NORTHEAST REGION TRACK: Toenies finds his niche in sprints
LARIMORE--Shandon Toenies hasn't played football or wrestled in high school. He quit basketball after his freshman season. What the junior does is run.
LARIMORE-Shandon Toenies hasn't played football or wrestled in high school. He quit basketball after his freshman season. What the junior does is run.
"I used to play basketball but it wasn't really my thing,'' Toenies said. "I've never wanted to play football, but I'm going to go out next fall, just to try something new. I was in cross country. But I wasn't very good.''
What Toenies does is run fast. And he was faster than any other sprinter here Friday in leading Hillsboro-Central Valley to the team title in the Class B Northeast Region track meet. The Burros scored 169 points to easily beat runner-up Larimore (100) and third-place Park River Area (96).
The Burros made it a sweep, repeating as team champion in the girls division. Hillsboro-CV had 151 points to pull away from Langdon Area (128) and Park River Area (109).
Toenies won the 100 in 11.86 seconds and set Northeast Region meet records with titles in the 200 (23.51) and 400 (51.60). He capped his day by anchoring the winning 4x400 relay, with Grant Skager, Tayson Ambuehl and Cade Baesler also running legs as H-CV broke the meet record with a 3:38.48 time.
"All the other sports take more coordination than I have,'' said Toenies, whose best showing in the region as a sophomore was second in the 100. "Track is dedication. And (natural ability) helps. I guess I have some of that, too.
"I've been working for months getting ready for track. I was in the weight room a lot in the winter and I did a sprint running camp.''
Toenies downplays his athletic ability. But, H-CV coach Tony Guttormson said, "He's athletic and fast. I think there is a spot for him in other sports.
"He has natural ability. But he also has high goals and everyday he works hard in practice.''
Had somebody said Toenies would sweep the three open sprint races a year ago would have been met with some skepticism.
"I knew he'd come back and do well,'' Guttormson said. "To sweep them all, I don't know if we would have expected that. It shows how hard he's worked.''
The Burros also had a double winner in Benjamin Dryburgh, who swept the 110 and 300 hurdles, while Gavin Longthorne repeated as region high jump champion and Oscar Benson won the triple jmp with a meet-record 40-6.5 jump.
Larimore was led by Alex Mutch, the region senior athlete of the year who tied a meet record with a 13-foot-6 pole vault. Park River Area's quartet of Daman Flaten, Levi Cudmore, Will Zimmerman and Cadyn Hunter set meet records in both the 4x100 and 4x200 relays.
Wesley Odegaard of Griggs County Central won the discus and shot put, setting a meet record in the latter.
The Burros repeated as girls champions despite the graduation losses last spring of Annika Rotvold and Kylie Pastian, who combined to win five open events at last season's regional.
"Those were two impact athletes,'' H-CV coach Heidi Eckart said. ""We had to have a little more balance this year.
"We're pretty evenly matched with Langdon. They have a lot of top-end athletes. Our top-end athletes really stepped up, and we probably have more depth.''
Gracie Wright led the Burros, winning the 400 and 800 and ran the anchor on a 4x400 relay team, along with Katja Berge, Addi Eckart and Reagan Baesler, that ran a meet-record time of 4:11.38. Berge scored big in the jumps, winning the triple and placing second in the high jump and third in the long jump.
Langdon Area was led by region senior athlete of the year Jocelyn Dinius, who won the 110 hurdles and pole vault, setting a meet record in the latter, while placing second in the 100 and third in the 200. Park River Area's Beatrice Kjelland repeated as champ in the 100 and 200, while teammate Elaina Swartz won the 300 hurdles with a meet-record performance..