By Ryan Divish/Havre Daily News Sports Editorfirstname.lastname@example.org
Even with all the events and all the competitors, sometimes a team title at a district track meet can come down to one particular event and one particular competitor. For the KG KouGars, it took a win in the 800-meter run from first-time runner Cody Donoven to lift them to yet another District 9C boys track title on Friday at the Havre Middle School track.
One event or one competitor didn't decide the girls title. Rather, 13 Blue Sky/J-I Eagles turned the girls' race into a resounding blowout. All 13 scored team points en route to a ridiculous 295 total team points to run away with their second straight 9C title.
Even though KG won its umpteenth district title in recent memory, this title was far from easy. Coming into the meet, KG head coach Butch Marshall knew that his team would be in for a dogfight with rivals Big Sandy, Blue Sky/J-I and Hays-Lodge Pole. Little did he know that it would come down to a race that KG hadn't had a competitor run all season.
With athletes allowed to compete in a maximum of five events in the meet, Donoven approached Marshall about competing in a fifth event and thought he could do well in the 800. Well might be an understatement. Donoven ran a 2:12.20, holding off Big Sandy's Karl Osterman down the stretch.
"We entered Cody in the event and it was his first time running it," Marshall said. "He really did a nice job. Really, if Cody hadn't run that 800, we probably don't win the meet."
Indeed, Donoven's win gave KG 10 team points, which proved to be a major difference, as the KouGars finished with 155 points. Big Sandy ended with 142, and Blue Sky/J-I finished a respectable third with 89. Hays-Lodge Pole, behind the scintillating performance of emerging star Kevin Walker, finished fourth with 80.
While the ultimate difference may have been the 800-meter race, KG wouldn't have been in the position without some other solid performances during the day.
Senior Darby Donoven defeated teammates Cody Donoven and Drew Kapperud to win the javelin title. Darby Donoven's winning toss of 149-09 broke the District 9C meet record of 143-09 held by Blue Sky's Keenan Toner. It wasn't his longest throw of the season, but it came in the biggest meet so far.
"It wasn't Darby's longest throw of the season," Marshall said. "But it was good to see him break the meet record."
KG's Jerrad Gomke did break his personal record with a toss of 46-08 to win the shot put. Gomke's winning throw held off some tough competition from Blue Sky/J-I's Craig Miller and Big Sandy's Mason Ophus.
Senior Richie Melby had a very good day for KG, scoring 38 team points and winning a pair of events. Melby won the 400-meter dash with a time of 53.40 and the long jump with a leap of 18-09. Melby also got second in the 200, third in the high jump and fourth in the 100.
Fellow senior Luke Antonich was also a double winner, taking home the title in the 110 hurdles and the high jump with a personal best leap of 6-0. Antonich also had third-place finishes in the 300 hurdles and discus.
"Jerrad and Luke both had PR's, which was good to see," Marshall said. "It's what you want to see at this time in the season."
Besides his win in the 800, Cody Donoven added seconds in the 110 hurdles, 300 hurdles and javelin.
"Everything went OK," Marshall said. "We got everybody qualified for divisionals that we wanted to. We didn't necessarily have stellar performances, but they were adequate enough to win another district title, which was nice."
Big Sandy's strong second-place showing was somewhat of a surprise. The Pioneers got a predictable win from Ophus in the discus. The senior broke his own 9C meet record with a toss of 154-02.
Big Sandy also had a double winner in senior Adam Butler in the distance races. Butler ran a solid 4:55.60 to win the 1,600-meter run to beat out teammate John Sheehy and Hays-Lodge Pole's Dwight Flansburg. In the 3,200, Butler ran away from the pack, finishing almost a minute faster than Sheehy with a time of 10:29.70. Butler finished second in the long jump and teamed with Sheehy, Osterman and Justin Willis to win the 1,600-meter relay.
Perhaps the biggest surprise winner for Big Sandy came from freshman Kyle Danreuther, who won the 300 hurdles in a bit of a mild upset. Danreuther ran a very good time of 42.90, edging out the favorites Cody Donoven and Antonich. Danreuther also placed second in the 400-meter dash and was a part of the Pioneers' second-place 400-meter relay.
The most impressive individual performance of the day had to come from Hays-Lodge Pole's Kevin Walker, who burst onto the local track scene and put on a record-breaking show.
Walker broke the four-year old meet record in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.00. The previous record of 11.10 was held by Eric Marshall of KG. For good measure, Walker broke another of Marshall's meet records in the 200. Walker ran a blazing 22.70 which beat the Marshall's time of 22.80 in 2000.
Walker anchored the 400-meter relay winning team that also consisted of Flansburg, Joel Blackelk and Cody McCabe. In his other events, Walker finished second in the triple jump and fourth in the long jump.
