By Parker Knox
Vermillion's boys varsity team, top to bottom, ran their best races of the season last Friday on the hometown Don Baker course as the Tanagers hosted some tough competition for the Vermillion Invitational.
Sioux City Bishop Heelan won team titles in boys' and girls' divisions. The Heelen boys had 16 points, Ethan-Parkston 31, South Sioux City 41, VHS 55 and West Sioux 102. On the girls' side Heelan had 13, South Sioux City 37 and Vermillion 41.
Alec DeVries of Bishop Heelan was the boys' champion with a 16:57 time in the 5K race. Nathan Ford continued to lead the Tanager boys by example with a fourth-place 18:13. Jacob Ford, Colin Olson and Matthew Hirsch placed 16th, 17th and 18th, respectively, in times of 20:11, 20:21 and 20:34. Logan Peterson was 20th in 21:10 and Joe Swanson 24th in 21:32.
Vermillion's Madisen Lavin earned second place in the girls varsity 4K in 16:39 behind Heelan's champion, Lindsay Joyce, at 16:04. Madisen Martinez was 16th in 18:28, Britney Sweeney 21st in 19:38, Jade Fostvedt 27th in 20:46, Tiana Blacketa 28th in 21:13 and Morgan Hower 31st in 21:43.
In the mixed 4K race for junior varsity runners, Will Donahoe was 16th among the boys in 20:35. Tanager girls' times included Caitlen Britten, eighth in 21:34; Alexis Reich, 10th in 22:21; Ashley Sorensen, 14th in 24:12; Heidi Osterberg, 19th in 24:55, and Chelsea Gilbertson, 20th in 28:02.
The weather continued to be cool, beautiful and perfect for running Monday at the Alcester-Hudson meet where Nathan Ford again was high in the standings. Parker's Duane Jongeling was the predictable champion in 15:51. Ford's time was 17:02.
Jacob Ford ran one of the best races of his career, according to Coach Kelly Fischbach, in placing 18th in 18:09. Colin Olson was 30th in 19:14, Logan Peterson 33rd in 19:21 and Matthew Hirsch 37th in 19:28.
"We had some young kids really step up and run well," Fischbach said, "and we need them to continue to do that to be successful."
Madisen Lavin also earned Vermillion a third by running 16:05 in the girls varsity event. Canton's Halie McMain was the winner in 15:25. Other Tanager times were Madison Martinez in 17:44 for 24th place, Britney Sweeney 19:36 for 37th, Jade Fostvedt 20:17 for 41st and Morgan Hower 21:32 for 43rd.
In the JV girls race Caitlin Britten placed 30th in 17:34, Heidi Osterberg 25th in 20:12 and Chelsea Gilbertson 36th in 21:06. Will Donahue placed 41st in the boys JV race in 21:06.
Tanager runners will be at the Lennox Invitational next Friday, Sept. 28, for their next competition.