By George Ferguson/Havre Daily News Sports/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Talk about a lot of running, jumping and throwing. Today marks an extremely big weekend of competition for the Havre High track and field team as some varsity and junior varsity athletes will travel to Fort Benton for a meet this afternoon at Fort Benton High School.
Following today's action in Fort Benton, the Havre High boys team will travel to Butte for the prestigious Swede Dahlberg Invitational, while the Blue Pony girls will be in Great Falls on Saturday for the annual Optimist Invitational.
"This weekend will be a big one for our athletes," said Havre High head coach John Ita. "We will send mostly JV athletes to Fort Benton on Thursday while the rest of our boy's team goes to Butte. And Saturday our entire varsity girls team is in Great Falls, so we have a lot going on right now."
Today's meet in Fort Benton will feature several of the Pony varsity girls along with a full team of junior varsity athletes from both the girls and boys team. The meet will feature the host Longhorns and several other area Class B and C schools.
On Friday, the Havre High boys will be in Butte for their biggest challenge of the young season. All of the Class AA schools will be in action, as well as the possibility of several of Class A schools from the area.
"This will be a dramatic change for our boys team in Butte," Ita said. "There will be some tremendous athletes at this meet and it will present a great challenge for our kids.
"However, the good thing is that we have typically been pretty close with the AA schools in the sprints and jumps, so I think our boys have a chance to do very well this weekend."
Saturday the Havre High girls will travel to Great Falls for the Optimist Invitational at Memorial Stadium. The annual all girls meet will feature all of the Class AA schools and possibly Lewistown. Like the boys team in Butte, Ita thinks that the competition will be fierce on Saturday.
"Again we usually stay with the AA teams in the sprints and jumps," Ita said. "But in Great Falls there will be some phenomenal distance runners and that is where the gap may be for us. But it will be great for our young distance runners to go up against this kind of quality competition."
All in all, this weekend's AA meets will be a positive for the Havre Blue Ponies regardless of where they finish in the team standings.
"Our kids are really excited about these meets," Ita said. "The competition will be so good and that gets the kids fired up and they will be rested and ready to go."