Havre Daily News Sports
This afternoon in Glasgow, only the best of the best will gather at the Glasgow High School track for the annual Northeastern Montana Top 10 track meet. And the Havre Blue Ponies boys and girls track teams will be well represented at the annual all-star invitational.
Today's meet in Glasgow will feature athletes from a wide portion of Montana. Havre is the farthest school west that is represented. Baker is the farthest south that is represented and Sidney is the farthest school from the East in Montana. Most Class A, B and C schools in that general area will have at least one athlete in attendance today.
HHS head coach Mark West believes that the competition and the intensity will be good for his athletes who will be making the trip.
"The kids who made it in are very excited about the Top 10 meet," West said. "Even though we have some tired legs right now, all of the kids are looking forward to going because qualifying for this meet means that an athlete has had one of the best performances of all the schools in our area."
Indeed, the HHS boys will have 10 athletes at the meet and some will compete in multiple events. Others have qualified for multiple events, but will pick among their best and only compete in one. Leading the way for the Havre boys is senior Scott Robinson. Despite just recently finding his top form this season, Robinson qualified for today's meet in five events. He will run the 200 and 400 meters and compete in the long jump.
Because both HHS relay teams qualified for the event, that means that Robinson will go in five events today. Joining Robinson in the 400 relay is senior Ted Wells, who also qualified for the 100 meters, Derek Verploegen, who is also in the 400- and 800-meter races, and Kyle Finneman, who will also run in the 100 meters. The same four also run the 1,600 meter relay race.
Havre also qualified a pair of distance runners for the meet, led by Marcus Campbell. Campbell qualified for both the 1,600 meters and the 3,200 meter race, but will probably only run one event, according to West. Robert Brooks also made the field in the 1,600 meters.
Havre will also enter Cody McLean as one of the top pole vaulters in the field, as well as throwers Rick Houim and Chris Buskirk. Hoium made the field in the shot put and discus, while Buskirk will also throw the disc. Senior Tom Knudson will also run both the 110 and 300 meter hurdle races.
"We should have a very good showing at this meet," West said. "The boys that qualified are doing very well this season and this is a nice reward for how hard they have worked this year."
Like the HHS boys, the Blue Pony girls will also be strongly represented in Glasgow today. Sophomore Carmen Neuens qualified for five different events, but may skip at least two because of some fatigue. Neuens has some of the region's best marks in the long jump, triple jump and high jump. She also qualified for the meet in 100 meters and is part of Havre's stellar 400-meter relay team.
The rest of that team includes rising star sprinter Kelsey West, who will also compete in the 100- and 200-meter races, as well as sister Cammie West and Larissa Hand.
Not only will the Ponies be well represented in the sprints today, but they also had multiple qualifiers in the distance races. Darci Briere qualified in the 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter races. Kim Jestrab also made the event in the 800 meters and Meredith Hansen used last Saturday's Whitefish meet to get into the 1,600-meter race today. Standout runner Kelsey Malsam is also in the field in the 3,200-meter race.
Of course, Havre will also have a big name in the field events in sophomore Lena Suek, who qualified in all three throwing events and has the region's best throw of the year in both the javelin and discus.
Only Chinook's Brittany Williams has a better shot put throw this season and will be competing. Casea Pollington also qualified for Havre in the high jump, but she is recovering from an injury that will keep her sidelined once again this week.
"This meet will be great for the girls that made it in," West said. "It is one more chance for them to compete at a very high level before we go into our week off. All they have after this meet is Lewistown and then we rest up before the divisional meet in two weeks.
"This is a great opportunity for them to go out and try to really perform at a very high level like they have been doing."
Today's Northeast Top 10 meet will get under way this afternoon at the Glasgow High School track in Glasgow. The Blue Ponies will also be on the road on Saturday when they attend the Lewistown Invitational.