High schools from Sioux Falls, Sioux City, Omaha and Luverne, MN, provided a short-handed Vermillion track team with plenty of "AA" competition at the Dan Lennon season-opening track meet in the DakotaDome Monday afternoon.
With several varsity team members away at the state student council convention in Pierre, Coach Lenni Billberg filled in roster spots with young underclassmen. "We are really happy with how the meet went for us," Billberg told the Press & Dakotan after the meet. "The kids ended up competing well, I think."
Cody Olson's eighth-place finish in the 400-meter run was the Tanager boys' team's only place of the meet. His time was :54.50.
On the girls' side Sarah Day placed sixth in the 400 in 1:04.04, and Blair Gilkyson claimed seventh place in the 800-meter run in 2:33.44.
"We got to run with the big dogs, and our kids competed as best as they could," Billberg said. "The freshmen showed us something and that some of them could be at this level."
The Tanagers, if the good weather holds, will have plenty of chances to compete against schools closer in size to their own next week. On Tuesday they will run, jump and throw in Elk Point-Jefferson's meet at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, April 8, will see Vermillion High's own invitational meet starting at 2:30 p.m. at the high school track. Two days later the VHS athletes compete in an 11 a.m. meet at Dakota Valley.