By Ryan Divish/Havre Daily News Sports Editorfirstname.lastname@example.org
At first glance, it looked as if the Havre High girls track team should have won Tuesday's dual track meet against Great Falls High. After all, the Pony girls won eight of 16 events and swept the 100-meter dash.
But with a pair of consistent placers fighting nagging injuries, Havre lost some much-needed scoring depth and came up just short, falling to the Bison 75-70 on a gusty day at the Havre Middle School track.
The Havre boys had depth problems of their own - as in lack of - falling to the Bison 94-51.
"I was kind of disappointed because I thought our girls should have beat them," said HHS head coach Mark West. "We had a lot of PRs, but we had a few girls hurt that didn't compete that cost us some points."
Still, West could hardly be disappointed with the performances he did get. Freshman Lena Suek had the best day of her young track career, winning all three throwing events and scoring 15 team points.
Suek won her two best events, the discus and javelin, with solid performances. Suek uncorked a throw of 132-03 in the discus, which was not only good enough to put her in the school's track hall of fame, but also beat her nearest competitor by almost 30 feet.
In the javelin, Suek came up with a toss of 111-07 despite fighting a tough head wind of more than 20 mph. In what is probably her weakest event - the shot put, Suek won with a toss of 30-08, edging Great Falls High's Jacquie Scoates.
"Lena Suek, wow, what a day," West said. "She goes into the hall of fame as a little freshman and she is not far off in the javelin."
Suek wasn't the only freshman having a good day for Havre. Freshman Carmen Neuens also etched her name among the school's top performances, winning the high jump with a leap of 5-02. Neuens added a second-place finish in the long jump, while fellow freshman Darci Briere added a second in the 1,600.
"Our freshmen have really stepped up in the past few weeks," West said. "They are improving so fast."
But the Pony senior girls weren't about to let their younger counterparts steal the show. The senior trio of Rylee O'Connell, Alicia Overcast and Kelsey Smith finished 1-2-3 to sweep the 100-meter dash. O'Connell and Smith finished 1-2 in the 200, while Smith added a win in the pole vault.
"That was kind of neat to see our seniors sweep the 100 like that," West said.
Overcast, who has been bothered by a hip injury, added a third in the 100 hurdles, but didn't run her best event - the 300 hurdles.
Havre also got a win from Mandi Nystrom in the 400-meter dash, while Kelsey Malsam added a pair of third-place finishes.
Alexa Lipp finished third in the triple jump on just one attempt. West admitted that not having Overcast in the 300 hurdles and Lipp not being able to jump because of a sprained ankle hurt his team point-wise.
"If they're healthy, we win at least one of those events if not both," West said. "That wins us the dual."
On the boys side, things weren't quite so close. Havre had solid individual performances, but lack of depth in the throwing events and the jumps really hurt the Ponies against a very deep and talented Bison squad.
Junior Scott Robinson once again led the Ponies, winning the 200- and 400-meter dashes, while finishing second in the 100 and the javelin and third in the discus.
"We knew that Great Falls had a lot of good throwers," West said. "We might have messed up by having Scott compete in the throwing events and not more running events. He had another great day for us."
Senior Kasey Barsotti had a great day for Havre. Barsotti won his best event, the 1,600, with a time of 5:05.60. But he also pulled off an unexpected win in the 800, rallying in the final 100 meters to catch and beat Great Falls' Tyler Corwin and Pony teammate Jeff Sprinkle.
"The 800 is not an event suited to Kasey," West said. "He doesn't have the type of speed that Corwin and Sprinkle have, but he is definitely in better condition and he just gutted it out down the stretch."
Havre got other individual wins from Patch Wirtzberger in the 300 hurdles and Eric Vosen in the high jump. Wirtzberger, Tyson Parman and Tom Knudson completed the 1-2-3 sweep of the event. Vosen put together his best jump of the year, clearing 6-02 to beat teammate Ryan Horne.
"That's a great jump for Eric," West said. "And we really looked good in the long hurdles event with Patch, Tyson and Tom sweeping it."
Havre also got a second and third place from Cody McLean and Josh Morse in the pole vault and Knudson and Wirtzberger finished 2-3 in the short hurdles. But in the end it wasn't enough, as Great Falls swept the shot put, long jump and triple jump.
"We just don't have their numbers and depth that they do," West said. "We're still pretty young and we need some of our underclassmen to start contributing."
Havre will return to action on Saturday for the Whitefish Invitational.
Great Fall High 75, Havre High 70
100 - 1. Rylee O'Connell, HAV 12.90; 2. Alicia Overcast, HAV 12.91; 3. Kelsey Smith, HAV 12.95.
200 - 1. Rylee O'Connell, HAV 27.20; 2. Kelsey Smith, HAV 27.40; 3. Nicole Donisthorpe, GFH 27.60.
400 - 1. Mandi Nystrom, HAV 1:07.80; 2. Nicole Donisthorpe, GFH 1:09.00; 3. Candice Yoder, GFH 1:11.30.
