George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor email@example.com
It may have taken three weeks, but the Big Sandy Pioneers girls track team got the trophy they were looking for. Having finished second at both the District 9C and the Northern C Divisional track meets this postseason, the Pioneers finally got to the top of the mountain on Saturday at the Class C state track meet in Missoula. Behind four gold medals from superstar sophomore Kourtney Danreuther, the Pioneers scored 66 points to edge rival Chester/J-I for the team title. The state championship was the second straight for Big Sandy. Danreuther was her usual sensational self, starting on Friday when she broke her own meet record in the 400 meters. Danreuther ran a sizzling 56.74 to easily win the first of her four golds over the weekend. On Saturday, Danreuther raced to the 200-meter championship, and she swept the 100-meter and 300-meter hurdles, giving her eight gold medals in her brief state track and field career. The Pioneers also got help from jumper Amber Amsbaugh, who captured the high jump state championship with a final leap of 5-1. Laci Keller also scored for Big Sandy with a second-place finish in the discus. Meanwhile, the Hawks and Geraldine made it a Northern C sweep of the trophies in the girls meet. C/J-I got a strong meet from freshman Jessica VanDyke en route to 56.5 points and a second-place finish. Northern C champion Geraldine was third with 48.5 points, and 9C stalwart North Star finished in the middle of the pack with 14 points. VanDyke led the Hawks with a firstplace finish in the 3200-meter run. She finished the race with a time of 11:53.81, and she also anchored C/J-I’s state championship 1600-meter relay team. The rest of the team was composed of Brittany Kolstad, Daina Kolstad and Lyndsey Oraw. Big Sandy finished second in that race. VanDyke also added two second-place finishes to her first state meet. She finished second in both the 800-meter run and the 1600-meter race. Daina Kolstad grabbed a fourth-place finish in the 400 meters and the 100-meter hurdles, and Brittany Kolstad finished fourth in the 300-meter hurdles. North Star got points from Natasha Dyrland, who finished third in the shot put, Courtney Wendland, who finished sixth in the javelin and Sarah Helmbrecht, who finished sixth in the triple jump. North Star’s 400-meter relay team finished third while C/J-I finished fifth in that race, and Chinook was sixth. On the boys side, the defending state champion Big Sandy boys couldn’t do what the Pioneer girls did defend a state championship. Despite a heroic effort from senior Kyle Danreuther and distance runner Darin Ray, the Pioneers fell two points short in their bid to repeat as state champions in Missoula. Joilet captured its first state title in boys track with a low 44 points, while Big Sandy finished second with 42 points. Culbertson, which dominated the sprints and the relays finished third. North Star scored 17 points to finish in 12th place. Kyle Danreuther did what he always does for Big Sandy which is win the hurdle events. Danreuther captured the double in the hurdles for the second straight season by winning the 110-hurdles with a time of 14.86 and the 300-hurdles with a time of 39.67. Danreuther also finished fourth in the 400-meter race and he helped Big Sandy’s 400-meter relay team to a close second-place finish. Meanwhile, Ray was the only other Big Sandy individual to score at the state meet. Ray finished second in the 1600-meter race and he came in fifth in the 800-meter run. North Star’s best individual finish came from Cody Jurenka in the 300-hurdles. Jurenka finished third in that event with a time of 40.93, and the Knights also finished third in the 1600- meter relay.