George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor email@example.com
The Havre Middle School track has seen plenty of postseason action over the years, and that excitement begins again today as the District 9C track meet comes to have. The meet features teams from Big Sandy, Box Elder, North Star, Chinook, Turner, Rocky Boy and Hays- Lodge Pole, and berths in the Northern C Divisional meet will be on the line. On the boys side, Big Sandy has dominated the Class C and Northern C ranks the last three years, but the North Star Knights seemed poised to go after another 9C title. North Star is perhaps the deepest team in the field with talented allaround athletes like Josh Beaudry, Cody Jurenka and Zach Rambo. All three are talented sprinters and Jurenka should be one to watch today in the hurdles, while Beaudry is also strong in the long jump and triple jump, as well as the favorite in he pole vault. The Knights also have an excellent distance runner in Kellan Warren, and North Star's relay teams are among the best in the district. While Big Sandy will still be among the favorites today in Havre, because of a great group of throwers in Blake Brumwell, Taylor Ophus and Casten Heppner, as well as one of Class C's best distance runners in Darin Ray, Chinook has also emerged as a 9C contender this season. The Sugarbeeters have an excellent group of sprinters, led by Greg Qualls. Qualls is joined by teammates Willie Miller, Colton Davies and Kyle Reid, while the Beeters are strong in the distance races thanks to Dylan MacLean and Taylor Erskine. The Beeters should be favored to win the 400-meter relay and they are also in the mix in the jumps. Turner should also score points today, as Travis and Justin Hofer are versatile athletes who compete in multiple events. Turner is strongest in the jumps and the hurdles, and they should also get points from Taylor Fouts in the throws. Rocky Boy is also a wildcard in the meet. The Stars haven't had much succcess in the past, but they have a standout sprinter in Jerason Oats and a strong thrower in Anthony Archoa. Meanwhile, the girls meet has been and will likely be about Big Sandy junior Kourtney Danreuther, who already holds 9C records in the 200 meters, the 400 meters and both hurdle events. The Pioneers are the two-time defending Class C champions and with Danreuther competing in her usual events plus possibly the 800 meters and maybe the long jump, Big Sandy is a can't-miss favorite again today. The Pioneers also have another state champion in Amber Amsbaugh in the long jump, and they have a standout jumper in Desirae O'Neil as well as a state-champion caliber thrower in Laci Keller. Mariah Gullickson should also help anchor the Pioneers' sprinters. If anyone is going to challenge Big Sandy today, it should be North Star and Chinook. The Knights have the depth to score points in the meet, thanks the all-around efforts of Sarah Helmbrecht. Helmbrecht is a star in the sprints, and she is also solid in the hurdles. The Knights also have Natasha Dyrland back for a fourth straight year, and she has state meet experience in the hurdles, as well as being an excellent thrower. Britt and Jenna Kapperud also add to North Star's depth. Meanwhile, Chinook, like its boys team, is paced by a solid group of sprinters. The Beeters have Tia and Ashley Bower to lead the way, and Heather McMaster adds some depth to the lineup. Chinook is also strong in the hurdles and the jumps, and with its depth, could push for a 9C title today. Rocky Boy should also score points, especially behind Jasmin Dumas, who is one of the best distance runners in the Northern C this season. Angel Archoa is also strong for the Morning Stars in the sprints, and Feather Small could place in all three throwing events. The top six finishers in each event in today's 9C meet will move on to the Northern C track meet on May 15 at Memorial Stadium in Great Falls.