VERMILLION, S.D. - Storm Lake has competed in the Midwest High School Championships indoor track and field meet for 17 years, but what took place on Saturday has never happened before.
Justin Koeppe ran the fastest 500 meter time in 14 years, Rory Fulcher and Jeff DeHaan made history in the long jump, Shane Maier threw the farthest shot put distance since Storm Lake has been attending the meet, and the Tornadoes placed first in four events - more than any of the 30 schools who participated at the University of South Dakota's Dakota Dome.
Koeppe captured the 500 meters in 1 minute, 9.42 seconds. That was the fastest time since Ben Alderton ran 1:08.57 in 1988.
Maier won the shot put with a throw of 58 feet, 3 1/2 inches. Tim Brink claimed the 1,500 meters in a time of 4:23.81, which was the fastest ever by a Storm Lake athlete.
Fulcher leaped 21-1 to place second in the long jump, while DeHaan was fourth in 20-1 1/2. Those jumps rank first and second in school history at USD.
The 4x400 relay team of Mike Miller, DeHaan, Fulcher and Koeppe placed first with a time of 3:37.33.
DeHaan finished second in the 55 meter high hurdles with a time of 7.91 seconds. Pete Harder placed fourth in the 1,000 meters in 2:56.56.
The 4x200 relay team of Miller, DeHaan, Mike Keller and Bob Blanchard turned in a fourth-place time of 1:37.18.
Fulcher placed sixth in the 400 meters in a clocking of 53.66 seconds. Tyler Youde tied for seventh in the high jump with a leap of 5-10.
"We had three who did not participate due to illness or injury and four who were gone," Storm Lake coach Dean Nicholson said. "Very few ran the maximum number of events allowed, so we were extremely pleased with not only the outcome, but with the tremendous efforts given, the attitude displayed, and the way we represented the Storm Lake school and community."
Storm Lake begins its outdoor season next Tuesday in a quadrangular meet at Cherokee.