Local track and field teams have been able to find plenty of success throughout the 2012 season, but with just the Class C state meet waiting for the Hi-Line talent, they will face their biggest test yet.
This weekend in Butte, the local Northern C teams including the Big Sandy Pioneers, Chinook Sugarbeeters, North Star Knights, Box Elder Bears, Big Sandy Pioneers and Chester/J-I Hawks will put their best athletes up against the rest of the state’s best talent in the Class C state track meet.
The Knights are one of the top girls teams, claiming the a No. 1 divisional finish, while the Beeter boys are riding the wave of a No. 2 divisional finish. But the field of talent is going to be extremely tough with girls teams like Westby-Grenora, Harlowton and Manhattan Christian, and boys teams like Culbertson, Terry, Power and Darby also being heavily favored to snatch up team titles this weekend.
And while not all of the local squads are blessed with depth and numbers, they do all house top talent.
The Pioneer boys will compete in both relay races, but will be led by Justin Stevens and Kaden Beck in individual events. Stevens will compete in the 100-meter and Beck in the shot put. And the Knights lack numbers as well, but will hopefully earn top performances from Cooper Spicher in the 110 hurdles and Quinn Spinler in the 300 hurdles. Will Ketchum was the only Bear to qualify, and will look to be a dominant force in the 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs.
And out of the 10C, the Hawks also have just a couple of competitors. Erik Kelly will run the 110 hurdles and Cody Ramberg will compete in the triple jump and high jump.
Chinook is the top local boys team heading into the state meet, but have an uphill battle, having more numbers than most, but not as many as the heavily favored squads.
Dylan Surber will look to win the 800, while Zach Molyneaux will look to win the discus and the javelin. Barry Murnion should also look to battle in the high jump, and Kaylan Johnson has been a standout in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 all season long. The 400 relay team also has a shot at a No. 1 finish.
It is a different story for the North Star girls, who have favorable numbers. The Knights won their third-straight Northern C title, and are now looking for that elusive state title.
Haylee Anderson is amongst the top Knights performers and has shined in the 100 and 200-meter sprints. Lisa Carlon and Bettie Carlon add to the talented depth. Lisa Carlon is a standout in the long jump, while Bettie Carlon is a standout in the triple jump. But Bettie Carlon will also compete in the 400 and long jump, while Lisa Carlon will also compete in the 200 and triple jump. Tylynn Rettig will compete in the pole vault, 100 and 200, while Delainey Spicher will compete in the 100 hurdles and Shelby Lipp will compete in the shot put and discus. Both relay teams will also compete, coming off of two No. 1 finishes at the Northern C meet.
The Beeter girls had high hopes of knocking the Knights off their throne this season, but came up short. But despite the lack of 9C and Northern C titles, they will still be in the hunt for state supremacy.
Senior Kayla Hanson has dominated the 100 and 300 hurdles in recent years and has as good a shot as any to sweep the hurdles at state. Hanson will also compete in the triple jump. But freshman Hanna Weber is also a favorite in her events. Weber will compete in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200. Britney Nelson has also come on strong last in her freshman season, and will compete in the shot put, discus and javelin. Makhayla Farmer will compete in the discus for the Beeters.
C/J-I lacks numbers, still houses standout Brittnee Theel in the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles.
Not all of the local talent will find themselves in the hunt for team titles at the state meet this weekend, but the Hi-Line is sending an abundance of individual talent. And if they compete at a high level, like they are capable of, fans should see plenty of top placers return home.
The Class C meet will take place this weekend in Butte.