Other individual winners for the boys included Brandon Simons of Turner in the triple jump and Conrad Wendland of Blue Sky/J-I in the pole vault.
The girls meet was far from dramatic. The big question was whether Blue Sky/J-I would reach that elusive 300-point plateau. The Eagles came up just short with 294 team points. KG was a very distant second place with 69 points.
"It was an awesome day for our team," said Blue Sky/J-I head coach Bill Mulvaney. "We had a lot of girls score points and qualify for divisionals. There were some events where we had three and four girls placing. The girls really came out and competed. We had several girls compete in five events to score team points for us."
Realistically, Blue Sky/J-I could have scored over 300 points pretty easily. However, a missing athlete and misfortune in one event stopped them.
The Eagles were missing a key component in sprinter Maia Aageson, who was at a science contest. Aageson's presence would have added at least 20 more team points. Blue Sky also missed out on 10 points when junior standout Kaila Warren false started in her best event, the 100 hurdles, and was disqualified.
"Kaila was pretty crushed," Mulvaney said. "I told her that she really had to try and put it behind her and compete hard in her other events. I was really proud of her for coming back after being so devastated. She showed good leadership."
Warren didn't just come back, she came back intent on making up for the miscues in her other events. She rallied to win the 300 hurdles and 400-meter dash. Warren also added personal bests to finish second in the triple jump and the 200.
"It would have been easy for Kaila to let it get to her, but she didn't," Mulvaney said. "She just came back even stronger in her other events."
Blue Sky/J-I also got a solid performance from freshman Hannah Pimley, who led all scorers with 44 individual points.
Pimley won the shot put with a toss of 30-01 and the high jump with a leap of 5-02. She also added second-place finishes in the 100 and 300 hurdles and the discus.
"Hannah had a fantastic day," Mulvaney said. "She did a great job, and as a freshman to score that many points is outstanding."
The Eagles' Kile Patrick continued her domination in the distance events. The junior cruised to wins in the 800- and 1,600-meter runs and was a part of the winning 1,600 relay squad. She added a fifth in the javelin.
Blue Sky also got individual titles from freshman Megan Warren in the 100-meter dash, senior Lindsay Anderson in the 200, freshman Tia Pester in the pole vault and freshman Courtney Wendland in the javelin.
Anderson scored 33 points for the Eagles. Besides the win in the 200, she finished second in the 400 and long jump and third in the javelin.
KG's second-place finish was aided largely by a pair of titles from Cady Arifin in the long jump and triple jump. Arifin scored a pair of personal bests in each event with a 15-11 in the long jump and 32-01 in the triple jump. She also added a fifth in the high jump and a sixth in the 100.
"Cady had a really good day for us," Marshall said. "It was good to see her get some personal bests. She works really hard and really deserves it."
Other event winners in the meet were Turner's Ashley Van Voast in the 110 hurdles, Hays-Lodge Pole's Tristin Healy in the 3,200 and Rocky Boy's Rainbow Stump in the discus. KG's 400 relay team of Mandy Rambo, Kate Vosen, Casie Toner and Arifin won the 400-meter relay.
But the day belonged to the Eagles, who had 14 different girls score team points.
"We had a bunch of PRs from our girls," Mulvaney said. "We had a lot of young kids step up and place for us. But we are going to have to step up the performances next week at divisionals."
The Ralph Halverson Northern C Divisional track meet will be held on Thursday in Great Falls.
DISTRICT 9C TRACK MEET
KG 155, Big Sandy 142, Blue Sky/Joplin-Inverness 89, Hays-Lodge Pole 80, Turner 52, Rocky Boy 1
100 - 1. Kevin Walker, H-LP 11.00; 2. Matthew Strissel, SKY/J-I 11.30; 3. Ryan Pokorny, BS 11.50; 4. Richie Melby, KG 11.70; 5. Drew Kapperud, KG 12.00; 6. Emory Hedegaard, TUR 12.10.
200 - 1. Kevin Walker, H-LP 22.70; 2. Richie Melby, KG 23.70; 3. Ryan Pokorny, BS 23.80; 4. Skylar Pearson, BS 24.60; 5. Karl Osterman, BS 24.70; 6. Emory Hedegaard, TUR 24.90.
400 - 1. Richie Melby, KG 53.40; 2. Kyle Danreuther, BS 54.60; 3. Karl Osterman, BS 54.70; 4. Roald Aageson, SKY/J-I 56.00; 5. Justin Willis, BS 56.50; 6. Cody Donoven, KG 57.10.
