This may be the final weekend of competition for the Havre High boys and girls cross country teams, but it is also the biggest.
“We are excited all the way though our program,” Havre High head coach Kyle Fisher said. “This is something we have been working hard for through all our summer running and fall practices, so it is time for payoff hopefully. It is kind of sad for our seniors because it will be their last race, but it is also a good thing because they are ready to compete.”
Senior girls Mikell Kinsella and Ashlynn Van Voast, as well as senior boys Garrett Aguillard, Dolan Tuss and Dillon Seely have helped lead this HHS squad all season long. And leading a very talented roster into the state race on Saturday, the Ponies have a good shot at making some very positive strides.
Jess Wiken, Trisha Kinsella, Katie Christenson, Larissa Price and Chanal Standing Rock make up the rest of the HHS girls team. And for the boys, Marc Klimas, Derek VanDessel, Desmond Fialkosky and Dylan Stewart make up the boys team that will compete on Saturday.
On the girls side of things Corvallis and Glendive will be favored, but don’t count out the Ponies. The HHS girls have already gained some attention heading into state action. They have a very talented team and proved that with the conference championship where they didn’t even put up their best times of the season. They are deep and talented and could very well bring home state hard wear if they can narrow their pack time. The Ponies had a 1:23 pack time last weekend, but have turned in a pack time as low as just 53 seconds. If they can get that pack time back down into the 50 second range again, they have a very good shot at placing somewhere in the top three.
“As long as our girls get out and run hard they should be able to put themselves in the area of a trophy,” Fisher said. “We just want them to compete and to keep doing what they have been doing all year and if they can do that, good things should happen. But As long as we shorten that pack time we should see success out of both of our teams.”
The HHS boys will really have to get out and run their best race of the season if they hope to climb the ranks. They are in a field that is heavily favoring Corvallis, Livingston and Browning and really need to step up. The HHS boys pack time has fluctuated this season, but to really compete they need to truly get it down to about one minute.
“All we can ask is for our kids to PR,” Fisher said. “So as long as they go out and do that there is nothing more we can ask for. We just want the kids to go out and run hard and have some fun. We have had a pretty successful year with kids getting better and better every week. This will be exciting and we are excited for this weekend.”
The Ponies will compete in Missoula on Saturday as they compete for a state title at the UM Golf Course.