In most seasons, the Havre Invitational cross country meet is special to the Havre Blue Ponies because it’s the only chance they have to race at home, in front of family and friends all season long.
And while it was still special for that reason, the 2012 Havre Invite was important because the Ponies will back on their home course next month to host the Central A Divisional meet. And Havre did make it a special day Saturday as the HHS girls team easily captured the team title at the meet, which was held at the course on the campus of Montana State University-Northern. The HHS girls scored 36 points, easily defeating second-place Lewistown, while the Pony boys finished third with a score of 117.
Over 15 teams competed in Saturday’s event, which is held on one of the toughest courses the Ponies, and many others will see all season long. And HHS head coach Kyle Fisher said things couldn’t have gone much better for all of the HHS runners, especially considering it was also homecoming weekend at Havre High.
“It was just a great day,” Fisher said. “It was a perfect day for a meet with the weather, and all of our kids ran really well. This meet is always big for us because it really means a lot to the kids to be able to run at home. But I’ve also said all season long that we need to really focus on this meet because we’re going to be back here for divisionals. And the kids went out and really ran well. It was just a really good day for us.”
It was especially good for the Havre varsity girls. The Ponies blew the field away in pack time, and got a 1-2 finish from Jess Wiken and Katie Christianson. Wiken came across the line in 19:08.89 and Christianson finished in 19:34.38. As expected, Havre's team was bunched together well as the Ponies had five runners finish in the Top 15. Trisha Kinsella took seventh with a time of 20:15.19, while Larissa Price finished 11th with a time of 20:40.27 and Morgan Mazurkiewicz ran 15th with a time of 21:15.64. Kiana Robertson finished 30th in the varsity race, while Mckenna Barkus took 38th.
It was a really good day for our girls,” Fisher said. “We’ve never had a girl win our own meet before, so for Jess and Katie to finish first and second, that’s pretty neat. I thought our girls ran really well, and they were pushed by some good competition. Lewistown is always strong and so is Browning, and Glasgow is one of the top programs in Class B. So our girls ran well against some really good competition.”
The Blue Pony boys were also up against some stiff competition Saturday. Havre finished third in the meet, behind Central A rivals Browning with 31 points, and Lewistown with 47.
Marc Klimas paced the Ponies individually with a seventh-place finish. Klimas finished the race in 17:13 to lead the Havre pack. Rocky Boy’s Kyle Olson ran a whopping 15:38 to win the race by almost one full minute.
“Almost all of the runners on our boys team finished with personal best times, so on this course, that’s all you can ask of them,” Fisher said. “Right now, we have a lot of new runners in our varsity lineup and we’re looking for consistency. So I thought the boys team did a great job because they all went out and improved their times in what was a really tough race."
Desmond Fialkosky was second for Havre with a time of 18:07.79 which put him in 20th place overall. Sundance Lodge took 24th place with a time of 18:15.42, while Elijah David took 29th with a time of 18:30.00. Alec Drew finished 41st for the Ponies and Nick Rhines came in 46th.
But no matter where any of the Blue Pony boys and girls finished on Saturday, Fisher was more than thrilled. He says his teams improved across the board, and at this point in the season, that’s what matter most. Havre will be looking to hit its full stride at next month’s Central A Divisional, which will back at the course at MSU-Northern, so Saturday’s races were the perfect preparation for that.
“It was just a really good day,” Fisher said. “All of our kids ran really well, and I think the races were all really competitive. So I’m really pleased with how it all went and all of our kids did a great job.”
The Ponies go from one difficult meet to another as they travel to Missoula for annual Mountain West Invitational next Saturday.
