The Vermillion track and field team had their first meet of the season this past Monday here in town at USD’s Mildred J. Hillenbrand Memorial Track.
“Since leaving the state track meet last year in Rapid, I have been excited about the 2019 team,” said head coach Lenni Billberg. “We have a great group of kids that served as supporters for older kids for many years, but now it is their time to shine.”
The Vermillion girls’ medley relay earned the silver as they finished with a 4:29.44 to earn the silver and a ticket to the state meet. They qualified for state by .29 seconds with sophomore Ellie Schroeder, senior Kenna Druecker, sophomore Mack LaBrune and senior Rachel Brady.
The same crew ran the 4x200 relay and placed third at 1:53.85.
The Vermillion boys’ 4x800 relay squad took first with senior Justin Sorensen, and sophomores Jakob Dobney, Hunter Lavin, and Tommy Nikkel with an 8:31.32. They also qualified for state in their first race, beating the qualifying time of 8:37.88.
The boys’ medley relay placed third with junior Brock Voss, sophomore John LaCognata, sophomore Bryce Stockwell, and Nikkel at 3:53.38. They are six seconds short of a qualifying time.
Voss started his day by qualifying for finals in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.83. He finished seventh with an improved time of 11.76.
Voss also finished eighth in the 200 with a 25.21.
LaBrune earned bronze in the 200 at 27.85. The two finishers before her were from Class AA.
Druecker qualified for finals in the 100. She qualified with a 13.5 and finished ninth in finals with a 13.52.
Junior Lexi Saunders and senior Fatima Aleman qualified for finals in the long jump. Saunders earned herself fourth in the long jump with a 15-0.5 leap. Aleman was seventh at 14-11.5.
Sorensen earned fifth in the mile at 4:53.39, less than 15 seconds away from a state-qualifying time. Freshman Jack Freeburg was tenth (5:15.57) and battled it out with teammate senior Ben Finnegan who finished eleventh (5:17.74).
Sophomore Taryn Whisler placed fifth in the 2-mile at 12:51.13.
Sophomore Riley Ruhaak was sixth in the 2-mile with a time of 10:51.57. Dobney finished ninth at 10:58.45. Junior Brady Martinez placed 13th with an 11:24.57.
Junior Cameron Smith and sophomore Tyson Hage threw personal bests in the discus. Smith placed 15th at 104-04. Hage threw a 100-03 to place 17th.
“We have had some bumps and will probably have a few more as we roll out the 2019 schedule,” said coach Billberg. “But this group has worked hard and are ready to go.”
Vermillion will compete again this Thursday at the same track for the VHS Early Bird Invitational, beginning at 2:30 p.m. Their next meet will be the Canton Invitational next Tuesday at 4 p.m.