Short of the state meet itself, Vermillion's cross-country runners may not face all season a field of competitors as strong as that which showed up for the Don Baker Memorial Invitational last Friday.
Sioux Falls Roosevelt boys dominated the varsity race, taking the five top places and seven of the first eight, then Irene-Wakonda claimed five of the next eight slots. In the girls varsity event Crofton's perennial state champions had six of the top 11 runners, and Grand Island had two of the top seven.
Coach Kelly Fischbach said her varsity boys ran well against the tough field. Nathan Ford was 21st in 19:07.31 and Will Card 22nd in 19:17.35 to lead the Tanagers. Colin Olson placed 32nd in 20:58.36, and Jacob ford was 33rd in 21:14.66. The race was won by Roosevelt's Tanner Ahrendt with a 16:27.48 clocking.
The girls varsity event saw Roosevelt's Alex Huss claim top honors in 15:28.68. Vermillion's best was Morgan Hower in 28th place in 19:19.78. Jade Fostvedt was 30th in 21:01.43 and Jonna Lynch 32nd in 22:31.07.
Fischbach said she was especially pleased with her JV boys contestants. Jon Rosales placed eighth in 16:29.21 and Logan Peterson 11th in 17:00.18 to lead the way for VHS. Joe Swanson placed 15th in 17:37.69 and Owen Swallow 17th in 18:36.18.
Among the JV girls Britney Sweeney was 18th in 15:15.81, Caitlin Britten right behind her in 15:21.02 and Heidi osterberg 21st in 18:49.30.
The VHS runners are idle this weekend, pending their own invitational meet on Sept. 16.