By George Ferguson/Havre Daily News Sportsfirstname.lastname@example.org
Both of the Havre High golf teams saved their best for last.
The Pony boys and girls teams took advantage of course knowledge and ideal weather conditions to capture both team titles Saturday at the Central A divisional golf tournament at Beaver Creek Golf Course.
As expected, the Blue Pony boys team rolled to another Central A Division title with a total team score of 306. The Havre High girls team surprised many by capturing the girls team title with a total score of 435. The successes had veteran HHS coach Keith Evenson singing the praises of both teams.
"The kids all had a very good day on Saturday," Evenson said. "I thought that playing this tournament on our home course would be a huge advantage and I think that is exactly the way it turned out. Especially on the girls side because it seemed like a lot of the players from the other teams had a lot of trouble with the water hazards. Being at home for divisionals really turned out to be big for us."
The Blue Pony boys placed all five of their competitors in the top 20, which means that the entire team will advance to the state tournament next weekend in Polson. As a team, the Ponies finished 14 strokes ahead of second-place Dillon. Anaconda was third and Livingston finished fourth.
Individually, Havre High senior Trent Normandy earned medalist honors for the third time in his high school career. Normandy fired a 1-under-par 71 to edge Dillon's Jon Thomas by one stroke. Blue Pony senior Chazz Hurlburt finished in third place with a 76 and Ben Erickson was fifth with a 78.
Havre also got a huge lift from freshmen Matt Hedstrom, who finished in a tie for seventh place in his first varsity postseason tournament. Hedstrom fired a 9-over-par 81, which was good enough to tie with Lewistown's Matt Gruener. Senior Tony Jensen rounded out the scoring for the Blue Ponies with a round of 86, which was good enough for 17th place.
While all of the Blue Pony boys played well on Saturday, it was the play of Normandy and Hedstrom that caught Evenson's attention.
"I am very happy for Trent," Evenson said. "He has been playing well at home all season and he has done so much for this golf program over his four years. He deserved to be the medalist at this tournament and I am glad that he went out and played as well as he did."
"Matt Hedstrom also gave our team a real nice surprise," Evenson said. "Matt is the first freshman to play varsity since Trent did it and he went out and played really well."
While the Blue Pony boys met all expectations as the odds-on favorites, the Havre High girls surprised everyone but themselves by capturing the first Central A girls title in some time. The Ponies finished the tournament with a 435 team total, which was 15 strokes better than second-place Anaconda. Livingston was third and Lewistown finished a distant fourth.
"All year we said that our biggest goal was to get the girls team to the state tournament," Evenson said. "They went out and accomplished that, and the fact that they won a divisional championship on their home course is a huge bonus. I am just really happy for all of the girls."
To no one's surprise, Brittany Job once again led the way for the HHS girls as she finished second after firing a round of 96. Job finished three strokes behind medalist Kelsey Phillips of Belgrade.
Havre High freshman Ali Ward fired her best round of the season, a 102, to catapult her to a sixth-place finish overall. Senior Amanda Brock also earned top-10 medalist honors, finishing ninth with a round of 111.
Freshman Morgan Zimmer finished 16th with a round of 126, and senior Catlin Anderson was 20th with a round of 134. Like the boys team, the entire Blue Pony girls team will now travel to Polson for the Class A state tournament this weekend.
"Brittany Job, Amanda Brock and Ali Ward all played really well on their home course," Evenson said. "I was really happy for Ali because she played the best golf she has played all season and that really gave the girls team a big lift on Saturday."
The Havre High golf team will travel to Polson Thursday morning for a practice round. The Class A state tournament will get under way Friday morning at the Mission Bay Golf Club.
CENTRAL A DIVISIONAL TOURNAMENT
Team Results- Havre 306, Dillon 326, Anaconda 335, Livingston 348, Butte Central 354, Lewistown 355, Belgrade 355, Browning 414
Top 10 Individuals
Trent Normandy, Havre 71
Jon Thomas, Dillon 72
Chazz Hurlburt, Havre 76
Jeff Allen, Dillon 78
Ben Erickson, Havre 78
Allen Johnson, Anaconda 80
Matt Hedstrom, Havre 81
Matt Gruener, Lewistown 81
Tim Briggs, Dillon 82
Lance Wilson, Livingston 83
Havre (306) - Trent Normandy 71, Ben Erickson 78, Chass Hurlburt 76, Tony Jensen 86, Matt Hedstrom 81
Dillon (320) - Jon Thomas 72, Jeff Allen 78, Tim Briggs 82, Marko Stanisich 88, Shane Cotton 101
Anaconda (335) - Casey Ohman 84, Paul Johns 84, Allen Johnson 80, Zane Kenney 87, Casey Dee 95
Livingston (348) - J.J. Barney 84, Jay Hardesty 90, Kayle Ingram 91, Lance Wilson 83, Robert Lundren 93
Butte Central (354) - Dan Markovich 87, Geoff Peterson 93, Jeff Staudinger 85, Kevin O' Leary 99, Adam Axelson 89
Lewistown (355) - Justin Shobe 93, Gustauf Lindgren 86, Mike Gruener 95, Matt Gruener 81, Steve Gruener 96
Belgrade (355) - Chris Goldan 83, Mike Simonsen 92, Wade Fellin 91, Tony Nelson 91, Jeff Prickett 90
Browning (414) - Ryan Running Crane 94, Robert Hall 104, Thomas Tall Bull 106, Make Goss 110
Top Ten Individuals
Kelsey Phillips, Belgrade 93
Brittany Job, Havre 96
Karrie Black, Livingston 98
Caitlin Flament, Lewistown 98
Ashley Meine, Dillon 100
Ali Ward, Havre 102
Michelle Blaz, Anaconda 105
Lisa Minnehan, Anaconda 107
Amanda Brock, Havre 111
Jonna Van Daveer, Butte Central 112
Havre (435) - Brittany Job 96, Amanda Brock 111, Ali Ward 102, Morgan Zimmer 126, Catlin Anderson 134
Anaconda (450) - Lisa Minnehan 107, Amy Eubanks 114, Michelle Blaz 105, April Capp 133, Lindsay Laughlin 124
Livingston (475) - Karrie Brack 98, Kynsi Berg 117, Nicole Myrstol 120, Tiffani Fehlmann 149, Kacie Quesenberry 140
Lewistown (498) - Caitlin Flament 98, Anika Tuss 126, Steph Spika 137, Kim Ried 137, Elysie Moreton WD
Browning (539) - Jessie Scott 113, Irene Harrison 139, Brooke Wagner 133, Robyn Mad Plume 158, Kathy Running Crane 154
Belgrade (No team score) - Kelsey Phillips 93
Butte Central (No team score) - Jonna Van Daveer 112, Kyla Grose 156
Dillon (No team score) - Ashley Meine 100