Havre Daily News Sports
Good weather once again brought great performances at the A.R.M. Invitational track meet in Whitefish. While several meet records were broken this past Saturday at the Whitefish High School track, the Havre Blue Ponies also had a successful showing, as they normally do at this meet.
The HHS boys team managed a very strong fourth-place finish, while the Blue Pony girls finished a solid third. Given the strong competition in Saturday's field, those results pleased HHS head coach Mark West.
"I was really pleased with how both teams did this weekend," he said. "We have been pushing it pretty hard the last two weeks and by Saturday we had some pretty tired legs out there.
"But the kids went out and performed really well," West added. "They competed really hard and it looks like we're starting to peak a little bit."
The girls meet was, as expected, dominated by the host Whitefish Bulldogs and star sprinter Courtney Ferda. The Bulldogs ran away with the team title scoring 102 points. Bigfork was a very distant second with 70 points, followed by the Blue Ponies with 60 points.
Ferda captured the 100, 200 and 400 meter races. But Havre had some success in the sprints as well. Steadily improving junior Kelsey West finished third in the 100 meters with a time of 13.20. West followed that up with a second-place finish in the 200 meters with a time of 27.72.
Havre's big guns also shined on Saturday. Lena Suek once again starred in the throws. She captured the javelin title with a final throw of 121-5 and also dominated the shot put competition with a final toss of 32-0. For good measure Suek also finished second in the discus.
"Lena had another very good day," West said. "She is getting better every time she goes out there."
Carmen Neuens also placed three times for the Ponies including a second-place finish in the long jump. Neuens' leap was 15-8. She also finished fifth in the 100 meters and fifth in the triple jump. Neuens helped guide the HHS 400-meter relay team to a fourth place finish as well. Jessica Nolan also gave the Ponies a boost with a sixth-place finish in the pole vault.
"I was really happy with our sprinters and our throwers on Saturday," West said. "Even though we were a little tired, they went out there and performed well. Overall, I was more than pleased with where we finished at the end of the day."
For the HHS boys, a fourth-place finish was also strong considering all of the deep talent in the field on Saturday. Thompson Falls was the class of the field on Saturday, scoring 116 points to easily capture the boys team title. Libby was second with 66.5 points and Whitefish was third with 52 points. The Ponies scored 50.5 points on the day.
"I thought our boys team performed really well," West said. "Again I was very happy with our sprinting crew and our throwers did a good job as well."
"Scott Robinson had a really good day," he added, "and Ted Wells and Derek Verploegen also ran really well."
Indeed, the Ponies' sprinters earned a big chunk of Havre's team points. Wells finished third in the 100 meters with an 11.34 and Robinson was fourth with an 11:39. Robinson and Verploegen then finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 200 and 400 meter races.
The HHS relay teams also earned a pair of second places on the day. Havre's only other team points came from pole vaulter Cody McLean, who finished third, and improving senior Rick Houim who finished second in the shot put. Houim's best throw was a 49-1, which put him second behind Noxon standout Daniel Beaudin.
"I think the kids are performing at a very high level," West said. "We have one more week before a little break, so we can rest some and then build them back up before divisionals. But I like where both teams are at right now."
Twenty-one HHS athletes will be back in action on Tuesday afternoon when they head to Glasgow for the annual Northeast Top 10 meet. The entire HHS track team will also head to Lewistown on Saturday for the Lewistown Invitational.