Havre Daily News Sports Editor
The hour and 10 minute break that separated a long and wind-swept day at the District 9C track meet at the Havre Middle School track, also separated the boys team title race.
Before the break, the Blue Sky/J-I Eagles appeared poised to snatch the team title, scoring a wealth of points in the morning field events.
After the break, the Big Sandy Pioneers did what they do best and ran - ran completely away with the team title. Big Sandy scored 167 points, overcoming a 28-point deficit to win its first District 9C boys team title in head coach Roy Lackner's memory.
"I don't exactly know when the last time Big Sandy has won a 9C boys track title," he said. "I know it's been a long time. I don't remember one in my 30 years here."
While the year their last title occurred remains in question, Lackner knows exactly when this title came within the Pioneers' grasp.
"It started when we had about four events left," he said. "We were down 128-72 and I really didn't know if we were going to comeback."
But in those four events, the Pioneers used their depth of runners to race past the Eagles.
It started with the 400-meter dash, where Karl Osterman, Kyle Danreuther and Justin Willis finished 1-2-3, respectively, to garner 24 team points.
Big Sandy continued to pour it on as Darin Ray and Jon Sheehy finished first and second in the 1,600. Sheehy set a fast pace early, but his teammate Ray caught him in the final 20 meters to get the win.
But the Pioneers really secured the team title minutes later in the 200. Ryan Pokorny, Osterman and Danreuther swept the first three places to score another 24 points and sew up the title.
"Once we finished 1-2-3 in the 200, I knew we had it won," Lackner said. "I thought it might come down to the 1,600 relay, but getting the top three in the 200 was big."
Just for good measure and a little padding for the win, the Pioneers won the 1,600 relay in dominant fashion. The team of Osterman, Danreuther, Willis and Ray recorded a 3:46.60, almost 15 seconds faster than second-place Blue Sky/J-I.
Although Big Sandy may have secured the title in the last four events, the Pioneers laid much of the groundwork earlier.
Pokorny and Osterman finished 1-2 in the 100 dash, while Danreuther won his specialty - the 300 hurdles - and Willis finished third. In the 800, Ray, Osterman and Sheehy all placed.
In the 400 relay, the team of Lawrence Jappe, Pokorny, Ray and Danreuther took home first with a time of 47.40, edging Blue Sky/J-I which ran a 47.80.
Big Sandy's other individual title was a little unexpected as Justin Willis won the triple jump with a mark of 38-06.
"Willis got us a nice win in the triple jump," Lackner said. "He hadn't competed in it all year because of shin splits. That's quite a performance for him to come out and win the event."
Big Sandy's late push for the title overshadowed a very good day of performances from Blue Sky/J-I.
The Eagles dominated the field events with some solid performances.
Junior Alex Frey put on a gutty performance, placing in four individual events and running in the long relay for Blue Sky/J-I to accumulate 36 team points. Frey won the 800, edging Ray by two seconds with a time of 2:10.80. He also won the long jump and high jump, while finishing fourth in the 1,600.
"Alex had a big day for us," said Blue Sky/J-I head coach Bill Mulvaney. "He had some nice performances."
Also scoring a wealth of points for the Eagles was senior Conrad Wendland, who racked up 34 points. Wendland was a double winner, taking home individual titles in the pole vault and discus. While he defended his pole vault title, Wendland's winning toss of 132-01 in the discus was a career best. He also finished second in the triple jump, fourth in the 110 hurdles and ran on Blue Sky/J-I second-place 400 relay squad.
"Conrad really came through with some good performances," Mulvaney said. "His performance in the discus was a little unexpected. That was by far his best throw of the season."
Wendland edged teammate Craig Miller in the discus by about a foot, but Miller bounced back to win his best event - the shot put - with a toss of 44 feet.
But all that depth and all those titles in the field events, couldn't bring the Eagles the team title.
"We knew Big Sandy was tough in the running events," Mulvaney said. "I thought we put ourselves in good position to win the meet, and our kids competed hard and did everything we asked them to do. But Big Sandy is very talented and you have to give them credit."
KG's title reign ended after nine straight years, but the KouGars didn't go down without a fight, finishing third with 96 points.
Junior Cody Donoven broke the 9C meet record in the javelin with a toss of 159-11. Donoven eclipsed the record of his cousin and former teammate Darby Donoven, who set it last year with a toss of 149-09. Donoven also won the 110 hurdles for the second straight year, and he placed fourth in the 400.
Drew Kapperud added 23.5 team points with a second in the javelin, a third in the 100 and fourths in the 200 and shot put.
Hays-Lodge Pole finished a respectable fourth with 68 points as Jordan Wing won the 3,200 with a time of 11:20.10. Lance Brockie added a second place finish in the shot put, a fourth in the discus and a fifth in the javelin.
Big Sandy and Blue Sky/J-I will now head to the Northern C Divisional with high hopes. But any talk of team titles is premature and senseless to Lackner.
"I'm not worried about the divisional team title," he said. "I just want our kids to go in there and try to place and advance to state. I just want the kids to do well. The team title is the least of my concerns."
Besides, he'd much rather celebrate the district title with his team for now.
"The kids are excited," Lackner said. "I'm really happy for them. They're kind of an unassuming group, but this means a lot to them."
District 9C Boys Results
Big Sandy 167; Blue Sky/J-I 146; KG 96; Hays-Lodge Pole 68; Turner 22; Box Elder 6; Rocky Boy 3.
