This year the Havre High boys and girls cross country teams have gotten off to a good start. The Blue Pony girls look to be leading the Central A, and the boys keep improving every week. And getting ready for their only opportunity to run at home all season, the Ponies will look to take full advantage.
On Saturday the Central
A Blue Ponies will host the annual Havre Invitational on the campus of Montana State University-Northern. The meet will be held in front of Cowan Hall and bring in about 15 high school teams from across the state.
It will be tough for the Ponies to lead the pack with teams such as Glasgow, Lewistown and Browning in attendance, but running at home has the Blue Ponies excited to compete.
“It is always nice be at home and get to run on our own course in front of family and fans,” Havre High head coach Kyle fisher said. “The kids are doing well right now and it is time to showoff everything that we have been working for. It is always good to run at home and we just want to make sure the focus remains how it should and that we go out there and compete.”
And while in a way the Ponies have home field advantage, it is still one of the tougher courses they will run on this season. The course is made tough by hills, and lots of them, challenging runners from start to finish.
“Knowing the course is a plus,” Fisher said. “But it is just a matter of getting out and competing. You really don’t get a break from the hills on this course, and not having a break is something that is very tough on the kids. But it is something that I feel that we are prepared for because wherever you run in Havre, there is a hill.”
Jess Wiken, Trisha Kinsella, Katie Christianson, Ashlynn Van Voast and Chanel Standing Rock will most likely lead the Ponies this weekend. But Larissa Price stepped up last weekend, and sophomore Kiana Robertson has also made positive strides over the last couple of races.
And for the HHS boys, it should be Garrett Aguillard, Marc Klimas, Dolan Tuss, Derek Vandessel and Desmond Fialkosky leading the way. Dylan Stuart and Dillon Seely also stepped up big for the Ponies last weekend in Missoula and should look to make the varsity that much better again here in Havre.
HHS isn’t going out on Saturday focused on one team. The Ponies are far enough into the season to where they have faced every team, or been able to compare times with every team they will face at state. Now the Ponies are focused on just improving their times and continually cutting the pack times lower and lower.
“We are just looking to improve,” Fisher said. “But this is a meet that is winnable for our girls, they just have to run well. And for our boys, they just have to keep moving up the latter and they are very capable of that.”
The Havre Invite is part of homecoming weekend and HHS and is set to get started at 10 a.m. The middle school will run first, followed by junior varsity and varsity. The varsity boys should get started around 12 p.m. and the varsity girls should get going by 1 p.m.