By Parker Knox
Give ‘em a decent day and they will perform!
That applied to the Vermillion track team and thinclads from every other area school who at the end of last week were finally the benefactors of spring weather conducive to running, jumping and throwing. In the Tanagers’ case it was at the 1st Dakota Relays in Yankton where the interrupted track season resumed.
For Coach Lenni Billberg’s Tanager girls squad, seventh-grader Maddie Lavin qualified for the state meet with a fifth-place time of 5:26.80 in the 1600-meter run, and Mackenzie Huber in her first meet this spring qualified with an 8’6” pole vault and a tie for sixth place.
Megan Olson missed state qualifying in the 800 by a hair and finished ninth in 2:31.90 as she ran that race for the first time. Tanager relay teams placed fourth in the 4×800 in 10:59.60 and fourth in the sprint medley relay in 4:40.40.
Vermillion’s best finish at the Yankton meet came on the boys’ side from Colin Olson, who sped to second place in the 400 in a state-qualifying time of :51.40. Austin Krier also qualified with a sixth-place time of 2:03.30 in the 800.
The Tanager 4×400-meter relay quartet of Krier, J.T. Sorensen, Nathan Svendsen and Olson placed third in 3:32.40, earning a spot at the state meet in their event. In Svendsen’s case it was his first adventure on the track as a Tanager trackster.
Sorensen placed sixth in the 400 with a personal-best time of :53.60. Alex Robertson tied for seventh in the high jump at 5’8”.
A Vermillion highlight in the sophomore division of the meet was Hailey Friedel’s second place in the 100-meter dash.
Dylan Fischbach qualified for nationals in wheelchair track events in the 100, 400 and 3200. In the case of the latter event, it was Fischbach’s first attempt at racing at that distance, and he rolled that long distance in 11:03.60.
Despite the day’s successes, Billberg said what was most important was that “we were finally back on the track.” She said it felt as if it was the first meet of the season all over again.
Some Tanager tracksters will be at the O’Gorman Invitational in Sioux Falls today (Friday) and at the Howard Wood Dakota Relays today and Saturday as well as at the Big 8 Conference meet in Harrisburg next Thursday.