By Ryan Divish/Havre Daily News Sports Editorfirstname.lastname@example.org
The Havre High spring sports awards banquets honor not only the participants of the past track and tennis seasons, but they also honor a pair of seniors for their athletic efforts throughout the entire year.
HHS seniors Trent Normandy and Kelsey Smith were named the 2004 athletes of the year for their participation and achievement throughout the 2003-04 school year.
The award which is voted on by all of the coaches at Havre High is given to the respective senior boy and girl athlete who best represent HHS in a number of sports while exhibiting the best attitude while competing.
Normandy was a two-sport standout for the Ponies this season. In the fall, he captured his first-ever Class A state boys golf championship in a sudden-death playoff. Normandy fired rounds of 70 and 76 for a two-day total of 146, tying him with William Foust of Ronan in regulation.
However, he birdied the first hole of sudden death to win the boys individual title.
Besides his state tournament heroics, Normandy captured his third consecutive Central A Divisional title in Havre while helping lead the Ponies to yet another Central A team title.
"Trent went out and recruited golfers for our team, that's how much he cared," said recently retired HHS golf coach Keith Evenson. "He would stay out after practice and work on his game. A lot of kids would just be out there hitting their driver, but Trent was there working on his short game and wedges."
In the winter, Normandy was a starting guard for the Havre High basketball team that finished third at the Class A State Basketball tournament in Belgrade with an 18-7 record. Normandy averaged close to seven points a game and was one of the Ponies' top 3-point shooters.
"Trent was just a coachable kid," said recently resigned HHS basketball coach Mark West. "He is really competitive and got the most out of what he has as an athlete."
Besides the third-place finish at state, Normandy also helped lead the Ponies to a Central A Divisional title in Butte.
Although he doesn't compete in a sport in the spring for HHS, Normandy is still a three-sport athlete, competing for the Havre Northstar American Legion baseball team, where he is a starting shortstop and key pitcher.
"Trent is just an outstanding kid," Evenson said. "I can't tell you how many tournaments we went to this year and opposing coaches would tell me, 'that's just an outstanding kid.'"
Smith was a three-sport standout for the Ponies this past season. She lettered in volleyball, swimming and track while also being very active in band and music at HHS.
In the fall, she was a key contributor for the HHS volleyball team that finished third at the Central A Divisional and qualified for the Class A State Tournament. Smith started off and on all season at middle blocker and was one of the Ponies' leaders in blocks and hitting percentage.
In swimming, Smith was a member of the Class A state championship team that won its fifth straight girls' title in Great Falls. She swam in several different events and relays for HHS this past season.
However, it was on the track where Smith shone brightest. She was Havre's most consistent point scorer this season, averaging more than 12 points per meet this season in the 100, 200, 400 relay and pole vault.
"Kelsey spent more time getting herself in shape for track this season," said West who also coached the track team this year. "She really set some high goals for herself and worked hard to achieve them. She was a very dependable competitor and point-scorer for us."
Smith was a key contributor in Havre's Central A Girls Divisional title, finishing fifth in both the 100 and 200, and second in the pole vault while anchoring the second-place 400 relay team.
"She's a very competitive person," West said. "She wasn't always the fastest person on the track, especially running the anchor in the 400 relay, but she always competed so hard and more than held her own."
If Smith was good at the divisional, she was even better at the Class A State Meet in Butte. She finished an impressive third in the pole vault reaching a personal best height of 10-0. Smith added a fifth in the 100-meter dash and helped the 400-relay squad finish a solid third.
"Any time you make it to the podium at the state track meet is pretty special," West said. "To make it three times in a meet is outstanding. Kelsey worked hard all season to make that happen."
Smith's performance this season helped her garner team co-MVP honors along with Rylee O'Connell. She also etched her named in the HHS Track Hall of Fame with her 10-0 vault along with the 400-relay team that ran a 50.51.
"Kelsey's just a very good high school athlete," West said. "And she's a good kid who works very hard at anything she does."