Triple jump, high jump and long jump - oh my!Submitted: 03/22/2018

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TOMAHAWK - When you think about track, you might think about running. But the field part of track and field is just as important. Tomahawk hosted an indoor meet Thursday night and Prentice and the Hatchets showed how well they're doing in the jumping events. 

Prentice's Kai Vedder's favorite of the three (high jump, triple jump and long jump) is the triple jump.

"There's more than one jump, you're able to cover more distance. The farther, the better, that's what I like," said Vedder.

But Tomahawk's Wyatt Wenninger enjoys clearing the bar in the high jump.

"I can see it when I'm going over it and it just feels great knowing that you've just cleared something as high as you are," said Wenninger.

Another jumper from Prentice, Peyton Enders, appreciated seeing Wenninger clear 5'8".

"Someone like Wyatt, a different jumper, a different place and I get out jumped against him, it's just different competition," said Enders.

That different competition was pushing all three of them at the meet on Thursday night.

"It does push you a lot seeing someone clear the bar, you know the pressure's on. You've gotta do it but also stay calm at the same time," said Wenninger.

That goes back to why they enjoy the field events. Because sometimes on the first try, they don't make it.

"If you mess up the first time, you've always got another one, whereas if you run bad, you can't do anything about it," said Vedder.

Vedder took first place in the triple jump and long jump. And Wenninger took first in the high jump on Thursday.

Story By: Katie Leszcynski

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CRANDON - Usually when athletes make it to state, they go with their high school team. But one group from Crandon is a little bit different. 

The youth wrestling team, which is first through eighth grade, is sending five wrestlers to the state meet in Madison this weekend. That's the biggest group of wrestlers they've ever sent to the state meet. 

Crandon sixth grader Dylan Davis is already a state champion.

"I've been to state three times so I know what's going on and what's going to happen," said Davis.

So he's not too nervous about wrestling at the state meet in Madison this weekend. But for third grader Nolan Bradley, this will be his first time at the big meet.

"It's been my goal since I've been wrestling from the very start," said Bradley.

One of his coaches noticed that was his goal and has seen him put in the hard work.

"Last year, he was ok, but now this year, he's been a ton better and he's been more focused," said assistant coach John Doane.

Doane is a senior at Crandon. He reached his 100th career win this season. Those moves set an example for the younger kids.

"Look at the moves and do the moves and then we learn it and get better at it and we start to do it more," said Davis.

Doane says his favorite part about coaching is having someone look up to him. Not only is he there for the kids, the kids are also there for him.

"They wanted me to go to state more than they wanted to go to state. But then when I didn't make it, they wanted it more I think," said Doane.

And that shows now that five Cardinals are heading to state.

The meet starts on Friday at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison.

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THREE LAKES - Three Lakes girls soccer is unique for one simple reason: its existence.

"Honestly it's crazy to me that those other schools don't have it and that little Three Lakes does," said Three Lakes senior Grace Stefonik.

The Blue Jays offer the only girls soccer program of any school in the Northern Lakes Conference.

That's in part because of the sport's strong roots at the youth level in Three Lakes.

"I started playing soccer since I was four, maybe five," said sophomore Grace Ribbe.

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MINOCQUA - Every stride at a Lakeland Union track practice is a step toward another championship.

"One of my goals as a head coach was to be able to win a conference championship," said Lakeland Union Head Coach Kevin FitzPatrick.

FitzPatrick that goal has become the norm.

"We've managed to make that happen on multiple occasions here," said FitzPatrick.

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PHILLIPS - The Phillips powerlifting team makes the most out of what it has.

Just like Rocky in Rocky IV, the Phillips powerlifters don't have the fanciest of gyms.

"We kind of like to compare ourselves to the Rocky movies. Where he trains, and then where the Russian trains in these other gyms with all the high tech gadgets and the new equipment," said Phillips Powerlifting Coach Steve Mealman.

But these lifters don't seem to mind.

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Three Lakes - 101
Wittenberg-Birnamwood - 99
Rib Lake - 94
Chequamegon - 92.5
Northland Pines - 87. 5
Ashland - 86
Prentice - 28
Laona/Wabeno - 11

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TOMAHAWK - Four years ago, the Tomahawk Hatchets won just four softball games.

But then a new group of players joined the program as freshmen.

Now, as seniors, those Hatchets have their sights set on something special.

"I think when you set goals, you have to make them realistic, but you also have to reach for something," said Tomahawk Head Coach John Larson.

In 2018, the Tomahawk Hatchets are reaching further than they ever have before.

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RHINELANDER - Millions of people use a bow for hunting or target shooting across the United States. Right here in the Northwoods, kids have the chance to learn the sport at the YMCA.

"The key is to be teachable," says instructor Allen Raub.

At the YMCA of the Northwoods, that's all you need to learn how to shoot a bow.

"We provide the bows; we provide the arrows, the targets, all the equipment," said Raub.

While Raub provides the training. He says any kid can be successful at the sport.

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RHINELANDER - Here in the Northwoods, snow can stay on the ground well into the spring sports season. That means teams that rely on the outdoors for competition have to use indoor space for practice.

"It's obviously a scheduling nightmare, but we're utilizing the gym. We're utilizing our fitness center, [and] the hallways," said Rhinelander Activities Director Brian Paulson.

Track and field is one sport that's able to use that time indoors more easily.

"Baseball, softball, golf, they need indoor space, soccer, [and] they need indoor space when the snow is on the ground. For us, the hallway works. We can run in the hallway," said Rhinelander Track & Field Coach Aaron Kraemer.

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EAGLE RIVER - Each spring, Chuck Decker looks out at his derby track in Eagle River and thinks 'can we have another race?' 

Well this year, he tried it. The USSA series added a race at the Derby Track called "The Last Dance". 

Matt Schulz made the decision to retire from snowmobile racing. But when he heard there was a new race at the Derby Track, he wanted back in.

"They called it 'The Last Dance' and it kind of made me, it made sense for us to dig one of my old sleds out," said Schulz.

The Decker's are hoping this will be a yearly tradition, but it will be weather permitting. On Saturday, the sun was warm, but they were able to race one last time.

"The weather's been holding out and trails are even open so why not?" said Schulz.

Nick Van Strydonk is no stranger to the famous Derby Track. He races in the TLR series which ended last weekend. But he never says no to Eagle River.

"Try a bunch of stuff that you might not have wanted to try during the World Championship and it's another race �" that's what we do in the winter time, we race," said Van Strydonk.

Knowing Van Strydonk would be there was another motivation for Schulz to make a return.

"We didn't want Nick to come up here and just take it away so we wanted to come up and try and give him a run for his money," said Schulz.

Not many people can give Van Strydonk a run for his money, but Schulz came close. Nick took first and Matt took second on Saturday.

"All in all, I think it was a pretty successful season and we stayed uninjured, which is the big thing for me now," said Van Strydonk.

With no injuries, that meant he was able to take one "last dance".

"Any chance you get to run at Eagle River is kind of like a blessing," said Van Strydonk.

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MARSHFIELD - A few weeks ago, the Rhinelander High School boys hockey team won it's first playoff game since 2014.

This weekend the Hodags pee wee level team traveled down to Marshfield for the 3A 12U state tournament.

Rhinelander was one of eight teams to make it to the state tournament.

The Hodags lost nine to five to Sauk Prairie in the first round, but head coach Tom Roeser says the experience will help the players in the future.

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