George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor firstname.lastname@example.org
For the past two years, the Class C state track meet has been about two things the Big Sandy's High School girls, and Pioneers star Kourtney Danreuther. Fast forward to Friday and Saturday in Helena, and nothing has changed as Big Sandy scored 88 points to claim its third straight Class C state girl's state track and field championship behind another dominating performance from Danreuther. However, Big Sandy wasn't the only Hi-Line team to make noise and Danreuther wasn't the only local athlete to shine at a rain-soaked Vigilante Stadium this past weekend. Behind a star effort form senior Natasha Dyrland, the North Star girls scored 36 points to finish in second place, eight points ahead of third-place Absorkee. Chinook also had reason to smile with sprinter Tia Bower stealing the show on Saturday afternoon. The same cannot be said for the Hi- Line boys. Chester/J-I was the highest finisher with a mere eight points, good enough for a 20th place showing. Big Sandy scored four points to finish in 27th place just two years removed from a state championship. And North Star, which brought a strong team to Helena, and had won both the District 9C and Northern C championships, scored just one point to finish in 37th place overall. The boys meet was captured by Saco/Hinsdale, which scored 66 points. Ennis finished second with 60 points and Sheridan was third with 56 points. But once again, the meet really belonged to the star junior, Danreuther. She scored a ridiculous 52.5 points by herself and won five gold medals, as well as two runner-up finishes. Danreuther started the meet in poor weather conditions on Friday, still managing to defend her title in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 45.44. Later, she easily re-claimed the long jump state championship with a final leap of 16-7, and she finished second in the 400 meters, barely losing to Absorkee's Amberlie Williams. It was the only race in which she failed to successfully defend a state title. Still, Friday's performance was enough to help ensure the Pioneers of a third straight state championship, and on Saturday, she went out and grabbed a new state championship, this one in the 800 meters. She finished the race with a time 2:15.56, almost eight full seconds better than her closest competitor. She also returned tot he track to successfully defend her title in the 200 meters, winning with a time of 26.02 in still wet and soggy conditions. Danreuther capped off her meet by anchoring the Pioneers to a state championship in the 1,600-meter relay and a second-place finish in the 400-meter relay. By meets end, the major college prospect had earned a remarkable 16 Class C state gold medals in just three years. But as great a performance as she put on this weekend in Helena, she was not alone. Big Sandy also got a state championship from Amber Amsbaugh in the high jump after she went 5-0 to beat out teammate Desirae O'Neil, who finished third with a leap of 4-10. Amsbaugh also finished fifth in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 16.5. And junior Laci Keller added to the Pioneers' point total with a fourth-place finish in the discus after she threw 107-9. Big Sandy's reign at the top should be secure too, with most of the threetime state championship team coming back next year. The Hi-Line could also be proud of the North Star girls, who were amazing this postseason. At the state meet, Dyrland was the star in the throws, winning the javelin on Friday with a toss of 126-1, almost nine feet better than her closest competitor. Dyrland also came back to place second in both the shot put and the discus, pacing the Knights to their best finish in years. North Star also got a secondplace finish in the triple jump from Sarah Helmbrecht and a fifth-place finish by Jenna Kapperud in the shot put. Not to be outdone, Chinook's Tia Bower captured the premier event in track and field on Saturday, winning the 100 meters with a time of 12.95. She just beat out Pearless star Shelby Snare for that title, and Bower came back to finish fourth in the 200 meters, scoring enough points to help the Sugarbeeters to a 13thplace finish overall. Meanwhile, C/J-I got all its points from Daina Kolstad. The senior finished third in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 47.37 and fourth in the 100 hurdles with a time of 16.5. The Hawks landed in 20th place overall. Meanwhile, the state C boys meet didn't go too well for Hi-Line teams. C/J-I did get a solid performance by John Faugherbach in the distance races. He finished third in the grueling 3,200 meters with a time of 10:15.56 and fifth in the 1,600 meters with a time of 4:41.06. Big Sandy's only points came form Casten Heppner who finished fourth in the shot put, and the only points North Star got was from Josh Beaudry, who finished sixth in the pole vault.