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Area thinclads hope to shine at Northern C

For local track and field teams, the postseason is in full swing. And for several area teams, the next step comes Thursday afternoon in Great Falls.

Area Class C teams and athletes will converge on Great Falls' Memorial Stadium Thursday for the 2013 Northern C Divisional Track Meet, where spots in the upcoming Class C state meet will be on the line.

Chinook's Makhayla Farmer is one of a bevy of local athletes competing in Thursday's Northern C track meet in Great Falls.

And when it comes to the Northern C, the North Star girls instantly spring off the page.

The Knights are not just the defending state champions, but they are also the two-time defending Northern C champs. And they will roll into Great Falls fresh off a commanding win at last Wednesday's 9C meet in Havre.

And the train should keep on rolling. Led by Tylynn Rettig, who qualified for five events in Thursday's meet, as well as stalwarts like Lisa and Bettie Carlon and Delainey Spicher, head coach Brian Campbell's Knights should be heavy favorites to repeat as divisional champs. North Star will be one of the most talented teams in the field, as the Knights have just about every event covered, and with steadily improving freshmen like Graysen Spicher, the depth of North Star should be too much for the field on Thursday.

The Chinook boys will also be a handful in Thursday's meet. After a strong showing at the 9C meet last Wednesday, the Beeters could do the same in Great Falls. Chinook has a great group of sprinters, led by Dylan Surber and Zach Molyneaux, but the Beeters too have depth. Chinook's Geoff Qualls should be tough in the hurdles, while the Beeter relay teams will score points too.

Chinook's girls should be a strong contender as well. The Beeters have strong field athletes like Emily Dennis, Brittney Nelson and Makhayla Farmer, but Hannah Weber and Kaitlyn Neibauer should do well on the track too.

And so should plenty of other individuals from the 9C and beyond.

The Chester/J-I Hawks perhaps have the best hurdlers in the field in Brittnee Theel on the girls side and Erik Kelly on the boys side. C/J-I will also get plenty of points from Kate Graff in multiple events. On the boys side, Big Sandy's Kaden Beck will do well in the throws, while Trevor Lackner could be a factor in the sprints. Kaylie Gilman is also a potential state qualifier in the girls high jump, while Cooper Spicher, Quinn Spinler and Jaxson Simonson should score points for the North Star boys. And to top things off, Box Elder may have the best distance runner in the field in senior Will Ketchum. He swept all three distance races last week in Havre and is poised to do so again this Thursday.

As for the team titles, everyone is chasing the North Star girls. Belt is probably the only team which will give the Knights a run, while Chinook should be in the trophy hunt as well. The Belt boys could be a strong contender for the team title, as will the Beeters. But tough teams from Fort Benton and Dutton-Brady could also factor into Thursday's meet.

The Northern C will begin at 11 a.m. at Memorial Stadium in Great Falls. The top six placers in each event will advance to next weekend's Class C state meet in Laurel.


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