Chris Peterson Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
After a two-week absence from competition, the Havre High track teams will be back in action Saturday when the Ponies host the Havre Invitational track meet at the Havre Middle School track. The Ponies haven’t competed since March 31 in Glasgow. And the layoff has been made worse for the Ponies because of the terrible weather conditions, which has placed a lot of limits on what the team has done during practice sessions. “It’s been rough over the last couple of weeks,” HHS head coach Mark West said. “The weather just has not been very cooperative lately, which has made it really difficult to train and prepare for competition.” Both the HHS girls and boys placed third at the Glasgow Invitational, and the Ponies will be looking for similar results at the Havre Invitational, competing against strong Class B teams such as Malta, Glasgow, Conrad, Harlem and Poplar. Browning will be the only other Class A school competing in the event and a number of class C schools, including Big Sandy, North Star, Chester/J-I and Chinook will also be in the meet. “I think that there is going to be some really good competition for us,” West said. “Malta has a nice team, Glasgow had some good kids and Browning is going to take points away from everyone else. I think there are going to be a lot of good individual kids, so it should be pretty competitive. I am interested to see who ends up winning it.” Originally the HHS boys were hoping to get state champion sprinter Kyle Finneman back this weekend, but West expects to hold Finneman out of the 100 and 200-meter dashes. “Right now it’s kind of a day-to-day thing,” West said. “I just don’t think he is quite ready to compete in all those events, but he might run in the long relay or something if he is ready.” The loss of Finneman is obviously going to take away one of the boys’ biggest point getters, so the Ponies are going to have to rely on others members such as distance runner Andy Keim, throwers Paul Jensen, Robert The Boy and Grayson Winsor and jumpers Michael Hickman, Kaden Keto and Jack Teske to step up and fill the void. “Andy has been running really well and I think he is ready to step up,” West said. “But he is going to have his work cut out for him because Browning and Poplar have some very good distance runners. So it’s going to be a big day for him.” Other Ponies that could have an opportunity to place this weekend are Kyle Rummel and Beau Briese in the sprinting events, Thomas Kline and Jordan Van Voast in the hurdles and Andy Pester in the high jump. The HHS boys will also be looking for good finishes out of their short and long relay teams. The 400-meter relay team will consist of Rummel, Kline, Hickman and Van Voast. The 1600- meter relay team will be made up of Rummel, Kline, Hickman and possibly Finneman. Meanwhile, the Pony girls team will also be gunning for at least a topthree finish at the Havre Invitational, and leading the charge for team will be state champion thrower Lena Suek. Suek should score points for the Ponies in the discus, the javelin and the shot put. Senior Carmen Neuens should also score plenty of points for HHS, competing in all three jumping events. The Ponies will also be looking for good performances from hurdlers Tricia Samson and Hannah Wells, as well as Karla Hellegaard and Madison Ruff in the jumps, Brittney Ennis in the sprint events and Andrea Mack in the pole vault. “I think that Lena and Carmen should both do well this weekend,” West said. “And hopefully some of other kids can step up. I would really like to see our hurdle kids do well and we also have a couple of young jumpers that should be able to do well. So hopefully we can do well. We would like to win of course, but I think anything in the top three would be a good showing for either of our teams.” The Havre Invitational track meet will get under way on Saturday at 10a. m. at the HMS track.