Numbers won’t be on the Havre High track and field team’s side this weekend at the Class A state track and field meet, but individual talent and hard work will be.
The Central A Blue Pony boys and girls teams will spend the weekend at the Class A state meet in Bozeman. Unfortunately for the Ponies team titles aren’t in their sights, but if the weekend pans out how it is planned, the Ponies should be able to grab a handful of individual titles.
HHS qualified a bevy of very talented athletes, four girls and nine boys in several different individual events. But with teams with much higher numbers who have dominated the team titles in recent years like Belgrade, Columbia Falls, Whitefish, Libby, Colstrip, Corvallis, Polson, Sidney, Anaconda and Miles City, the Ponies know they aren’t in the hunt for team trophies, but more so as many individual titles as they can come away with.
“We have young kids going to state and we have a couple seniors that are very talented,” Havre High head coach Trevor VanCampen said. “They have shown great leadership this year and we are looking forward to competing. Competing at state is the ultimate test. Every kid dreams of getting to state and performing and placing, and that's what we are prepared to do.”
Sammy Evans will compete in the long jump, triple jump, high jump, 100 and 200 meters. Evans took second in the 100 (13.09) and 200 (27.05) at divisionals, and took third in the long jump (16-9). Evans also took first in the triple jump (34-10) at divisionals, but pre-qualified in the high jump using the newly adopted qualifying standards, clearing 5-2 several times during the regular season.
Lacey Waid will also look to help bring home a title, coming off of divisional title in the pole vault, clearing 9-6 to tie a Havre High record. Ashlynn Van Voast qualified in the 800, while Peyton Filius qualified in the 800 and 1,600. Van Voast took second in the 800 (2:28.17) at divisionals and Filius took fourth in the 800 (2:28.71) and second in the 1,600 (5:46.0). Both relay teams also qualified for HHS.
For the boys team, Mason Case, Garrett Aguillard, Marc Klimas, Thurman Holdsclaw, Zach Plum, Thomas Gruber, Matt Emge and Gunnar Aggeson all qualified.
Case swept the 100 and 200-meter sprints at divisionals, running the 100 in 11.43 and the 200 in 22.99. Aguillard finished with three No. 2 finishes, and at divisionals, running a 2:06.02 in the 800-meter, a 4:43 in the 1,600-meter and ran a 10:27.90 in the 3,200-meter. Klimas also qualified by placing fifth in the 3200 (10:30.40). Ryen Antley and Kade Rismon qualified in the javelin.
Holdsclaw will compete in the triple jump and Plum will compete in the long jump, but their more dominating events are the pole vault. Holdsclaw was the No. 1 Central A pole vaulter (12-6) and Plum finished fourth (11-0). Gruber finished in second place (12-0), Emge finished third (11-6) and Aageson finished in fifth (10-6).
The Pony individuals that will compete have prepared for the state meet all season long. They are amongst the top in the state already, and with Case and Evans leading the way, HHS has a very good chance of bringing home several individual titles.
It is going to take a great outing by all of them, but peaking at the right time, if they can settle in and relax, coach VanCampen is confident.
“To compete at state they have to be able to mentally relax and understand that they have the capabilities to do very well,” VanCampen said. “This year we're in great condition and we don't need to condition any more, we are peaking at the right time and they need to understand that relaxing and letting their body take over is the key component to placing at this level.
“I'm excited for the kids that are going to state,” VanCampen added. “They have worked hard, and I hope that we bring a handful of individual medals home. We could showcase that Havre is on the up and up, and that we’re going to be a force to reckon with in the coming years.”
The Blue Ponies will compete in Bozeman Friday and Saturday at the Class A meet.