Dutch Fork sophomore jumper Tiana LaPorte was the only individual Midlands entry, girl or boy, to come away with a gold medal at the elite Taco Bell Classic track and field extravaganza at Spring Valley.
The young Silver Foxes star emerged as the winner in the high jump with a leap of 5-8, matching her personal-best mark set last season at the Class 4A qualifying meet. LaPorte picked up two additional team points with a seventh-place showing in the triple jump – setting a new personal record in the event (36-5). She also competed an placed 27th in the 100 hurdles. LaPorte was seventh at the 4A state finals last season in both the high and triple jumps.
Senior Niki Klasnic accounted for DF’s two other team points by finishing seventh in the mile run with a time of 5:19.98. It was the second time Klasnic ran the classic distance race in her career. She went 5:35.36 in the mile last year at the Taco Bell meet. Klasnic finished 20th in the 3200, but was probably not happy with her time of 12:00.47, which was quite a bit higher than the personal-record 11:22.0 she turned in at the triangular meet on April 1.
Klasnic, who did not qualify for state in either the 1600 or the 3200 last spring, is on a mission to make the grade this time around. She was 15th at the 4A cross-country meet in the fall, earning all-state recognition.
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Dutch Fork finished with 14 team points and closed in a tie for 14th in the final team standings. The Irmo girls (18 points) and Irmo boys (15) were the only Midlands teams to post more points than the Silver Foxes.
The lone DF point on the boys side came from an eighth-place by junior Zach Duskin in the 400 meters. The next-best showing was by Dylan Cooper, who tied for 11th in the pole vault (13-0).