Four Vermillion cross-country athletes earned the opportunity to compete in the state meet when they placed in the top 20 of their respective races at the regional meet in Beresford last week.
Running at the state event in Rapid City Saturday will be freshman Blair Gilkyson and senior Sophie Nehlich-Arobba in the girls' race and juniors Alex Card and Robert Osterberg in the boys' race. It is the first time at the state meet for all of them except Gilkyson, who qualified last year as an eighth grader.
"These kids ran excellent races, and all had personal best times," Coach Kelly Fischbach said. "It was a great day time-wise for all of our runners as most of them had their best times of the year. I am very proud of all of our kids."
Gilkyson finished third in the girls' varsity 4K race in a time of 15:36.94. Nehlich-Arobba placed 13th in 15:52.01.
Card placed eighth in 17:33.37 in the boys' 5K varsity event while Osterberg was 19th in 17:58.88.
On the down side Fischbach said she was "heartbroken for Ashley Brunick, who has battled injury all season. She gave her all, and we tried to get her to step off the course to protect herself, but she was determined to finish. That determination is what makes her successful, but I really feel for her."
Morgan Hower, who qualified for state last season, placed 33rd in 17:00.54, Jade Fostvedt was 46th in 17;54.07, Jackie Hulse finished 52nd in 18:05.53 and Brunick was 60th in 19:31.56.
Other VHS placings in the boys' varsity race were Nathan Ford, 33rd in 18;37.49; Jason Rasmussen, 45th in 20:09.12; Matthew Hirsch, 46th in 20:11.07 and Seth Miller, 47th in 20:13.53
As a team Vermillion was sixth in both boys' and girls' standings. Lennox won the boys' team title, and West Central, with four runners among the top 10, won the girls' title.
Vermillion had these JV girls places: Jonna Lynch 13th, Jana Bye 14th, Cassie Donahoe 24th, Ashley Sorensen 26th, Britney Sweeney 28th and Caitlin Britten 46th. In the boys' JV race Micah Rarick had a strong third-place finish, followed by Ryun Fischbach 12th, Colin Olson 18th, Derek Iverson 25th, Kevin Helenurm 26th and Joe Swanson 35th.