Tanager cross country opens with excellent showing

Vermillion's girls finished second while the boys placed third among 21 teams in an excellent showing in the season-opening Beresford invitational cross-country meet Friday.

The one-two punch of Blair Gilkyson and Ashley Brunick gave Vermillion's girls the fifth and sixth places in the girls' 4,000-meter varsity event in respective times of 16:38 and 16:40.

"They worked well together," said Coach Kelly Fischbach.  "It was nice to have them both healthy at the same time, something we didn't have at all last season."

Morgan Hower placed 31st in 18:33, Alyssa Soesbe 41st in 19:01 and Jana Bye 56th in 20:22.  "All three had nice performances," Fischbach added.  "Jana was much improved over last year, and Alyssa did a nice job for her first varsity race."

Alex Card, who ran a great race at the regional on the same course a year ago, began his senior season with a fifth-place time of 18:44 in the boys varsity 5,000-meter run.

Nathan Ford, 26th in 19:51, and Robert Osterberg, 37th in 20:25, had solid efforts but both hope to move up in the standings.  Matt Hirsch, 39th in 20:36, had by far the best race of his career.

Other Tanager placers were Will Card, 41st in 20:42; Aaron Ruhaak, 42nd in 20:48; Colin Olson, 56th in 21:30, and Seth Miller, 63rd in 21:59.  "Will showed great leadership for his first varsity race," Fischbach noted.  "Aaron and Colin, who are great 400-meter runners on our track team, really competed well in their first varsity competition, and Seth was also solid in his season debut."

Vermillion results in the girls 3,000-meter JV race were:  Jackie Hulse, ninth, 14:07; Jade Fostvedt, 14th, 14:30; Ashley Sorensen, 22nd, 14:52; Maddie Mockler, 36th, 15:32, and McKenzie Huska, 52nd, 17:49.  In the JV boys 3,000-meter run these were the Tanager placers:  Regan Bye, 14th, 12:24; Nash Wergin, 27th, 13:10; Chris Weber, 31st, 13:29; Kevin Helenurm, 32nd, 13:29.75; Joe Swanson, 34th, 13:33; Joe Mazour, 38th, 13:40; Phillipi Erikson, 41st, 13:42.

Britney Sweeney was 28th in 15:43 and Shelby Glover 46th in 17:10 in the middle school girls 3,000-meter event.  Joe Miller placed 12th in 13:37 in the middle school boyis 3,000-meter run.

The Tanagers will be part of the Don Baker meet on the USD course today at 4 p.m.

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