Chris Peterson Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
It should be an interesting weekend for the Havre High track teams for two reasons the unpredictability of the weather conditions and the high level of competition that the Blue Ponies will face. The HHS boys and girls teams will be split up this weekend with the boys team heading to Belgrade for the Belgrade Invitational and the girls going to Great Falls for the Optimist Invitational. “Right now I think that the weather is supposed to be OK for this weekend,” HHS head coach Mark West said. “All the people I have talked to have said that it is supposed to clear up, so hopefully the weather will cooperate.” The Pony girls team will be competing against one of the deepest fields in the state of Montana at the Optimist meet, with all of the Class AA teams planning to be in action, as well as a few other class A teams. “All of the Class AA girls varsity teams are going to be there. We are going to be one of the few Class A teams there, so it’s probably going to be difficult for us to score a lot of points,” West said. “But I think that it will be interesting to see how we do.” The two Havre individuals with the best chance to place in Great Falls will be state champion thrower Lena Suek and standout jumper and sprinter Carmen Neuens. Both Suek and Neuens have had success in this meet in the past, including just last year when Suek walked away with a first-place finish in the discus and a fourth-place finish in the javelin. Meanwhile, Neuens is on a roll right now, having won all three jumping events in her last two meets. Other individuals that could do well at the meet include hurdlers Tricia Samson and Hanna Wells, long distance runners Emily Ulgenes, Meredith Hanson and Amanda Hedstrom and pole vaulter Andrea Mack. “I think that both Lena and Carmen should do very well,” West said. “They have both done well and I think that our relay teams have a chance to do well also.” The HHS boys team will again be without state champion sprinter Kyle Finneman as the Ponies head to Belgrade to compete against Class A rivals Dillon, Livingston, Belgrade and Lewistown, as well as a number of class B and class C schools. “I think the neat thing about meets that consist of all AA schools is that the kids really step up and compete at a really high level,” West said. “I think that the same thing will happen in Belgrade, because there are quite a few Class A teams that are going to be there and I know the kids are really fired up about going down there and competing against some of the teams that they will see at divisionals.” With the absence of Finneman, the Ponies will rely on distance runner Andy Keim, thrower Robert The Boy, jumpers Michael Hickman and Jack Teske and jumper and sprinter Thomas Kline to be the main point getters. Grayson Winsor and Paul Jensen have also had success in the throwing events, while Andy Pester has also done well in the high jump and triple jump. Beau and Adam Briese will be Havre’s top sprinters at the meet. The Ponies 1600-meter relay and 400-meter relay teams should also have a good chance to come away with points in Belgrade. “I think that our distance runners and our throwers have been doing really well so far this year, so hopefully they can continue that this weekend,” West said. “Andy Keim has run really well and Robert The Boy has been having a really nice season, so we will see if those guys can keep it going. “I am really interested to see how we do this weekend,” he added. “We haven’t had much of a chance to train, but we will see how strong our hearts are and how hard we go out and compete.” The Havre High boys will be competing at the Belgrade Invitational, while the girls will compete in Great Falls at the Optimist Invitational at Memorial Stadium. Both meets will take place on Saturday.