Havre Daily News Sports
It might be hard to believe, but all that stands between the Havre High track team and the Central A divisional track meet is this Saturday's Lewistown Invitational. After faring very well at the Northeast Montana Top Ten track meet on Tuesday, the Ponies will travel to Lewistown on Saturday morning for one final tune-up before the post-season gets under way in two weeks.
After the Lewistown invite, the Ponies will have a full 10 days without competition before they head to the Central A meet in Butte. And that fact is just fine with HHS veteran head coach Mark West.
"We have been pushing it pretty hard lately and we have some pretty tired legs," West said. "So after the Lewistown meet, we will rest up for a couple of days and then start building the kids back up for the post-season."
Before the Ponies can rest, however, there is still work to be done on Saturday. The Lewistown Invitational features some of Class A's top teams in both boys and girls track and field. That list includes the likes of Central A foes Livingston and Belgrade as well as several quality Eastern A schools. Several area Class B and C schools will also be in attendance, making for a very competitive day.
Of course the Ponies should be right in the thick of the team competitions this weekend. The HHS girls have been performing very well as of late. That is due in large part to the steady performances of junior sprinter Kelsey West as well as sophomores Lena Suek and Carmen Neuens. West has been improving her times in the 100 meters and 200 meters every time she steps on the track, especially over the last three weeks. That fact will make her one to watch in those two races this weekend. Suek, meanwhile, has been outstanding since the very beginning of the season in the javelin, shot put and discus, and she is showing no signs of letting up anytime soon. Neuens has also been busy this season. She qualified for five events in the top 10 meet on Tuesday, and although she is somewhat fatigued, she will play an integral part in Havre's success in Lewistown.
"I am really happy with our sprinting crew and our throwers right now," West said. "Our relay teams are also doing a nice job of improving their times every week, and we are still pretty strong in the distance races."
"So I am really happy with where our girls team is at right now," he added.
West is also excited about the continued improvement of the boys team. The Havre boys weren't too highly thought of when the season began, but they are starting to turn heads in recent weeks and there is no reason why that shouldn't continue this weekend.
A big part of Havre's success has been senior star Scott Robinson, but the Ponies are also getting production from other areas as well. Distance runner Marcus Campbell is coming off of his best-ever time in the two-mile race in Glasgow on Tuesday, and senior Rick Houim is throwing the shot put and the discus better and better every week.
"Our boys team has really started to gel recently and hopefully that improvement will continue," West said. "Our sprinters are performing really well right now, and we are getting a lot out of our throwers as well.
"Rick Hoium is someone who has really impressed me this season, and Chris Buskirk is also doing a real nice job for us in throws," West added.
The Lewistown Invitational will get under way at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the Fergus High School track.