Tanagers host cross country invitational by Jim Prosser Only four schools were represented at the Vermillion invitational cross country meet, Friday, Sept. 14 with competition in both varsity and junior varsity boys' and girls' divisions.
Team points for the participants in the boys' varsity division were: Vermillion 14; West Sioux 24; Elk Point-Jefferson 48; and Dakota Valley 73. The first runner across the finish line was Vermillion's Eric Dehner with a time of 16:54 on the old golf course complex.
Other finishers were: Tyler Brown � third; Justin Manning � fourth; Ben Parsons � sixth; Craig Powell � ninth; and Dan Ring � 15th.
For the varsity girls, team points were: West Sioux 17; Vermillion 19; and Dakota Valley 54. Kayla Weerhiem (WS) came in first with a 16:46 time. Tanager placers were: Michelle Rasmussen � second (16:58); Kayla Nelson fourth; Morgan Brooks � fifth; Katie Dehner � eighth; Angie Rydell � 10th; Nicki Mollet � 15th; Tera Dehner � 17th and Emily Pier � 18th.
In the boys' junior varsity division, there were 21 entries with Andrew Manning leading a first place finish for the team with a time of 15:01. Other Tanager placers were: Mitch Bierle � third; Wilber Lio � fourth; Gong Wong � sixth; Ben Williams � ninth; Thomas Dendinger � 17th; and Anish Patel � 20th. There were no team points kept in the JV divisions.
The five Tanager entrants in the girls JV division placed fifth thru ninth � Teresa Ring, Lindsay Isaacson, Sarah Plate, Megan Bedard and Penny Decker.
There also was a middle school division for boys and Danny Redlin placed seventh out of 18 runners.
Coach Josh Roberts gave credit to the top four boys and top three girls in the varsity races.
"All had very good runs and it's hard to pick an outstanding athlete this week because we ran well as a team," he said. "We had a fun meet today as the kids loved running a true cross country race."
The team members set up hay bales to hurdle, and the rain added some muddy areas which made for some great pictures.
"The boys ran as a team and packed together through the first mile resulting in the time gap between first and fourth improving from 1:45 to 1:15. The more we can close that gap, the better we will be," Roberts said. "Also, the varsity girls ran much better today as they just went out and had fun competing. We can't worry about what everyone else is doing; we just have to go out and run our own race."
The team is entered in the Yankton Invitational on Thursday, Sept. 20.