Daniel Horton Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
Any meeting between the Havre High Blue Ponies and Lewistown Golden Eagles usually results in good competition, and when the Blue Pony boys and girls track teams faced the Eagles on Saturday they found themselves in two very close matchups. The Class A Ponies played host to the Eagles on Saturday in a dual meet at the Havre Middle School track, where the Eagles managed to sweep the Ponies. The Eagles defeated the Ponies 73-72, and on the boys side, the Eagles defeated the Ponies 75-70. “I was expecting an even push,” Havre High head coach Roger Larson said. “They swept us in some events and we swept them in some events, it’s the way track goes. The last couple of years just watching them (Lewistown), they did what they usually do.” And though neither Pony squad could capture a win on Saturday, they still performed exceptionally well across the board. Tyson Gruber pole vaulted his way to a personal best when he cleared 13 -0, the highest for any Pony this year. And Karla Hellegaard also reached a personal best when she cleared 33-10 in the triple jump. The boys 1,600-meter relay team also saw their best time of the season against the Eagles on Saturday. With their previous best hovering around 3:39, the Ponies shaved nearly four seconds off their time, finishing in 3:35.79. “I am just really proud of our kids,” Larson said. “We had numerous PR’s today and when you can do that at a dual where there isn’t a whole lot of competition then you know what you’re doing in practice is right.” It has always been a goal for the Ponies to improve every week and with every meet. And with each athlete focusing on their specific events on Saturday, the Ponies not only performed well at the meet, but set themselves up for strong divisional and state meets. “Hopefully there are two more PR’s in them, divisionals and state,” Larson said. “And I have no doubt in my mind because they know where they want to be and they aren’t there right now.” On the girls side, the Ponies turned in another strong performance. Kasondra Dawson took first in the shot put with a throw of 28-9, while Alicia O’Leary took first in the discus with a throw of 88-8. And in the javelin, Madison Ruff took second with a throw of 104-1 while O’Leary took second, throwing 82-5. The Ponies also found more success in the jumping events when Hellegaard took another title in the long jump, clearing 15-11. Ruff also jumped 4-10 to take second in the high jump, and Sammy Evans jumped 33-2 to take second in the triple jump. Kristina Lozano captured first in the pole vault at 8-0, but also carried her success over to the track where she took first in the 100-meter sprint with a time of 13.5 seconds. Evans also found success on the track, taking first in the 400-meter dash with a time of 1:06. Shelby O'Neil turned in a time of 14:11.42 to take second in the 3,200-meter run while Jayelinn Ceynar took second in the 100-meter dash with a time of 13.8 and Sarrah Blessum took third in the 1,600-meter run with a time of 5:48. The 400-meter relay team took first with a time 54.6, and Ashlyn Van Voast took second in the 200 meters with a time of 29.2, third in the 110 hurdles with a time of 19.47 and third in the 300 hurdles with a time of 53.52. The Pony Boys also performed well on Saturday. After Gruber, Jake Myers cleared 11-6 and Kaden Keto cleared 10-6 in the pole vault to give the Ponies first, second and third. Keto also took second in the triple jump with a distance of 40-5 while Mike Hickman took third with a distance of 40-2. Jack Teske took third in the high jump when he cleared 6-0 and first in the long jump when leaped 21-1. Hickman finished third in the long jump with a distance of 20-6. Will DeVries also had another good afternoon, taking third in the shot put when he threw 37-1, and third in the discus when he threw 112-2. And on the track, the Ponies were swept in the 3,200, but found plenty of success elsewhere. John Perrodin clocked in at 16.17 to take first in the 110-meter hurdles, and 41.3 to take first in the 300-meter hurdles. Adam Briese’s time of 55.1 was enough for a first place finish in the 400, as was Keto’s time of 2:06 in the 800. Nate Christianson finished the 100-meter dash with a second-place time of 11.56. And Ty Bauer captured second in the 400 with a time of 1:01, while Thomas Kline took second in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 42.5 and Ethan Flathers took second in the 200-meter dash with a time of 23.5. Myers also took third in the 1,600 with a time of 5:12 and third in the 800 with a time of 2:18. And Hickman took third in the 200-meter dash with a time of 23.8. When two schools go head-to-head in a dual meet there is less competition than that of a bigger meet, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The Ponies turned in some great times and distances on Saturday, and a lot of that was because it was such a low profile meet. “When you have just a dual meet it’s relaxing,” Larson said. “Kids don’t get stressed out and that’s a big part of track, dealing with the stress and the mind game for the whole day. They didn’t have to worry about seven other schools trying to beat them, they just had to worry about one or two other kids coming in and trying to beat them.” It may have taken all season long, but through the rain and the snow, the Ponies finally got the perfect meet. They faced good Class A competition and really got to see where they stood heading into divisionals. “It was a great meet, it was a phenomenal meet,” Larson said. “I have no complaints, there were no hiccups in the day and it was just perfect in my mind.” The Ponies ended the regular season on a high note, and now have nearly two weeks to gear up for the divisional meet in Belgrade on May 22-23.