VHS track battles Mother Nature, competes in 2 meets

By Parker Knox
Sportswriter

The Vermillion High track teams, facing challenges from the weather man this week, got in two meets in the first week of the season – one in cold weather and one on a relatively nice day – and already there is a Tanager athlete qualified for the state meet at the end of May.
The Tanagers had two individual champions and one winning relay team as the VHS Booster Club hosted its annual meet last Thursday. Colin Olson is already assured of state meet participation in the 200-meter dash as his third-place time of :23.10 meets the qualifying standard.
Maddie Lavin won the girls 1600-meter run in 5:43.20, and Nick Jensen edged a duo of Dakota Valley stars to win the boys discus with a heave of 143 feet, beating the Panthers’ Jason Lupkes by a foot and Taylor Lambert by just over three feet. Jensen nearly had another win but placed second behind Lambert in the shot put. Jensen’s toss was 49 feet, and Lambert won at 53’3”.
The relay title for Vermillion came in the girls 1600-meter sprint medley where Paige Olson, Sydney Peters, Megan Olson and Lavin strode to victory in 4:39.70, topping runner-up Lennox by 11 full seconds.
The VHS girls accumulated 30.5 points to place seventh, and the boys had 47 points to place fifth. Harrisburg won both team titles with 140.5 boys points and 143 points on the girls’ side.
Other team points for the VHS girls came from Hailey Friedel, fourth in the 100 in :13.80 and tied for sixth in the 400 in 1:08; the 4×400 relay team, fourth in 4:30.10, and the 4×200 team, fifth in 1:56.70.
Alex Robertson earned team points for the VHS boys, tying for fourth in the high jump at 5’6” and placing fifth in the long jump at 17’7”. Nathan Ford placed fifth in the 3200 with an 11:08.70 clocking. The Tanagers also had second-place relay teams in the 4×100 (:47.50) and the 4×200 (1”:39.40).
Dylan Fischbach’s times in wheelchair events were :18.10 in the 100-meter dash, :34.90 in the 200, 1:17.10 in the 400, and 2:39.73 in the 800.

At Elk Point-Jefferson’s Husky Invitational on April 2, Austin Krier of VHS emerged as the 800-meter run champion with a 2:04.09 time. Colin Olson and Nick Jensen each placed in two events. Olson grabbed second place in the 200 in :23.36 and third in the 400 in :52.65. Jensen was second in the shot put at 49’2” and third in the discus at 140’3”.

Alex Robertson took second with a high jump of 5’10”. J.T. Sorensen ran fifth in the 400 in :54.35, Nate Ford was fifth in the 34200 in 11:12.32, and Chris Pollema was sixth in the 110-meter hurdles in :19.22. A Tanager relay team finished fifth in the 3200-meter event in 9:38.03.

The only individual placing for the VHS girls’ squad was Maddie Lavin with a third in the 1600 in 5:34.67. VHS girls relay teams were second in the medley in 4:36.40, fourth in the 1600 in 4:38.60, and fourth in the 3200 in 12:02.83.

A unique exhibition event called the quadrathon was part of the EP-J meet. Athletes compete in an unusual combination of events—the 200, the 400, the shot put and the long jump. Colin Olson placed second, just one point shy of first place, and J.T. Sorensen was third. Sorensen actually had the same number of points as Olson, but Olson’s wins in the 200 and 400 gave him a tiebreak advantage. Megan Olson finished fifth in the girls’ quadrathon.

At the season-opening Dan Lennon meet inside the DakotaDome, Olson placed third in the 400 in :52.57, and Fischbach rolled the 1500-meter distance in 4:52.17 in his wheelchair event.

The next meet on the VHS track schedule is at Lennox next Thursday.

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