800 - 1. Cody Donoven, KG 2:12.20; 2. Karl Osterman, BS 2:13.70; 3. Alex Frey, SKY/J-I 2:13.80; 4. Brandon Simons, TUR 2:13.90; 5. Joel Blackelk, H-LP 2:20.80; 6. Garrett Morin, H-LP 2:23.10.
1,600 - 1. Adam Butler, BS 4:55.60; 2. Jon Sheehy, BS 5:11.30; 3. Dwight Flansburg, H-LP 5:14.30; 4. Kelly Healy, H-LP 5:17.90; 5. Alex Frey, SKY/J-I 5:36.40; 6. Logan Fouts, TUR 5:46.00.
3,200 - 1. Adam Butler, BS 10:29.70; 2. Jon Sheehy, BS 11:17.90; 3. Kelly Healy, H-LP 11:24.10; 4. Dwight Flansburg, H-LP 11:57.30; 5. Logan Fouts, TUR 12:26.20; 6. Cody Trottier, RB 13:11.40.
110 hurdles - 1. Luke Antonich, KG 15.30; 2. Cody Donoven, KG 16.10; 3. David Jones, TUR 18.20; 4. Branden Melby, KG 19.10; 5. Cody McCabe, H-LP 20.30.
300 hurdles - 1. Kyle Danreuther, BS 42.90; 2. Cody Donoven, KG 43.10; 3. Luke Antonich, KG 43.20; 4. David Jones, TUR 46.00; 5. Justin Willis, BS 46.10; 6. Cody McCabe, H-LP 46.40.
400 relay - 1. Hays-Lodge Pole (Dwight Flansburg, Kevin Walker, Joel Blackelk, Cody McCabe) 47.10; 2. Big Sandy 47.50; 3. Turner 48.90; 4. KG 50.90; 5. Blue Sky/J-I 53.70.
1,600 relay - 1. Big Sandy (Jon Sheehy, Adam Butler, Karl Osterman, Justin Willis) 3:47.10; 2. Hays-Lodge Pole 4:02.50; 3. Blue Sky-J-I 4:04.50; 4. KG 4:09.60.
Shot put - 1. David Gomke, KG 46-8; 2. Craig Miller, SKY/J-I 44-6; 3. Mason Ophus, BS 44-4; 4. Roald Aageson, SKY/J-I 43-9; 5. Charlie McConnell, H-LP 42-9; 6. Lance Brockie, H-LP 42-8.
Discus - 1. Mason Ophus, BS 154-2 (meet record, old record 151-6 by Ophus, 2003); 2. Conrad Wendland, SKY/J-I 120-5; 3. Luke Antonich, KG 119-5; 4. Craig Miller, SKY/J-I 118-0; 5. Darby Donoven, KG 117-9; 6. Roald Aageson, SKY/J-I 116-4.
Javelin - 1. Darby Donoven, KG 149-9; 2. Cody Donoven, KG 139-0; 3. Drew Kapperud, KG 135-5; 4. Craig Miller, SKY/J-I 129-0; 5. Lawrence Jappe, BS 124-8; 6. Kelly Healy, H-LP 113-73/4.
Long jump - 1. Richie Melby, KG 18-9; 2. Adam Butler, BS 18-6; 3. Skylar Pearson, BS 18-5; 4. Kevin Walker, H-LP 18-5; 5. Emory Hedegaard, TUR 18-1; 6. Karl Osterman, BS 17-8.
Triple jump - 1. Brandon Simons, TUR 40-6; 2. Kevin Walker, H-LP 38-7; 3. David Jones, TUR 37-9; 4. Branden Melby, KG 37-8; 5. Conrad Wendland, SKY/J-I 35-11; 6. Skylar Pearson, BS 35-8.
High jump - 1. Luke Antonich, KG 6-0; 2. 2. Clancy Kegel, TUR 5-10; 3. Richie Melby, KG 5-8; 4. Branden Melby, KG 5-6; 5. Riley Smith, SKY/J-I 5-6; 6. Emory Hedegaard, TUR 5-6.
Pole vault - 1. Conrad Wendland, SKY/J-I 11-0; 2. Alex Chvilicek, SKY/J-I 10-6; 3. Riley Smith, SKY/J-I 8-0; 4. Luke Combs, SKY/J-I 8-0.
Blue Sky/Joplin-Inverness 294, KG 69, Big Sandy 38, Rocky Boy 27, Hays-Lodge Pole 22, Turner 22, Box Elder 4
100 - 1. Megan Warren, SKY/J-I 13.80; 2. Jessica Amsbaugh, BS 14.00; 3. Tia Pester, SKY/J-I 14.20; 4. Kira Fladstol, SKY/J-I 14.30; 5. Ventura Campbell, BE, 14.40; 6. Cady Arifin, KG 14.80.
