City posts highway signs honoring athletic achievements

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By Jonathan Stark

Over the past few weeks, city officials have posted highway signs acknowledging Vandalia’s achievements in both junior high and high school athletics.

This past spring, as an eighth grader at Vandalia Junior High School, Sierah Ruffner placed third in the high jump at the ISEA State Track and Field Meet.

Ruffner qualified for state with a jump of 5 feet at the sectional championships. At the state meet in Peoria, Ruffner placed third with another jump of 5 feet. Her jump is also the school record in the event.

Ruffner’s highway sign can be seen at the northern entrance to town on U.S. Route 51, near the Heaton-Heistand Veterinary Hospital.

Across town, on U.S. Route 40 going west, the highway sign recognizing the 2008 4x400 relay team has been updated to acknowledge the 2009 4x400 relay team that repeated as state champions this past spring.

The foursome of Paige Dodson, Ashley Durbin, Tori Hagy and Kayla Houston repeated with a time of 4:00.58, a school record.

The sign can be seen when entering the east side of town on U.S. Route 40, just before crossing the Kaskaskia River.

In the coming weeks, Drew Bell, who placed sixth in the mile at the Class A Track and Field State meet, will also be honored with a highway sign. It is not known at this time where Bell’s sign will be hung.