Tanagers win State A track crown By Jeremy Hoeck
Yankton Press & Dakotan The last two years had provided the same result for the Vermillion girlsâ�?�? track team: Second-place finishes to St. Thomas More. Yet, in 2008, the Tanagers found a way to edge the Cavaliers and win the schoolâ�?�?s first-ever girls state team title. Vermillion held off St. Thomas More 60-56 Saturday in Sioux Falls at the Class A state meet. â�?�?Itâ�?�?s just really neat to finally climb the hump,â�? said Vermillion coach Jim McGuire, moments after his team was honored at the award stand. â�?�?The girls put in the time and effort to get to this point. I couldnâ�?�?t be prouder and happier for them.â�? Last year, Vermillion senior Alicia Brown won four individual events, but the Tanagers were unable to overcome the Cavaliers. And this year, Brown won one individual race (400-meter dash) but was a member of two winning relays for Vermillion. To win the title, it took a true team effort. â�?�?We all wanted to win a championship, and now it came true,â�? Brown said. â�?�?In the last two years, we knew what it took to get that high. Now we finally got there and weâ�?�?re so excited.â�? Brown, headed to The University of South Dakota to play basketball, won her fourth-straight 400-meter dash title and later finished second in the 200-meter dash â�?�? behind Gregoryâ�?�?s Alexa Duling. Brown also anchored the 400- and 800-meter relays for Vermillion, but it was the Tanagersâ�?�? third-place finish in the 1600-meter sprint medley that likely put Vermillion over the hump in total team points. â�?�?When we got the four-by-two, I thought â�?�?Weâ�?�?re going to get it done,â�?�?â�? McGuire said. â�?�?Our medley relay definitely put us over the top, especially with the 200 coming up.â�? It was in that 200-meter dash where Brown faced off against long-time nemeis Duling, Gregoryâ�?�?s senior leader. Dulingâ�?�?s victory over Brown in 25.82 was her fourth individual title of the meet â�?�? solidifying her as the Class A Outstanding Performer. Duling, also headed to The University of South Dakota where sheâ�?�?ll run track, won the 100 and 200-meter dashes and the 100 and 300-meter hurdles. After battling Brown on the track, she said her attempts at convincing the Vermillion senior to run track havenâ�?�?t worked. â�?�?I tried talking her into doing track, but she wants to stick with basketball,â�? said a smiling Duling. â�?�?We could have a killer relay squad if she did. Thatâ�?�?d be cool to be her teammate, instead of racing against her.â�? With only two Gregory girls competing the state tournament, Dulingâ�?�?s performance single-handily earned the Gorillas a fourth-place finish in the team standings with 40 points. â�?�?Our goal was to come away with a top-four finish,â�? she said. â�?�?So, we did what we wanted to.â�? Parkston senior Kelli Fiegen won the girlsâ�?�? discus for the second-straight year with a toss of 137-feet, 8-inches, defeating Beresfordâ�?�?s Alyssa Henrichs by nearly 10 feet. Fiegenâ�?�?s toss was just short of her personal best of 139-10. â�?�?I thought itâ�?�?d be harder because of the wind and cold, but it worked out well,â�? she said. â�?�?But it was a really slow season because of the weather. Our first three meets got cancelled, so we were used to this.â�? In the girlsâ�?�? 1600-meter run, Bon Homme eighth-grader Tara Ronke led with one lap to go, but finished second to Leola/Frederickâ�?�?s Mikayla Barondeau. Still, it was quite an improvement for Ronke, who finished eighth in the same event last year. â�?�?I tried to get out fast, but then I saw her go by me,â�? she said of this yearâ�?�?s run. â�?�?I get nervous easily, so before, I was trying to calm myself down. I was excited to get second, but Iâ�?�?m glad itâ�?�?s done.â�? The Elk Point-Jefferson girls 1600-meter sprint medley squad of Rachel Fehr, Chrissy Strassburg, Hannah Wilkinson and Anna Erickson finished first in 4:24.67. With that performance, the Huskies finished fifth (38 points) in the girlsâ�?�? team standings. On the boysâ�?�? side, Parkston finished third with 40 points behind the performances of Luke Leischner and Alex Muntefering. Leischner took second in the 400-meter dash, while Muntefering finished second in the 1600-meter run. In the 1600, Muntefering was first coming down the home stretch but Hot Springsâ�?�? Eamin Entwisle used a strong finish to win the event. â�?�?I remember getting boxed in, but that happens,â�? said Muntefering, who won the 800-meter run Friday in Madison. â�?�?With like 250 to go, I felt my legs tighten up and the wind just hit me. â�?�?I couldnâ�?�?t do my classic push at the end,â�? he added, with a smile. â�?�?I didnâ�?�?t have any juice left.â�? For the senior to even be running on the final day of the state meet is remarkable, considering he nearly lost his left foot in a February 2007 farming accident. â�?�?It wasnâ�?�?t quite what I hoped, but how can I be disappointed?â�? he said, recapping the state meet. â�?�?I never even expected to be back at this level.â�? Sioux Falls Christian won the boysâ�?�? team title with 69 points, followed by Lennox (51), Parkston (40), Garretson (35) and Custer (32).
Memorial Day services will be celebrated Monday, May 27, at the Vermillion Public Library. The program, hosted by Veterans of … Read Article