GEORGE FERGUSON, Sports Editor Havre Daily News BILLING
For the second year in a row, a pair of Havre High School athletic teams captured Class A state championships on the same day. On Saturday night in Billings, the Havre High wrestling team won its second straight Class A state championship, setting a Class A record for scoring with 282.5 points. HHS easily outdistanced second-place Ronan, which scored 167.5 points. Sidney finished well back in third place. "This is a special accomplishment," HHS head coach Scott Filius said. "This is a great group of kids and they are just a pleasure to be around and an absolute joy to coach." The Ponies got individual state championships f r om j u n i o r s C h r i s Re c i o ( 1 0 5 ) , My l e s Mazurkiewicz (130) and Ethan Hinebauch (152), and they moved six wrestlers into Saturday night's final round at the Billings Metra. Ryan Shelstad finished second at 119 pounds, senior Lorren Mack finished second at 125 pounds and junior Phillip Sutherland finished second at 160 pounds. In all, HHS placed a school-record 13 wrestlers, including third-place finishes from Duell Stadel at 98 pounds, Kent Pattison at 135 pounds, Aaron Olson at 145 pounds and Mitch Schnittgen at heavyweight. Last year, HHS placed 11 wrestlers overall, and the Ponies had three individual champions en route to the 2007 state championship. Meanwhile, just down the road in Hardin, history was being made on Saturday afternoon. The Havre High girls swim team captured its ninth straight Class A title, breaking the record for most consecutive state championships by a female sports program in Montana history. The Blue Ponies scored seven points to host Hardin's two to bring home the Class A trophy at the state meet. HHS, under the guidance of longtime head coach Chris Inman, placed in two relay events and got strong individual performances from Kacie Johnson and Mary Beth Blankenship on its way to yet another state title. The HHS boys, which were the defending Class A champions, finished well behind state champion Hardin in the boys meet. Havre will honor the state champions with champions’ parades, starting tonight with the wrestlers. The festivities start at the Holiday Village Mall at 5:30 p.m. and the parade will end up at the HHS Auditorium. On Tuesday at 5:30 p. m., there will be a parade for the Blue Pony swim team.