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Daniel Horton Havre Daily News [email protected]

The Danreuther name has been making headlines across the Hi-Line for the past half a decade. But it is what senior Kourtney Danreuther is doing for the Big Sandy Pioneers high School track and field team which is making her a household name. Danreuther first started turning heads on the track in junior high, but the last four years as a Pioneer has really set her apart from the rest of the competition. As a freshman, Danreuther broke the mold for girls track and field. And in May of 2006 she really hit her stride, setting 11 meet records. She set five at the District 9C meet, three at the Ralph Halverson Northern C divisional meet and three at the Class C state meet. At state, capping off an astonishing season she set records in the 200-meter dash (25.76), the 400-meter dash (56.88) and the 300 hurdles (43.68). She also took first in the 100 hurdles, fourth in the 100-meter dash and ran on the first-place 1600 relay team on route to the Pioneers first state girls' track championship. But Danreuther's success didn't stop there. As she grew older and more impressive so did her resume of accomplishments. She returned to state as a sophomore and a junior, and did so in record-breaking fashion. As a sophomore, she placed first in the 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles, 200-meter dash and set a new Class C state record in the 400 meters (56.74.) And as a junior, she placed first in the 300 hurdles, first in the 200-meter dash, first in the long jump, second in the 400 meters and set another Class C state record in the 800 meters (2:15.56). “I never anticipated that I was going to be dominant.” Danreuther said. “I just kind of went out there and did my own thing. And I don't really compare myself to other people, I just try to better my times.” Danreuther's humble attitude and dedicated work ethic has not only made her successful on the high school level but has also set her up for great things at the collegiate level. Though she will attend the University of Montana in Missoula on a track scholarship, universities from all over have showed great interest. Montana State University in Bozeman and the University of Minnesota just to name a couple. While in Missoula, Danreuther will take part in the pentathlon where she will jump, run and throw. Bozeman was enticing for the fact her dad; Keith Danreuther competed for their track and field program. And Minnesota was a good offer, but the Gophers had plans for Danreuther to be strictly a long distance runner. So it seemed the most fitting choice was for her to take her next step as a Grizzly. “It will be an easy transition I think.” Danreuther said. “I really like the coaches and the girls on the team and they are really easy to get along with and to relate to. And my brother (Kyle Danreuther) is on the team so that kinda helped.” But before Danreuther can make that next step into the collegiate world of track and field, she has unfinished business at this years state meet. This weekend at the Bulldog Memorial Stadium in Butte, Big Sandy will compete for their fourth straight state title, something that hasn't been done since Harlowton achieved five straight from 1998-2002. Sometimes it seems the pressure and standards Danreuther is supposed to live up too make running track more work than fun. And while participating in five events this weekend (200, 400, 800, 300 hurdles and long jump) and trying to make history, Danreuther made it clear she is competing for her and her team, not for outside expectations. “I have always wanted to run track.” Danreuther said. “And I always want to go out there and do the best I can do. Winning state is really important; we have done it the past three years and it would just be the icing on the cake, a nice finish.” Looking back on her career, it's impossible not to put Kourtney Danreuther in with the top track and field stars in not only the Class C, but also Montana history. She currently holds seven district records, five divisional records and four Class C records, including the 400 (56.88), 800 (2:15.56), 300 hurdles (43.68) and 200 (25.76). Danreuther has earned 14 state gold medals, 12 of those individual at the state meet. And also, three second-place medals and one fourthplace medal. And though her real goal is to go out and compete for her team, she is three gold medals away from holding the record for most golds in Class C history, currently held by Toni Quinell of Geraldine who earned 17 from 2004- 2006. “I can't complain,” Danreuther said. “It's been pretty good.”

 

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