By Tiffany L. Rehbein
They have the depth and they definitely have the athleticism.
The Big Sandy Pioneers' girls' track team, behind a hoard of talented tracksters, should do well at the District 9C track meet.
Jenny Silvan looks to lead the Pioneers through the pole vault, and 100- and 300-meter hurdle events.
Silvan set a meet record in the pole vault at the Big Sandy Invitational at 9 feet but her personal-best mark of 9-3 could give her a first-place finish at districts.
Her 9-3 height is the second-highest of any Class C competitor in the state.
Silvan also set a personal-best time of 17.77 in the 100-meter hurdles at Big Sandy, which was the last regular-season meet for the team.
She has a season-best time of 49.96 in the 300-meter hurdles, which she set at the Rocky Boy Invitational held at the Havre track.
Celeste Darlington is also a fine hurdler for the Pioneers. Darlington also has a personal-best time of 17.77 in the 100-meter hurdles, a time she clocked at the KG Invitational held at Havre in the early season.
Darlington can also sprint and compete in the triple jump for the Pioneers.
Kate Bitz is a fine middle distance and distance point-getter for Big Sandy.
Bitz has finished in first place all but once this season in the 400 meters. She has a season-best time of 66.50 in the race.
Bitz will also compete in the 800 and 1,600 meters. She runs the second-fastest time in the Class C in the 800 meters (2:28.2). It is a time she set on the Havre track.
Kristi Upham is a sure bet in the sprints and jumps.
During 11 different outings, Upham placed second just once in the 100 meters to Hilary Turner of Sunburst, a competitor Upham will see at divisional. She finished first during the other 10 races.
However, the second-place finish was Upham's personal-best time, a mark of 13.49.
Her fastest time this season in the 200 meters is clocked at 27.8. She will also compete in the high jump.
Sheena Darlington has been consistent in the 800 and 1,600 meters.
Amy Silvan has proven herself in a variety of areas, including the 400, pole vault, triple jump, 300-meter hurdles, and 200.
Eryn Darlington's greatest strength could be in the 400. She is ranked in the top five in the Class C in the event with a time of 62.77.
Darlington is also a good runner in the 800 meters and she has a mark of 28-10 in the shot put.
The boys' team, behind the strength of Mace Mangold and Lance Nelson, could finish in the top three at the meet.
Mangold is tied for the highest pole vault leap in the Class C at 13-6. He is ranked sixth in the state in the event.
Mangold will also compete in the javelin for the Pioneers where he has a season-best throw of 167-4.
Nelson is strong in both hurdle events, the pole vault, and the javelin. He is also ranked in the state in the pole vault event.
Ross Runnion will compete in the 400 and 800 and Dan Weaver will compete in sprints and hurdles. Chris Ayers should do well in the shot put.
The meet will begin with the field events at 10 a.m. at the Havre Middle School track on Thursday.