800 - 1. Candice Yoder, GFH 2:42.30; 2. Christina Armstrong, HAV 2:47.70; 3. Kelsey Malsam, HAV 2:51.00.
1,600 - 1. Rikka Strong, GFH 6:10.60; 2. Darci Briere, HAV 6:19.10; 3. Kelsey Malsam, HAV 6:28.90.
3,200 - 1. Rikka Strong, GFH 13:15.70; 2. McKayla Patterson, HAV 13:33.30; 3. Emily Kostelecky, HAV 14:02.30.
100 HURDLES - 1. Laurel Urquhart, GFH 16.10; 2. Frankie Brady, GFH 16.40; 3. Alicia Overcast, HAV 17.30.
300 HURDLES - 1. Laurel Urquhart, GFH 54.00; 2. Frankie Brady, GFH 55.10; 3. Baylee Sorenson, GFH 58.40.
HIGH JUMP - 1. Carmen Neuens, HAV 5-02; 2. Marissa Francis, GFH 5-00; 3. Casea Pollington, HAV 5-00.
POLE VAULT - 1. Kelsey Smith, HAV 8-06; 2. Amanda Kyllo, GFH 8-00; 3. Ashley Moore, GFH 7-06.
LONG JUMP - 1. Lauren Beck, GFH 16-04; 2. Carmen Neuens, HAV 15-11; 3. Stephanie Schaffel, GFH 15-03.
TRIPLE JUMP - 1. Frankie Brady, GFH 33-04; 2. Cassidy Knapstad, GFH 31-02; 3. Alexa Lipp, HAV 31-02.
SHOT PUT - 1. Lena Suek, HAV 30-08; 2. Jacquie Scoates, GFH 29-08; 3. Brittany Deffinbarugh, GFH 29-00.
DISCUS - 1. Lena Suek, HAV 132-03; 2. Brittany Deffinbarugh, GFH 103-9; 3. Tara Udall, GFH 101-6.
JAVELIN - 1. Lena Suek, HAV 111-07; 2. Sara Stubbs, GFH 103-05; 3. Kirilynn Winkler, GFH 103-00.
400 RELAY - 1. Havre 53.9
1,600 RELAY - 1. GFH 4:34.6
Great Falls High 94, Havre High 51
100 - 1. Rob Schulte, GFH 11.00; 2. Scott Robinson, HAV 11.20; 3. Jerry Schmitz, HAV 11.40.
200 - 1. Scott Robinson, HAV 23.40; 2. Matt Tucker, GFH 23.80; 3. Derek Dowson, GFH 24.00.
400 - 1. Scott Robinson, HAV 23.40; 2. Greg Horton, GFH 55.70; 3. Derek Dowson, GFH 57.60.
800 - 1. Kasey Barsotti, HAV 2:12.58; 2. Tyler Corwin, GFH 2:12.60; 3. Jeff Sprinkle, HAV 2:12.80.
1,600 - 1. Kasey Barsotti, HAV 5:05.60; 2. Riley Reardon, GFH 5:07.30; 3. Adam Staeben, GFH 5:37.70.
3,200 - 1. Riley Reardon, GFH 11:33.20; 2. Adam Staeben, GFH 11:33.80; 3. Drew Fenton, GFH 12:05.30.
110 HURDLES - 1. Nick Milodragovich, GFH 15.20; 2. Tom Knudson, HAV 17.00; 3. Patch Wirtzberger, HAV 17.46
300 HURDLES - 1. Patch Wirtzberger, HAV 44.90; 2. Tyson Parman, HAV 46.30; 3. Tom Knudson, HAV 49.00.
HIGH JUMP - 1. Eric Vosen, HAV 6-02; 2 (tie). Matt Niemeyer, GFH 5-10; Ryan Horne, HAV 5-10.
POLE VAULT - 1. 1. Skyler Morgan, GFH 10-06; 2 (tie). Cody McLean, HAV 10-00; Josh Morse, HAV 10-00
LONG JUMP - 1. Nick Milodragovich, GFH 20-03; 2. Kevin Corwin, GFH 19-08; 3. Kevin McKittrick, GFH 18-08.
TRIPLE JUMP - 1. Kevin Corwin, GFH 41-01; 2. T.J. Lightbourne, GFH 37-03; 2. Kevin McKittrick, GFH 36-05.
SHOT PUT - 1. Tyler Bryant, GFH 48-10; 2. Russell Hilton, GFH 46-08; 3. Jon Degel, GFH 42-06.
DISCUS - 1. Britt Siddoway, GFH 178-0; 2. Russell Hilton, GFH 144-00; 3. Tyler Bryant, GFH 136-04.
JAVELIN - 1. Dan VanSwearingen, GFH 169-07; 2. Scott Robinson, HAV 143-10; 3. Josh Bailey, GFH 143-09.
400 RELAY - 1. GFH 45.8.
1,600 RELAY - 1. GFH 3:41.7.