Vermillion’s track and field team hit the road for Lennox last Thursday to compete in the Region 4A Meet. The top-2 finishers of each race at regions punched their ticket the state meet this upcoming weekend.

Overall, the Vermillion girls placed fifth at the meet with 74.50 total points. The boys ended sixth with 42 combined points.

In the prelims of the 100-meter dash, senior Kenna Druecker ran a 13.48 to have the top time going into finals. Seventh-grader Grace Chausse ran 13.85, and seventh-grader Jaymes Drake a 13.92 to make it into finals.

In the girls’ 100 finals, Druecker went on to win in 13.37, also earning her a spot to compete at state. Drake placed fourth in a time of 13.74, and Chaussee was fifth at 13.82.

Sophomore Tommy Nikkel earned the gold in the 400 by over one second with a 50.56. Senior Ben Finnegan was seventh in 57.61.

Junior Lexi Saunders won the long jump with a leap of 16-03. Chaussee placed eighth at 14-10.

The Tanagers’ 4x800 won in 8:41.21 with Finnegan, sophomore Hunter Lavin, sophomore Jakob Dobney, and Nikkel.

The boys’ medley also won in 3:45.90 with junior Brock Voss, junior Evan Rasmussen, Nikkel, and Dobney.

Senior Rachel Brady placed second and earned a trip to state in the 400 with a time of 1:01.78.

Sophomore Taryn Whisler was second and punched her ticket to state in the 3200. She finished in 12:36.00.

Eighth-grader Ty Hertz finished second in the boys’ pole vault as he cleared 8-06 to earn a spot on the state team. Hertz is Vermillion’s first boy pole vaulter in over 30 years.

The girls’ 4x200 earned the silver in a time of 1:52.32 with sophomore Ellie Schroeder, Brady, sophomore Lilly Johnson, and Druecker. They have also punched their tickets to state by placing in the top-2.

The 4x100 also finished second in 52.42 with sprinters Schroeder, Drake, Druecker, and Saunders.

Schroeder earned the bronze in the 200 with a 28.38, missing second-place by 0.11 seconds. Drake placed fifth at 28.58, and Chaussee was sixth in 28.74.

Whisler placed third in the 1600 with a time of 5:39.72. She was nearly six seconds from the second-place finisher. Seventh-grader Taeli Barta also ran the 1600 and placed eighth at 6:11.79.

The boys’ 4x400 was third at 3:38.16 with senior Justin Sorensen, Dobney, Finnegan, and Nikkel. They were about four seconds from the second-place time.

In the boys’ 800, Lavin placed fourth in a time of 2:15.07. Sophomore Riley Ruhaak finished eighth in 2:21.69.

Ruhaak was fifth in the boys’ 1600 in a time of 4:52.81. Eighth-grader Jack Freeburg finished sixth at 5:06.55.

Junior Brady Martinez placed fifth in the 3200 at 11:30.90.

Freshman Emma Heine placed fifth in the girls’ shot put with a throw of 32-06.50. Eighth-grader Kelsey O’Neill was sixth with 32-03. O’Neill also placed seventh in the discus at 90-10.

Johnson was fifth in the girls’ triple jump at 32-00.

The boys’ 4x100 was seventh at 51.43 with freshmen Kaleb Preister, Hari Kada, Bodhi Brady, and Rasmussen.

The 4x200 also placed seventh in 1:41.13 with junior Camerin Davoux, sophomore John LaCognata, Preister, and Voss.

Freshman Mya DeJong was eighth in the high jump. She cleared 4-08 and missed the state-qualifying height at 4-10.

Senior Gray Peterson was eighth in the triple jump at 37-03.75. Peterson was also tenth in the long jump with a distance of 17-07.50.

In the boys’ 100, Voss and LaCognata just missed finals as they went nine and ten in prelims. Voss ran a 12.46 to place ninth, and LaCognata placed tenth with a time of 12.65.

Voss was also ninth in the 200 with a time of 24.97.

Sophomore Elaina Taggart finished tenth in the 800 in 2:57.83.

Freshman Zach Brady placed tenth in the discus with a throw of 106-10.

“This season, I have enjoyed training and competing with this year’s seniors,” said Whisler. She qualified for state in the 3200 at regions.

She will have one more meet with Vermillion’s seniors at the state meet.

“At the state meet, I hope to have our medley team place. I also hope to place in the 3200 and improve my time,” said Whisler.

The Tanagers who have qualified will go to Tea on Friday and Sioux Falls Saturday to compete against the best in South Dakota at the state meet.


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