Tanager Track, Field Team Gets Season Underway By Parker Knox
Sportswriter Vermillion's track and field teams got an early jump on the season indoors Monday, and if weather permits, they will be outdoors three times in the next week. The Tanagers are scheduled at the Dakota Valley Invitational at 11 a.m. Saturday, at the Elk Point-Jefferson Invitational Monday at 3:30 p.m. and at the VHS Booster Club's Early Bird Invitational at home next Thursday at 2:30. For the VHS girls last season's team will be a tough act to follow, and Coach Lenni Billberg, who is head mentor of both girls and boys teams this spring, realizes it. "Last season was a fairy tale year for the Tanagers," she said. "The girls' efforts at Howard Wood Field on two blustery days in May laid a foundation we hope to build on. Graduation took a toll on our ranks, but we return a number of state placewinners as well as the hard work it takes for success at season's end." Billberg said the girls' team will be led by Kayla Munger, Hannah Nehlich-Arobba, Sophie Nehlich-Arobba, Morgan Erickson and Ashley Brunick. "These girls have set the tone early this year for intense workouts and a readiness to compete," Billberg observed. "We look forward to hitting the track in competition." As with the girls, the Tanager boys are doing a bit of rebuilding work this season, but the group that remains, according to Billberg, is dedicated to performing at their highest potential. "Our leaders this season include Wyatt Hunter, a preseason favorite in the boys' shot put; Mike Oberle, a multi-state relay placewinner, and Greg Anderson, a guy who lays it all on the track in each race," Billberg said. "Newcomers to track and field who might also play a part for the Tanagers are Cody Olson and Chris Sargent." In the Class "A" portion of the Dan Lennon Invitational at the DakotaDome Monday, Wyatt Hunter was Vermillion's only points scorer, picking up a seventh place in the shot with a best heave of 47'7". One of the highlights of the day was Vermillion eighth grader Dylan Fischbach powering his wheelchair to the finish line in the boys' 400-meter dash, completing the distance in 1:57.90. Other VHS times at the Dan Lennon: Boys Events 60m dash prelims: Cody Olson 39th, 7.75; Chris Sargent 43rd, 7.80; Dandre Ford 54th, 8:05; Andrew McCann 56th, 8:08. 800m run: Carson Sullivan 22nd, 2:19.61; Tanner Anderson 33rd, 2:24.88. 1600m run: Bennet Johnson 32nd, 5:25.06. 3200m run: Robert Osterberg 29th, 11:54.58; Micah Rarick 35th, 13:31.09. 4x400m relay: VHS 12th, 3:54.66. 4x200m relay: VHS 19th, 1:44.72. 1600m medley relay: VHS 17th, 4:09.65. Girls Events 60m dash prelims: Emma Getzin 57th, 9.88. 60m hurdles prelims: Carlee Sorensen 41st, 12:32. 800m run: Sophie Nehlich-Arobba 16th, 2:41.97; Hannah Nehlich-Arobba 34th, 2:49.09. 400m dash: Morgan Erickson 21st, 1:07.80. 3200m run: Morgan Hower 20th, 13:57.04; Jade Fostvedt 26th, 14:30.79; Jonna Lynch 32nd, 15:34.16. 4x400m relay: VHS 10th, 4:34.06. 4x200m relay: VHS 22nd, 2:04.28. 1600m medley relay: VHS 13th, 4:46.87.