Tanager cross-country athletes prepared for today's Region 3A meet in Vermillion by competing at the Big 8 Conference meet last Friday at the Bakker's Crossing golf course in Sioux Falls, and they all had to contend with horrendous wind to reach their respective finish lines.
Nathan Ford had Vermillion's race of the day, finishing second among the 28 runners in the boys varsity event in a time of 17:38.
"He led for awhile, fell back as far as fourth but battled back to second by the halfway point," said Coach Kelly Fischbach. "It is so much fun to see him go out and race as he has been doing this season."
Jacob Ford broke the 19-minute barrier for the first time in his young career and placed 20th in the process in 18:57. Joe Swanson placed 27th in 20:29.
Shorthanded to begin with, the Tanagers saw Colin Olson go down with an injury about a mile into the race and thus were not able to compete for the team title.
In the girls varsity race Morgan Hower ran her best time of the season by almost 40 seconds and finished 16th in 16:40. The Tanagers then had a quartet of runners together at the back of the pack—Britney Sweeney, 24th place, 18:176; Caitlin Britten, 25th, 18:30; Jaida Anderson, 26th, 19:25, and Jonna Lynch, 27th, 19:52.
Blair Gilkyson started that race but was experiencing some discomfort, so Fischbach pulled her off the course in the hope she would be ready to run in today's regional where state meet contestants will be determined.
Vermillion had three men in the JV boys race, and all finished in the top dozen among 30 runners. Regan Bye was fifth in 14:45, Nate Svendsen 11th in 15:27, and Alex Osborne 12th in 15:30. Fischbach said these athletes may be called upon to run on the varsity squad if everyone there isn't healthy.
In the JV girls race Jade Fostvedt was 17th in 20:01 and Heidi Osterberg 23rd in 26:45.
Owen Swallow broke 11 minutes for the first time as he placed third in the middle school boys race in 10:58. "He is really hitting his stride here at the end of the season," Fischbach said. "He has made huge improvements through the season."
Runners who qualify out of today's regional advance to the state meet, which will be run in Sioux Falls on Oct. 22.