Daniel Horton Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
Just when it seemed as if spring sports had escaped the late winter storms, poor weather conditions and snow may be waiting for the Central A Havre High boys and girls track teams in the near future. On Saturday, the Blue Ponies are scheduled to take to the road and compete in the Belgrade Invitational. And if the meet goes as scheduled, the field events will start at 9:30 a.m. and the running events will start at 10 a.m. A year ago the Ponies missed their opportunity to compete at the Belgrade Invite and that may very well be the same case this time around. And though the Ponies would rather make the trip and to compete this weekend, not going wouldn’t be the worse thing that could happen. “It wouldn’t be the end of the world,” Havre High head coach Roger Larson said. “It would just give the kids a chance to rest up and get fully recovered. We are still in April, but it sure would be nice if we could get this meet off.” This meet in particular is big step in the Ponies' season. Though they have had numerous opportunities to compete this season, this will be their first real shot at some Class A competition. With only seven or eight schools in attendance, the meet is relatively small. But with programs like the Butte Central Maroons and the Belgrade Panthers also competing, the Ponies will have a really good measuring stick to compare themselves to. “We are finally starting to get in the mix of things,” Larson said. “And we are finally starting to see more of the competition that we’re going to see at state. This is kind of the kickoff to the Class A teams for us this year. We are really excited and this will be the meet where we kind of judge where we will be sitting at divisionals and possibly state.” On both the girls and boys side, the Ponies main focus will lie on both the Maroons and Panthers. But even after all of the success the Ponies have had this season, being in the mix with Class A programs presents a whole new challenge. “Belgrade always has huge numbers,” Larson said. “They just have kids everywhere and in every event. And Butte Central has some really good athletes.” Win or lose, the Ponies have the talent to stay in the hunt this weekend. Mike Hickman and Jack Teske are repeatedly strong in the long jump and triple jump events, and Kaden Keto has really stepped up all season long, earning points in his jumping and distance events. “He’s (Keto) kind of doing it all this year,” Larson said. “He’s jumping, vaulting and running and he is competing and placing in his events. He is defi- nitely somebody to keep an eye on.” Sarah Blessum is also someone to keep an eye on for HHS. She is running very well, and has been extremely dominant in the 800 and 1,600 meters this season. Saturday will also be a chance for some of the younger Pony athletes to show off what they are capable of. Freshman Sammy Evans continuously out jumps the competition for the girls, and Tyson Kultgen is showing great promise in the 100 and 200-meter sprints. The success the Ponies have had early has gotten their season off to an outstanding start. Across the board, Larson is seeing both individuals and the team step up in competition, and it’s opening their eyes more and more to their goal of state titles. “We are pretty confident,” Larson said. “Nobody is slacking and there is a good feeling around the team this year. They are seeing what they can do now, so they are building more confidence as they go along.” If the weather permits, the Ponies will compete in the Belgrade Invitational in Belgrade on Saturday. The field events begin at 9:30 a.m. and the running events start at a.m.