Ice Age’s Hannah Heider powers the downhill at the Hodag Challenge 5K Classical race in Rhinelander.

The Ice Age Nordic ski team traveled to Rhinelander last week end and joined 325 skiers and 16 teams from Wisconsin and Michigan to compete in two days of racing at the Hodag Challenge.

The Ice Age girls finished 10th overall, while the Boys placed 12th. Ashwaubenon won the boys division, while Lakeland Nordic from Minocqua took the Girls Team gold medal.

On Saturday, the teams skied a 5-kilometer skate race in falling snow after a brief overnight snowstorm. Wyatt Bennett led the boys team with a 47th-place finish, followed by Todd Niles (62nd) and Peyton Meyer (66th).

“Wyatt had a great race finishing in 20:48 in difficult conditions,” Ice age coach Dale Fanney said. “This is a prelude to the state meet. If he can continue to improve his times, there is a chance of finishing in the top 40.”

In the girls race, Amelia Heider finished 43rd, just 1 second ahead of teammate Norah Lee(44th). Hannah Heider placed 59th, followed by Anna Vanderhoef (60th) and Tori Falk (61st).

On Sunday, the skiers raced a 5-kilometer classical race in perfect conditions with the girls team dramatically improving their results. Amelia Heider finished 31st and improved overall to place 35th. Norah Lee finished 38th for the day and 37th overall, while Hannah Heider moved up 8 places to 51st.

In the Boys classical race, leader Wyatt Bennet finished 59th to drop to 55th overall, but teammate Todd Niles placed 51st to improve to 57th overall. Peyton Meyer and Nathan Ducat finished 10 seconds apart finishing 60th and 61st overall.

“Altogether, this was a great weekend of racing experience for our team against the best skiers in the Wisconsin and Michigan,” Fanney said. “I’m expecting a significant improvement in our state meet results in three weeks.”

This week, Ice Age will ski a 6-kilometer skate race at the Iola Norsemen Invitational.

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