By Tiffany L. Rehbein
In the case of the Chester Coyotes, it might be a good thing that the young are sometimes restless.
As long as that restlessness leads to divisional trophies and gives a team some strength at the State Class C track meet.
The Coyotes girls' team placed first at the Northern Divisional with 116 points and nine-of-10 point-getters were underclassmen.
Michele Van Dyke, as a freshman last year, placed third in the high jump at state.
However, Van Dyke, a solid sophomore in the 800 meters and high jump this season, leads the state in the jumping event with a personal-best height of 5-6.
She placed first at the Northern Divisional with a jump of 5-4.
Van Dyke will also compete in the 800, where she qualified with a fifth-place finish at divisional and a time of 2:29.9.
Teammate Carlane Jensen, a junior, was the biggest point-getter at at the divisional meet for the Coyotes. She tallied 39 points.
Jensen qualified in the shot put, discus, javelin, triple jump, and high jump.
She also runs on both the 400-meter relay and 1,600-meter relay.
At the divisional meet, Jensen set a meet record in the javelin with a toss of 140-1. That is also the farthest toss in the Class C in the state at this time.
But KG's Kim Berg, a fine freshman thrower, is on track for a high finish in the javelin event at state.
Berg, the only female KouGar to qualify for state, set a personal-best mark of 137-3 and placed second, behind Jensen, at the divisional meet.
Berg is already in the KouGar record books with the javelin toss and could be a young surprise at state. She also qualified in the long jump, where she has a far mark of 15-9.
While Jensen and Berg have to be favorites in the javelin, Judith Gap's Brandi Miller and Hot Spring's Sarah Brown should be tough in the shot put.
In both the long and triple jump, Erin Jones of Harlowton led the Class C during the regular season and looks to be the favorite. Harlowton is the defending girls' team champion and has its sights set on 100 team points and another state trophy.
Chester's Maci Tempel, a sophomore, will compete in the 200, 400 and 300-meter hurdles.
Tempel, also a member of the Coyotes' long relay, has a fast time of 47.9 in the hurdle event and 61.91 in the 400 meters.
The Coyotes' 1,600-meter relay Jamie Graham, Katy Engstrom, Tempel and Van Dyke ran away with the gold at divisional with a time of 4:15.75. It was just 1.85 seconds off the meet record.
Last season, Chester's long relay placed third with a time of 4:15.9.
Engstrom will also compete in the 400 and 800 meters.
She set a personal-best time in the 800 at the divisional meet (2:27.53).
The Northern Division swamped the 800-meter, placing five-of-six athletes in the event.
Big Sandy's Kate Bitz won the race with a season-best time of 2:26.13. Teammate Eryn Darlington placed second (2:27.0).
Chester's Engstrom and Van Dyke placed fourth-fifth and Blue Sky's Lindsey Letang placed sixth.
Harlowton's Cody Halsey is strong in the 800 with a season-best time of 2:24.1. Lacy High of Twin Bridges could also sneak in for a finish. She has a season-best time of 2:24.9 in the race.
Debbie Brown and Hannah Brown will cover the distance runs for Chester. The two qualified in the 3,200 meters.
Kristi Upham of Big Sandy will pose some competition in the 100 and 200 meters as well as the high jump.
Carla Breuer of Charlo has the fastest Class C time in the 200 (25.5), but Upham is also ranked in the state with a time of 27.62.
Big Sandy's Jenny Silvan qualified in both the 100- and 300-meter hurdles and the pole vault.
Silvan set a divisional meet record in the pole vault at 9 feet, three inches. Only Tessa Anderson of Drummond, who has a season-best height of 9-6, could pose some competition for Silvan.
Last season, Silvan placed fifth at state with a jump at 9-0.
Emily Tranberg of Chester could see a lot of Silvan. Tranberg qualified in the pole vault and 100-meter hurdles, also. Tranberg has a personal-best time of 16.95 in the hurdle event.
Eryn Darlington has been solid all season for Big Sandy. She has a state-ranked time of 62.77 in the 400 meters. Cody Halsey and Marny Adamson of Harlowton run the fastest times in the event 59.25 and 60.6, respectively.
Sheena Darlington qualified in the 1,600 meters for Big Sandy and Lindsey Danreuther added some more wheels in the 300-meter hurdles for the Pioneers.
The Class AA will join the Class C at the state meet, which will begin Friday at 10 a.m. at Bozeman.