Rhinelander swimmer Makenna Winnicki state bound Submitted: 11/07/2018
Rhinelander swimmer Makenna Winnicki state bound
RHINELANDER - Northwoods schools will be represented in every single event at the state swim meet on Friday.

In the past few days we've mentioned the success from Tomahawk, Medford and Merrill.

Now Rhinelander wishes they were sending more than just one swimmer to Madison, but sophomore 
Makenna Winnicki will represent the Hodags on Friday.

"It's really rewarding seeing that all my hard work has had a good outcome," Winnicki said.

For Winnicki, a good outcome means qualifying for the state swim meet for the second year in a row.

"It's exciting knowing that I am going back and that I am qualified in two events also," Winnicki said.

The sophomore will compete in the 100-yard butterfly and 500 yard- freestyle events. But getting the chance to race, wasn't easy. 

"It's been a hard road, lots of working hard and focusing on just being tough in the workouts," Winnicki said.

Winnicnki credits her head coach and teammates for pushing her so hard.

"She's continued to get faster and better. She was very versatile in a lot of her events," said Rhinelander Swim coach Jenny Heck.

That versatility has gotten her to the podium all season, but doing the same thing at state will require a different strategy.

"This is fast year with, some fast freshmen coming in. So I am just going to focus on swimming my fastest and working my hardest," Winnicki said.

It's a strategy head coach Jenny Heck knows Winnicki can achieve.

"Get a little bit faster, you know go after it, race someone, try to beat someone and maintain position," Heck said.

And the swimmer knows her dedication hasn't gone unnoticed.

"Hard work really does pay off in the end," Winnicki said.

Winnicki told WJFW that a few of her teammates get to tag along with her to the meet to cheer her on.

The Division Two meet will get underway on Friday at 2:30 pm starting with the diving competition at the UW-Madison Natatorium. Winnicki will compete at 6:30 pm in the swimming timed finals.

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