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Jesse Hastings, Hayden Schmidt, Devin Rihanek and Dane Rihanek
Rich Winter

MVP medley has HEART
May 28, 2017

By Rich Winter

Had been keeping my eye on the MVP track team most of this weekend's Class A state track meet. 

Girls had a terrific meet with the 4x100 and 4 x 200 teams both finishing third. Dacey Rihanek finished 6th in the 400 meters. 


Kind of an interesting moment during the finals of the 1600 meter sprint medley. It's a great race with the first two guys taking 200 legs, the third guy running a quarter and the ANCHOR, running a grueling 800 meter, two-lap carry. 


Had seen the quartet of Jesse Hastings, Hayden Schmidt, Dane Rihanek and Deven Rihanek at Howard Wood. Guys looked good then, looked even better Friday when they just crushed their heat having the second best qualifying time.


And so, as I watched Dane Rihanek take the baton for the 400 carry, you could tell right away as Devin Rihanek shuffled up to where he'd normally be jockying for position, that something was wrong.  Rihanek, limped noticably and stood in the outside lane even though his team was in the hunt for the lead in the finals of a hotley contested relay. 


And so, as Dane Rihanek battled down the home-stretch, brother, Devin waved his hand all the way out in lane 8, took the baton, waited until the other teams had all gone through, and then, he stepped off the track.


Well, as it turns out, Devin Rihanek tore a hamstring during the 4 x 400 prelims on Friday and immediately hopped off the track to get some support from the crutches that accompanied the trip home Saturday. 


Seems after Rihanek tore the hamstring, the officials would not let the MVP guys make a sub, and so, the only option was to step off the track.


What I find interesting about that is no where in anyone else's body language on the team could you tell that MVP wasn't lining up to do damage in that final, EVEN THOUGH THEY KNEW THE OUTCOME OF THE RACE.


Hastings blasted out of the blocks, ran a great opening leg. Second runner, Schmidt, gave it his all and handed to Dane Rihanek, who about an hour prior finished 7th in the boys 400 with a 51.62.


Nothing to run for and Dane Rihanek came charging down the straight right in the middle of the top tier of 400 guys vying for a state championship. 


With about 30 meters remaining in his carry, Dane saw his brother Devin, wave to the outside, and then, and only then, did he let off the gas pedal, knowing that the run was over. 


I find that pretty remarkable!


Nothing to run for, heartbroken at the thought of what might have been (SFC won with a 3:37, Hill City was second with a 3:39...MVP had the third fastest time coming in???)...


And yet, the MVP guys strapped it on and ran anyway.

Speaks well of the community and the coaching staffs over there.


And then to put a smile on, right after all that....Solid!


Jesse Hastings, Hayden Schmidt, Dane Rihanek and Deven Rihanek

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