By Ryan Divish/Havre Daily News Sports Editoremail@example.com
Some advice to competitors around the state of Montana - if you're going to talk trash about Steve Heberly, at least make sure he's out of earshot.
After listening to an opposing track team talk about his credentials on track only feet away, Heberly did his talking on the track. The Havre High senior smashed a pair of meet records in the 100 and 200 and ran a phenomenal leg in the 1,600 relay to highlight a solid performance for the Havre High track team at the Eastern Montana Top 10 meet in Glasgow Tuesday night.
"I am going to start a collection to pay people to go around and trash talk Steve before meets," joked Havre head coach John Ita. "He just stood there and listened and didn't say a word. He was a class act and did his talking on the track."
Indeed, Heberly broke the meet record in the 100 with a solid time of 10.8 and was even more impressive in the 200 breaking the meet record with a time 22.0 which was a second and a half better than his next closest competitor. Heberly along with Steve Harman, Scott Robinson and Joey Howland cruised to a victory in the 400 relay. But it was his performance as the anchor leg in the 1,600 relay that left Ita stunned.
Running the anchor leg, Heberly got the baton more than 20 meters behind Plentywood's anchor runner. But by the third turn in the lap long leg, Heberly had caught and passed the leader and ended up winning the race by 20 meters.
"It was awesome," Ita said. "It was the best leg of a relay I've seen run. It was a sub 49 second leg. He was absolutely flying at the end."
Ita was beyond pleased with the effort and the competitiveness Heberly displayed.
"He beat people like an old rug," Ita said.
But Heberly wasn't the only Havre athlete capturing titles. Besides running on the relay, Harman also captured the long jump title and Robinson won the 400. Curt Leeds finished third in the triple jump and Anthony Bonavita and Eric Vosen finished third and fourth in the high jump. Mark Benjamin added a third place finish in the pole vault with a solid effort of 12-6.
Another solid individual performance Ita was pleased with was Kasey Barsotti 's in the 1,600 meters. After falling in the back of the pack early, Barsotti seemed to relax on the second lap and began passing runners with ease.
"He just got this smile on his face and started passing runners," Ita said. "It was fun to watch."
Barsotti caught Malta standout runner West NeVille on the last lap and looked to Ita like he might have had enough left to take NeVille. However, NeVille kicked it in down the stretch to beat Barsotti. Still, Ita was pleased with Barsotti's second place finish.
"He ran one of the better races he's run all season," Ita said. "I thought he might catch NeVille, but West has another gear also."
It wasn't just the Havre High boys team picking up wins, the Havre girls picked up their fair share.
The Havre girls got individual titles in the 100 from Rylee O'Connell, 300 hurdles from Alicia Overcast and the team of O'Connell, Overcast, Kelsey Smith and Brooke Schwan captured the 400 relay title.
"Rylee looked really strong out there," Ita said. "And Alicia's time in the hurdles was outstanding."
While they didn't win as many individual titles as hoped, the Pony girls still had a solid meet with several people placing in the top four and setting personal records.
Smith, one of Havre's top scorers, finished third in the 100 and pole vault and fourth in the 200. Schwan had a personal best time of 16.6 in the 100 hurdles while finishing third in the high jump with a season best of 5-0. O'Connell added a second in the 200 and Overcast also ran a solid time finishing third in the 400.
"The girls performed really well," Ita said. "We had so many of them P.R."
Perhaps the thing that pleased Ita the most was that nobody got hurt - something that has plagued the Ponies early in the season.
"The weather was pretty good and the wind wasn't bad at all," Ita said. "The conditions were pretty good. I was happy with everyone's performance. And nobody got hurt that's always good."
The Pony junior varsity will be in action tomorrow in Chinook while the varsity will return to action on Saturday in Lewistown.
Other local athletes placing in the meet were Casey Schmitt of Chinook, who finished fourth in the boys 1,600, Crystal Roseberry also of Chinook, who finished second in the triple jump and fourth in the long jump. Roseberry's teammate, Whitney Lybeck, finished second in the high jump.