Team scores -- Browning 31, Lewistown 47, Havre 117, Cut Bank 157, Shelby 159, Glasgow 173, Belt-Centerville 239. (No other teams had enough runners to reach team score)
Top 20 -- Kyle Olson, Rocky Boy, 15:38; Wyatt Mad Plume, Bro, 16:35; Emerson Connelly, Bro, 16:37; Tarren Alaers, Lew, 16:42; Jimmy Martin, Dodson, 16:51; Brady Stone, Bro, 17:08; Marc Klimas, Hav, 17:13; Emmette Dusty Bull, Bro, 17:18; Trei Bullock, Lew, 17:23; Ryan McKinney, 17:23; Aidan Stansberry, LEW, 17:25.84; Derrick Meinke, BRO, 17:29. 18; Hans Pedersen, LEW, 17:45.82; Bill Perry, HOB, 17:47.05; Caydon Keiler, SHE, 17:49.36; Austyn Mercer, CB, 17:49.69; Kale Kelsey, LEW, 17:52.87; Matthew Phillips, GLA, 17:57.46; Markell Blunt, FRA, 18:99.49; Desmond Fialkosky, HAV, 18:07.37.
HHS Boys Varsity Times
Marc Klimas, 17:13.40 (7th); Desmond Fialkosky, 18:07.37 (20th); Sundance Lodge, 18;15.42 (24th); Elijah David, 18:30.00 (29th); Dylan Stewart, 19:02.17 (37th); Alec Drew, 19:26.23 (42nd); Nick Rhines, 19:53.10 (46th).
HHS Boys JV Times
Derek Van Dessel, 18:59.25 (8th); Dakota Christianson, 19:53.34 (13th); Brandon Robertson, 20:09.07 (16th); Bren Broadhead, 20:11.44 (17th); Lance Seely, 25:29.41 (37th).
Team scores -- Havre 36, Lewistown 55, Glasgow 62, Belt-Centerville 106, Browning 113, Cut Bank 194 (No other teams had enough runners to reach team score)
Top 20 -- Jess Wilken, Hav, 19:08; Katie Christiansan, Hav, 19:34; Josie Braaten, Gla, 19:40; Sarah Foster, Lew, 19:45; Dalainy Tedesco, Lew, 19:54; Kelley McCafferty, B-C, 20:01; Trisha Kinsella, Hav, 20:15; Courtney Juneau, Bro, 20:21; Kenzie Lencioni, B-C, 20:22; Rachel Zeiger, Gla, 20:39; Larissa Price, HAV, 20:40.27; Amanda Wolff, GLA, 20:46.18; Kaitlyn Poss, LEW, 20:58. 08; Emma Fewer, GLA, 21:10.94; Morgan Mazurkiewicz, HAV, 21:15.64; Josie Walters, LEW, 21:17.60; Kenzie Fradley, LEW, 21:26.45; Espe Battrick, LEW, 21:29.01; Marley Manoukain, MAL, 21:31.36; Maida Walters, LEW, 21:32.41.
HHS Girls Varsity Times
Jess Wiken, 19:08.89 (1st); Katie Christianson, 19:34.38 (2nd); Trisha Kinsella, 20:15.19 (7th); Larissa Price, 20:40.27 (11th); Morgan Mazurkiewicz, 21:1564 (15th); Kiana Robertson, 22:46.25 (30th); Mckenna Barkus, 23:48.10 (23:48.10.
HHS Girls JV Times
Liz Facio, 23:33.81 (2nd); Janae Barthel, 23:43.65 (4th); Madie Hanson, 23:47.64 (5th); Maurissa Dionne, 25:14.59 (13th); Kayla Berg, 25:29.65 (15th); Tori Mazurkiewicz, 25:34.95 (16th); Brooke LaValley, 26:06.24 (20th); Lainey Chagnon, 26:16.49 (21st); Neya Bischoff, 26:16.95 (22nd); Skylar Vukasin, 26:48.99 (24th); Amber Spraker, 26:55.96 (27th); Rachel Majeres, 28:07.45 (31st); Sydne Huston, 28:07.94 (32nd); Riannah Kinsella, 28:19.23 (33rd); Talina Hernandez, 28:28.13 (34th).