By Parker Knox
Vermillion’s track teams were scheduled to compete yesterday (Thursday) in the Big 8 Conference meet at Harrisburg to ring down the curtain on an abbreviated regular season.
The Tanagers next compete back at Harrisburg again next Thursday in the regional meet, the last chance to qualify more athletes for the state meet May 24-25 in Lennox and Sioux Falls. First- and second-place athletes in all individual and relay events at the regional automatically qualify for the state classic.
As of Monday of this week, the Tanagers already had these state meet qualifiers:
Girls events: Maddie Lavin in the 1600- and 3200-meter runs; Mackenzie Huber in the pole vault.
Boys events: Austin Krier in the 800-meter run; Colin Olson in the 200- and 400-meter dashes; 1600-meter relay; 1600-meter medley relay. In the latter event Vermillion’s time of 3:42.00 is listed as second best in the state behind only Custer.
VHS sent some of its tracksters to Sioux Falls on a pair of miserable weather days Friday and Saturday, but there was one major triumph on Saturday. The Tanager boys’ medley relay team won that event at the Howard Wood Dakota Relays in a time of 3:42.24. Nathan Svendsen, J.T. Sorensen, Colin Olson and Austin Krier carried the mail to the finish line. It was the first time the Tanagers claimed a team title at Howard Wood since 1984.
On the girl’s side, the ladies Medley team sprinted to claim eighth place while running in the first preliminary heat. Also competing for the Tanagers were Mackenzie Huber and Maddie Lavin. Both girls met state qualifying standards.
Maddie broke Blair Gilkyson’s 2011, 3200 record running a time of 11:45.17. Mackenzie tied her best jump of the season with an 8’06.” Nate Ford and Dylan Fischbach competed in the 3200m race. Each ran/rolled in tough conditions. Dylan was the first South Dakota wheelchair athlete to compete against regular runners.
At the O’Gorman Invitational on Friday the medley team had also broken the tape first, winning in 3:45.93 with the same four men carrying the baton.
Also at the O’Gorman meet Nathan Samudzi placed fourth in the 100-meter dash in 00:11.53, and Nathan Ford placed fourth in the open-class 3200-meter run in 11:05.35.