100 - 1. Ryan Pokorny, BS 12.10; 2. Karl Osterman, BS 12.40; 3. Drew Kapperud, KG 12.60; 4. Emory Hedegaard, TUR 12.90; 5. Cody Jurenka, SKY/J-I 12.91; 6. Lawrence Jappe, BS 13.00.
200 - 1. Ryan Pokorny, BS 24.40; 2. Karl Osterman, BS 24.50; 3. Kyle Danreuther, BS 25.20; 4. Drew Kapperud, KG 25.30; 5. Cody Jurenka, SKY/J-I 25.90; 6. Emory Hedegaard, TUR 26.20.
400 - 1. Karl Osterman, BS 54.10; 2. Kyle Danreuther, BS 54.20; 3. Justin Willis, BS 55.10; 4. Cody Donoven, KG 56.47; 5. Alex Chvilicek, SKY/J-I 57.05; 6. Shane Rice, KG 57.49.
800 - 1. Alex Frey, SKY/J-I 2:10.80; 2. Darin Ray, BS 2:12.20; 3. Shane Rice, KG 2:17.50; 4. Karl Osterman, BS 2:17.70; 5. Jon Sheehy, BS 2:21.70; 6. Garrett Morin, H-LP 2:25.10.
1,600 - 1. Darin Ray, BS BS 5:06.70; 2. Jon Sheehy, BS 5:07.70; 3. Jordan Wing, H-LP 5:16.20; 4. Alex Frey, SKY/J-I 5:35.70; 5. Josh Blackelk, H-LP 5:28.30; 6. Logan Fouts, TUR 6:00.20.
3,200 - 1. Jordan Wing, H-LP 11:20.10; 2. Jon Sheehy, BS 12:12.50; 3. Logan Fouts, TUR 12:30.00; 4. Kelly Healy, H-LP 12:58.40; 5. Kyle Renaker, SKY/J-I 14:42.20
110 Hurdles - 1. Cody Donoven, KG 18.00; 2. Branden Melby, KG 19.50; 3. Alex Chvilicek, SKY/J-I 20.10; 4. Conrad Wendland, SKY/J-I 21.70; 5. Tyrell Haakanson, H-LP 23.40; 6. Lenny Gray, H-LP 27.10.
300 Hurdles - 1. Kyle Danreuther, BS 43.50; 2. Cody Donoven, KG 44.70; 3. Justin Willis, BS 45.10; 4. Alex Chvilicek, SKY/J-I 47.90; 5. Branden Melby, KG 49.10; 6. Chase Pimley, SKY/J-I 50.90.
400 Relay - 1. Big Sandy (Lawrence Jappe, Ryan Pokorny, Darin Ray, Kyle Danreuther) 47.40; 2. Blue Sky/J-I (Cody Jurenka, Josh Beaudry, Conrad Wendland, Adam Chvilicek) 47.80; 4. KG (Drew Kapperud, Shane Rice, Zack Rambo, Cody Donoven) 48.40.
1,600 Relay - 1. Big Sandy (Karl Osterman, Kyle Danreuther, Justin Willis, Darin Ray) 3:46.60; 2. Blue Sky/J-I (Alex Chvilicek, Garth Pederson, Craig Miller, Alex Frey) 4:01.10; 3. KG (Branden Melby, Shawn Hanson, Stephen Ramsbacher, Zack Rambo) 4:19.70.
Pole Vault - 1. Conrad Wendland, SKY/J-I 11-06; 2. Alex Chvilicek, 10-00; 3. Adam Chvilicek, SKY/J-I 8-00.
Long Jump - 1. Alex Frey, SKY/J-I 19-01; 2. Lawrence Jappe, BS 18-10; 3. Emory Hedegaard, TUR 18-01; 4. Adam Chvilicek, SKY/J-I 17-11; 5. Josh Beaudry, SKY/J-I 17-04; 6. Beau Doney, H-LP 16-02.
High Jump - 1. Alex Frey, SKY/J-I 5-08; 2. Beau Doney, H-LP 5-06; 3. Branden Melby, KG 5-04; 4. Emory Hedegaard, TUR 5-02; 5. Josh Blackelk, H-LP 5-02.
Triple Jump - 1. Justin Willis, BS 38-06; 2. Conrad Wendland, SKY/J-I 37-10; 3. Branden Melby, KG 37-08; 4. Adam Chvilicek, SKY/J-I 36-07; 5. Chase Pimley, SKY/J-I 36-02; 6. Josh Beaudry, SKY/J-I 35-01.
Shot Put - 1. Craig Miller, SKY/J-I 44-00; 2. Lance Brockie, H-LP 42-06; 3. Donnie Top Sky, BOX 40-01; 4. Drew Kapperud, KG 38-04; 5. Darrel Watson, RB 36-00; 6. Cameron Bullshoe, H-LP 35-11.
Discus - 1. Conrad Wendland, SKY/J-I 132-01; 2. Craig Miller, SKY/J-I 131-07; 3. Justin Doney, H-LP 116-00; 4. Lance Brockie, H-LP 113-06; 5. Zack Rambo, KG 111-01; 6. Shane Rice, KG 106-09.
Javelin - 1. Cody Donoven, KG 159-11 (new meet record, old record Darby Donoven, KG 149-09 in 2004); 2. Drew Kapperud, KG 145-06; 3. Lawrence Jappe, BS 144-11; 4. Jordan Werk, H-LP 123-08; 5. Lance Brockie, H-LP 117-01; 6. Darrel Watson, RB 115-00.