RHINELANDER - High school and middle school cross country skiers spent the weekend competing in Rhinelander for the annual Ascension Northwoods Nordic Hodag Challenge.
The two-day event attracted teams from more than 10 different schools across Wisconsin, and some schools from Michigan.
Head Coach for Rhinelander Nordic Charil Reis said her team spent a lot of time hitting the trails thanks to the generosity of mother nature.
"We've been blessed with a lot of snow this year, so we haven't had to do a lot of indoor type of practice," said Reis.
Rhinelander Nordic senior captain Breckin Younker said his team made an effort to improve each season.
"Each year we have been slowly climbing up the ladder," said Younker. "We have been doing much better than years past."
This year Rhinelander Nordic Boys placed 9th out of 12 teams on their home course.
That's one place up from last year's Hodag Challenge, where they placed 10th overall.
Senior Jaylen Janssen said she credits her coaching staff for the team's progress in recent years.
"I have been skiing for three years and I appreciate all the work the coaches have put in," said Janssen.
Last year the Rhinelander Girls finished in last place, but this year they made the jump to the 8th spot.
Coach Reis hopes her athletes use their challenging home course to their advantage.
"This is the hardest course that they'll ski all season, but they'll have lessons learned here from
climbing all those hills going into the rest of the season."