VERMILLION, S.D. | One good way to build a track program is through its use of middle-distance runners.
Those who run the 400 or 800 become valuable in various relays. Several Siouxland area high schools which competed the last two days at the Dan Lennon Invitational have that formula down pat.
For instance, Sergeant Bluff-Luton and Bishop Heelan featured athletes at Monday night’s Class A action at the DakotaDome who won the 400 meters and went on to finish high as 4x400 relay members.
Sergeant Bluff-Luton’s Britton Delperdang and Ty Boekelman posted respective first- and second-place times of 51.33 and 51.44 in the 400. The two athletes later teamed up with Zach Shultz and Jorma Schwedler for a first-place time of 3:33.38 in the 4x400 relay.
Heelan’s Madison Jochum won the 400 (1:00.60) and teammate Amber Aesoph won the 800 (2:24.62). The two accompanied Brooke Doohen and Hannah Hutchinson for a second-place 4:16.85 in the 4x400.
Aesoph and Jochum shared most valuable player honors in the girls meet. Delperdang was the MVP of the boys meet.
Delperdang’s teammate, Miles Scott, had a productive night, winning the 3,200 (10:05.97) while taking fourth in the 1,600 (4:47.50). The Warriors showed depth in the 60 hurdles, where Max Murphy was second (8.58) and Austin Freiberg was fifth (8.86).
East’s boys took second in the 4x200, where Ardell Inlay, Cole Taylor, Dain Hoch and Gable Wagner were clocked in 1:36.28. Taylor later placed fifth in the 800 (2:10.22).
Sergeant Bluff-Luton’s Madison Harms cleared 5-4 while winning the high jump.
Heelan’s Holli Verzani finished third in the shot put (38-1.25), just ahead of South Sioux City’s Nya Diew (36-5.50). Diew’s teammate, Zoe Cigard, was fourth in the 400 (1:04.27) while Dakota Valley’s Rachel Wente placed fifth in the triple jump (30-6 .50).
Tuesday night’s Class B meet also featured several field event athletes who shined a year ago on the state meet stage and appear to be returning towards that direction.
Sibley-Ocheyedan’s Grant Brouwer dominated the high jump, his 6-6.75 effort four inches better than the runner-up. A year ago as a sophomore, Brouwer cleared 6-4 while taking second at the Class 1A state meet.
Versatile West Sioux senior Jake Lynott took second in the long jump (20-5) with a showing that was 4.5 inches short of his second-place finish at last year’s 1A state meet. Lynott also ran on the Falcons’ second-place 4x200 relay (1:38.92), accompanied by Zach Hulshof, Victor Hernandez and Kade Lynott.
Brian Santiago of Hartington-Newcastle is destined back to the Nebraska Class C state meet if Tuesday’s showings were of any indication. Last year’s state runner-up in the 3,200, Santiago was clocked in a first-place 10:15.71.
Hartington-Newcastle won both triple jump events, paced by Cole Schmidt (44-11.75) and Belle Harms (33-3.25). Elk Point-Jefferson’s Riley Donnelly finished in a close second place (33-2.50).
Kingsley-Pierson/Woodbury Central’s girls continue to shine in the medley relay. Abby Petersen, Madison Goodwin, Jayde Barto and Suzanne Puetz combined for a first-place 4:36.55.
MVAOCOU had a pair of sharp middle-distance runners, paced by Jordyn Pester, the girls 400 winner (1:01.94) while Dylan Blake took second in the 800 (2:08.11).
Okoboji’s Ethan Albright finished second in the 400 (55.9).