VHS cross country teams compete in Madison meet by Jim Prosser On a hot and humid day nine schools were represented at the Madison "Earlybird" meet, Friday Aug. 24, with competition in both boys' and girls' divisions, varsity, and JV.
First runner across the finish line was Vermillion's Eric Dehner with a time of 15:58. No team points were kept, but other Tanager placers in the top 20 were: Tyler Brown seventh; Justin Manning 13th; Ben Parsons 16th; Craig Powell 18th; and A.J. Manning 21st.
Also placing at number 36 and 37 were Dan Ring and Mitch Bierle. Geng Wang was 52nd and Wilbur Lio was 53rd. Ben Williams placed 57th.
For the girls, Sarah Spencer from Sioux Falls Lincoln was first and Tanager placers were: Michelle Rasmussen fourth; Megan Griffith 9th; and Morgan Brooks 16th.
Following at 25th and 27th were Katie Dehner and Nicki Mollet, respectively. Emily Pier and Tara Dehner were at 32nd and 34th, while Sarah Plate was 39th and Lindsey Iverson finished 47th.
The JV competition was a combined relay of two boys and two girls, each participant running 1250 meters.
Finishing for Vermillion were: Tom Dendinger (11:26) and Anish Patel (11:35); Penny Decker (12:20) and Megan Bedard (11:37).
The schools competing were: Arlington, Garretson, Harrisburg, Howard, Madison, Sioux Falls Lincoln, Sioux Valley, Vermillion and West Central. While Lincoln dominated the meet, the Tanagers gave a good account of themselves in both divisions.
"Both the boys' and girls' teams ran well for the first meet of the year," said coach Josh Roberts. "All of our athletes competed, whether they were up front or near the back, they each fought to the finish, and that's what I like to see.
"Cross-country is a sport where you need some heart and everyone showed that in this meet," he continued. "I'm very pleased with where we are at this time. We still have a lot of work to do and our athletes demonstrated we can have a promising season if we can stay healthy."