Daniel Horton Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
Most of the cross country season is spent on the road, but this weekend the Havre High boys and girls cross country teams got a chance to run in front of their home fans. On Saturday afternoon the Central A Blue Ponies hosted the Havre Invitational at the Montana State University- Northern campus where they faced off against some talented programs from across the state and Canada. The Pony boys finished in the No. 5 spot with 122 points, while the HHS girls finished in the No. 7 spots with 134 points. “I was really happy,” Havre High head coach Kyle Fisher said. “Once again it was a weekend where our kids improved on their times. It was just a huge weekend for us, the kids ran hard in front of the fans. It’s a tough three-mile race, but the more support they have the better they do.” But the Ponies were tested as they faced top teams in the state like the Class A Browning Indians, Lewistown Golden Eagles and Class B Glasgow Scotties. For the girls, the Scotties took first with a score of 57, while the Eagles took second with 68 and the Indians took third with 93. And for the boys, it was the Indians who took the No. 1 spot with 39 points, while the Eagles took second with 54 and the Scotties took third with 65. “The skill level was right where I thought it would be,” Fisher said. “It makes for a great meet. Each year it’s getting bigger and we’re getting more teams there, so it’s a great meet for competition. And it was great to be able to stay at home and get that competition. The Browning boys are one of the top teams in the state, they are tough. And Lewistown is right there with them.” Teamwise, the Ponies had a good afternoon. But individually they were outstanding as well. Leading the way for the Ponies was once again Brittanee Korb, who recorded a time of 20:28.2 to land here in the No. 8 spot overall. Mikell Kinsella finished No. 17 with a time of 21:13, while Shelby O’Neil rounded off the top overall finishers with a time of 21:41 in the No. 25 spot for the HHS girls. Sarah Vigliotti did well in her return, adding a No. 45 finish to the mix after recording a time of 23:23. And Neya Bischoff rounded out the scoring for Ponies with a time of 25:18 and a No. 57 finish. Brooke Jappe is still out of commission for the Ponies, but the returning Vigliotti added an element HHS has been missing. “Our girls ran well today,” Fisher said. “They did great. They all improved their times, and I was proud of them. (Sara Vigliotti) is going to help us out a ton. Her time was good for not running at all for three weeks. And here in a couple of weeks at divisionals and state, she is going to be right there to help the girls tremendously.” Kendall Murie led the Ponies on the boys side with a No. 17 finish after he clocked in with a time of 17:11. And Kade Barsotti was the only other Top 25 finisher for the Ponies with a No. 22 finish, coming in at 17:28. Anfernee Standing Rock sat the race out, and while he was missed, the boys turned in a good performance. Dillon Seely stepped up and turned in a finish of 18:18 in the No. 33 spot, while Chazley Hulett finished No. 38 with a time of 18:30, Zack Smith finished No. 41 with a time of 18:43 and Ty Bauer finished No.49 with a time of 19:07. “Our boys did a great job,” Fisher said “They ran well for us.” Overall, the Ponies had a good weekend. They were able to run in front of a large home crowd and turned in their best times of the season. And with divisionals and state just around the corner, the Ponies still like where they are at late in the season. “It was a great day for running,” Fisher said “And our kids ran hard. I couldn’t ask for anything else. We are right where we need to be, they are doing a good job.” The Ponies will return to action on Thursday when they travel to Helena for the Helena Preview Meet. HHS also races in Browning on Saturday.