual victories.