200 - 1. Lindsay Anderson, SKY/J-I 28.80; 2. Kaila Warren, SKY/J-I 28.90; 3. Kira Fladstol, SKY/J-I 29.40; 4. Jessica Amsbaugh, BS 29.70; 5. Ventura Campbell, BE, 30.80; 6. Tia Pester, SKY/J-I 31.20.
400 - 1. Kaila Warren, SKY/J-I 65.70; 2. Lindsay Anderson, SKY/J-I 66.10; 3. Jessica Amsbaugh, BS 69.30; 4. Allison Grant, SKY/J-I 74.60.
800 - 1. Kile Patrick, SKY/J-I 2:31.50; 2. Casie Toner, KG 2:50.90; 3. Allison Grant, SKY/J-I 2:53.30.
1,600 - 1. Kile Patrick, SKY/J-I 5:46.30; 2. Casie Toner, KG 6:33.40; 3. Rebecca Jarvey, RB 6:35.10; 4. Courtney Wendland, SKY/J-I 7:21.40; 5. Ashley Gatzemeier, SKY/J-I 7:27.20.
3,200 - 1. Tristin Healy, H-LP 13:55.90; 2. Rebekah Jarvey, RB 14:42.30; 3. Mandy Rambo, KG 15:32.70; 4. Megan Herdina, SKY/J-I 16:40.30; 6. Angel Grant, SKY/J-I 17:26.90.
100 hurdles - 1. Ashley Van Voast, TUR 18.90; 2. Hannah Pimley, SKY/J-I 19.40; 3. Shaila Cline, BS 19.70.
300 hurdles - 1. Kaila Warren, SKY/J-I 50.80; 2. Hannah Pimley, SKY/J-I 55.60; 3. Shaila Cline, BS 56.50; 4. Ashley Van Voast, TUR 56.60; 5. Heather Haas, SKY/J-I 59.50.
400 relay - 1. KG (Mandy Rambo, Kate Vosen, Casie Toner, Cady Arifin) 58.30; 2. Big Sandy 58.50; 3. Blue Sky/Joplin-Inverness 58.60.
1,600 relay - 1. Blue Sky/Joplin-Inverness (Allison Grant, Ashley Gatzemeier, Megan Herdina, Kile Patrick) 5:02.80.
Shot put - 1. Hannah Pimley, SKY/J-I 30-1; 2. Colette Hawley, H-LP 29-11; 3. Ashley Van Voast, TUR 29-7; 4. Megan Herdina, SKY/J-I 27-4; 5. Rainbow Stump, RB 26-9; 6. Katie O'Neil, SKY/J-I 26-7.
Discus - 1. Rainbow Stump, RB 89-6; 2. Hannah Pimley, SKY/J-I 85-4; 3. Courtney Wendland, SKY/J-I 38-7; 4. Colette Hawley, H-LP 33-; 5. Ashley Gatzemeier, SKY/J-I 81-2; 6. Heather Haas, SKY/J-I 80-6.
Javelin - 1. Courtney Wendland, SKY/J-I 102-4; 2. Allison Grant, SKY/J-I 101-13/4; 3. Lindsay Anderson, SKY/J-I 99-4; 4. Heather Haas, SKY/J-I 97-7; 5. Kile Patrick, SKY/J-I 97-43/4; 6. Rainbow Stump, RB 85-10.
Long jump - 1. Cady Arifin, KG 15-11; 2. Lindsay Anderson, SKY/J-I 14-10; 3. Kira Fladstol, SKY/J-I 14-6; 4. Megan Warren, SKY/J-I 13-11; 5. Kate Vosen, KG 13-8; 6. Celeste Hedegaard, TUR 13-7.
Triple jump - 1. Cady Arifin, KG 32-1; 2. Kaila Warren, SKY/J-I 31-2; 3. Megan Warren, SKY/J-I 30-2; 4. Kate Vosen, KG 29-8; 5. Kira Fladstol, SKY/J-I 29-7; 6. Celeste Hedegaard, TUR 29-5.
High jump - 1. Hannah Pimley, SKY/J-I 5-2; 2. Kate Vosen, KG 4-8; 3. Katie O'Neil, SKY/J-I 4-8; 4. Tia Pester, SKY/J-I 4-6; 5. Cady Arifin, KG 4-6; 6. Kira Fladstol, SKY/J-I 4-2.
Pole vault - 1. Tia Pester, SKY/J-I 8-0; 2. Heather Haas, SKY/J-I 7-6; 3. (tie) Allison Grant, SKY/J-I 6-0; Katie O'Neil, SKY/J-I 6-0.