RHINELANDER - This weekend, Rhinelander hosted the Hodag Challenge ski meet at the CAVOC ski trail. Sunday was warmer, but on Saturday, the cold temperatures pushed the meet back a few hours. But the cold didn't really bother any of the skiers, they were just happy to be racing.
"We're a winter sport and we ski outside. It's kind of expected that it's going to be cold," said Celestѐ Teichmiller from Lakeland Union.
When the girls race started at 11:00 A.M. on Saturday, Teichmiller wasn't fazed by the negative temperatures. And apparently the hundreds of other skiers weren't either.
"It was a lot warmer than we thought it was going to be," said Teichmiller.
Last year at the same meet, the weather was about the same. And that caused some not so pleasant side effects.
"Last year, there were quite a few injuries with frostbite," said Rhinelander's Alec Lowry.
So this year, organizers made each skier wear a hat. Another change was the course itself.
"There's a lot more rolling hills and it's just one big loop," said Lowry.
The course used to be two laps. Skiers say one lap was much better.
"It's psychologically harder to do two laps. You get done and you come right past the finish and you're like 'I'm only halfway, I can't do more'," said Lowry.
Skiers also enjoyed that Rhinelander kept the staggered start. They said it's better when skiers are more spread out.
"It gives me more time to concentrate on my form and what I'm going to conquer next," said Teichmiller.
And the Hodags knew exactly what they had to conquer throughout the course, since they're the ones that have groomed it all season.
"It's fun to know the course. It's definitely fun to come on and know where the big hills are," said Lowry.
And as a senior, Lowry enjoys seeing his young teammates improving.
"It's fun to see that they're getting better and better each year," said Lowry.
Lakeland Union's Mia Case won the girls event with Ashley Peterson also in the top five. On the boys side, Kieran Mullen came in first with Kav FitzPatrick behind him in fifth place for the T-Birds as well.