Gilkyson, Card shine at state cross country meet

Finishes among the top 10 runners in the state in the Class "A" girls' race for sophomore Blair Gilkyson and in the top 25 in the boys' event for senior Alex Card in his last race as a Tanager highlighted Vermillion's participation in the state cross country meet at Huron Saturday.

Gilkyson blazed to eighth place in a time of 15:57.82.

"Blair ran a very smart race," said Coach Kelly Fischbach.  "She got out with the first pack, then gradually moved closer to the front.  It is quite an accomplishment to finish in the top 10 at the state meet, and she is establishing herself as one of the top distance runners in the state."

Vermillion's other contestant in the girls' division, senior Ashley Brunick, placed 51st in a 17:00.27 clocking.  "Ashley also ran a strong race," Fischbach noted.  "This was a nice finish to her high school career."

The girls' champion was Britton-Hecla's Kelsey Barrett in 15:09.72, and Garretson won the team championship.

Card toured the Broadland golf course in a time of 18:00.27 to earn 24th place.  He steadily moved up all through the race, then put himself in position to pass several runners in the final 500 meters to claim a medal.

The Tanagers had qualified their entire boys' team, and the top four finishers or "counters" gave Vermillion 161 team points for a 10th-place standing.  

Sophomore Nathan Ford placed 61st in 18:56.32; senior Robert Osterberg 70th in 19:11.62; sophomore Matt Hirsch 78th in 19:16.22; sophomore Will Card 108th in 19:54.32, and sophomore Colin Olson 119th in 20:19.72.  

Ford, Osterberg and Hirsch all beat several runners who had finished ahead of them at the previous week's regional meet, and Will Card and Olson also had good performances for their first state meets.

"There is a lot of potential for success with this core group of sophomores back for two more years of competition," Fischbach said.

The boys' state champ was Dysan Lends His Horse, junior from Cheyenne-Eagle Butte, in a winning time of 16:19.67, as he led his team to the state team title.

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