Hall of Fame: Erik Hill Tea Area School District inducts second Hall of Fame class
Tea Area 2011 graduate Erik Hill thought he was going to be a distance runner when he was younger.
He was basing that idea off of when you have to run the mile in middle school. It turns out he was destined to be a hurdler and sprinter. He recalls his very first race.
“My very first race a guy fell and took out three or four other people and I ended up winning. It just kind of stuck,” he said.
While he also played football and basketball while at Tea Area, track and hurdles were his bread and butter. Hill also competed in sprints and relays.
In 2011, he won two individual state track titles and anchored a state champion relay team.
Additionally, Hill led the boys track team to the Tea Area School District’s first team state championship in 2011.
Hill finished his high school career ranked in the South Dakota All-Time Top Ten in three events and he still holds five school records.
After high school he went to the University of South Dakota where he graduated with a degree in biology. He went onto dental school at Indiana University. Upon graduating dental school, he moved to Marshall, Minn., with his wife, Ashley, who is an optometrist.
While Hill has not continued running, he stays busy with his dental practice and his young family.
When he was in Tea for the Hall of Fame ceremony, he appreciated the opportunity to tour the high school and see the football field and resurfaced track.
“It was pretty incredible to be back to see all the changes and improvements,” Hill said.
He said it was an honor to be inducted into the Hall of Fame with Conrad and Vicki Pick and John Herr.
“Looking back, I thought it was an honor to be in that group of people. When you’re in high school, you don’t really know all the hard work that went on behind the scenes. It was really cool to speak to them and hear all of the stories of them going through the split,” he said.
Hill shared this advice at the Hall of Fame induction, “Keep learning, set goals and help others. Be adaptable, your teachers and coaches will mold you into the best version of yourself.”