By Parker Knox
In addition to athletes who had already qualified for the state track meet by meeting in-season standards, Vermillion gained a quartet of additional qualifiers from the Region 4A meet in Harrisburg last Thursday.
Those four were the boys’ 4×100-meter relay team, which, though placing third, still qualified for state by meeting the qualifying time. Carrying the baton for VHS in that race were Jeremiah Johnson, J.T. Sorensen, Alex Robertson and Colin Olson.
In boys’ events Vermillion had three regional championship finishes. Colin Olson, who had already qualified for state in the 400-meter dash, nevertheless won that event in a best time of :50.10. The 4×400 relay team of Austin Krier, Sorensen, Nathan Svendsen and Olson won their event in 3:31.20, and the sprint medley relay quartet of Svendsen, Robertson, Johnson and Krier were regional champs in 3:46.80. VHS had already qualified for state in both of those relays.
Mackenzie Huber won the girls’ pole vault in the regional meet with an 8’0” best leap. She had already qualified for state with an 8’6” jump during the regular season. Maddie Lavin placed second in the 1600-meter run in 5:28.80, which meant automatic qualification, but she too had already earned a berth at the state meet earlier.
Lavin will also run in the 3200-meter run, and Vermillion’s girls’ medley relay team will as well, having qualified during the season.
In girls’ relays at the regional, Vermillion placed fourth in the 4×100 and 4×400 events and fifth in the 4×800 relay. To qualify out of the regional for the state meet, an athlete or a relay team must place first or second or meet the qualifying standard time, distance or height.
Other Tanager boys’ placers, but not qualifiers, at the regional included Krier and Sorensen, who were third and fifth, respectively, in the 400-meter dash. Sorensen also placed sixth in the 200, Nathan Samudzi sixth in the 100, Logan Peterson seventh in the 800, and Nathan Ford fifth in the 3200 and seventh in the 1600. Robertson placed third in the high jump and fourth in the long jump.
The Tanagers had a fifth-place relay team in the 4×200 event.
Canton won the boys’ and girls’ regional team championships. The Vermillion boys were fifth with 83 team points, and the girls were eighth with 40 points.
The lists of qualifying times for the state meet indicate that Tanager athletes have a genuine chance to earn high places at the state meet, which for Class “A” begins in Lennox at 9:30 this morning (Friday). A second session begins there at 2 p.m. Saturday’s finals in Sioux Falls commence at 9 a.m.
Olson’s :50.10 clocking in the 400-meter dash is the second-best time in the state among 17 qualifiers, trailing only Spearfish’s Luke Wietgrefe, who has run the 400 in :49.80.
The boys’ medley relay time of 3:42.0 is second-best in the state among 24 teams, trailing only Custer’s blazing 3:36.80 clocking. The 4×400 team has run in 3:29.70, third-best among 19 qualifying times, trailing only Mobridge-Pollock and Custer. The 4×100 team’s time of :45.30 places them 17th-best among 29 quartets.
On the girls’ side the Tanager medley team’s best time of 4:31.20 puts them 16th of 28 qualifying teams. Seventh-grader Lavin’s 3200-meter time of 11:45.0 places her sixth among 28 qualifiers, and she stands eighth among 30 entrants in the 1600 with a best time of 5:26.80. Huber’s pole vault height ties her with many others for fourth among 12 qualifiers. In that event three girls have jumped a foot higher, 9’6”, this season.