Girls’ relay team capture school’s first ever Howard Wood Dakota Relay title


Record breaking performances — that has been the theme of the Lennox High School track and field athletes recently.

First on Thursday, April 29 at the Terry Bong Relays in Canton, Alicia Ruud broke a school record in the 800 meter run, clocking a time of 2:17.12 to win the event.

“We definitely knew Alicia had that type of time in her. She had been splitting the low 2:20s all year, and at Canton, we wanted to give her just one race to focus on,” said LHS head track and field coach, Jared Vlastuin. “We knew she was close to the school record, and everything lined up and she posted a phenomenal time. That puts her as the top Class A time in the state – and Lennox’s best open 800m ever.”

Ruud also broke a record in the Sprint Medley Relay at Howard Wood with help from teammates, Dani Highum, Esther Christion, and Emily Plucker. The group won the event at the Dakota Relays this past weekend, clocking a time of 4:19.20 in the event, breaking a school record from 1980. The 40+ year old record that was broken was set by Albers, Burma, Schoeder, and Westerman with a time of 4:21.9.

This record setting performance also marked the first time in school history that an LHS track and field relay team has captured a Howard Wood Relay title.

“The Medley was definitely one of the races we knew we could run really strong at the beginning of the year. We had the right pieces to put together a competitive medley. Once you get to Howard Wood, you just ask your athletes to go compete, and that’s exactly what that crew did,” said Vlastuin. “They put together four really solid legs. Dani, Esther, and Emily all ran extremely well, and once they gave the baton to Alicia with very little ground to make up, we pretty much knew it was ours. The fact that it was a school record and Lennox’s first ever Howard Wood relay title (ever!) was just a really cool result of the hard work those four have put in all year.”

Lennox enjoyed other strong performances at the Terry Bong Relays in Canton last Thursday and E. Plucker earned second place in the 800 meter run, finishing behind Ruud with a time of 2:26.44. Christion took second in the 200 meter dash with a time of 28.31. She also finished in fourth in the 400 meter run with a time of 1:06.45.

Earning first place in the 3200 meter run at Canton for the LHS girls was Kelsey Schmidt with a personal best time of 12:06.34.

Highum captured second in the high jump, clearing 4’10” in the event. Madison Johnson took third after clearing 4’8”.


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