Blue Pony senior clears her mind when she's racing and chasing down competitors
The Havre High girls cross country team has been outstanding this season. And after claiming the Central A conference title last season, as well as finishing as the No. 3 Class A team in the state, the Blue Pony girls have a real shot at putting together two of the best cross country seasons Havre has seen in a while.
Senior harrier Trisha Kinsella has been crucial in the Ponies' success the last four seasons, and has really stepped up as one of the teams’ leaders this season.
Kinsella has been a part of the varsity squad for four years. Cross country is her main area of focus, but has also taken part in Blue Pony volleyball, basketball and cheer leading over the years. But choosing to focus on cross country, Kinsella said she made the choice because of her love of the sport, as well as coach Kyle Fisher's coaching style.
It was a good choice for Kinsella to narrow her focus on cross country, as she has played a major role in the team's success the last few years. And now she has a chance to do even more for the program the next two weeks. Kinsella has consistently been the No. 3 runner for the Ponies this season, and will look to step up her game on Saturday at the divisional race in Havre, and next weekend at the state race in Helena.
Here's five questions with Kinsella as she prepares to run in the Central A Divisional Saturday morning in Havre.
HDN: Is the team excited to host divisionals this year?
Kinsella: “Oh heck yes. It is going to be different though, because we are used to staying overnight somewhere and getting prepared, but now we will actually be at our own houses and sleeping in our own beds. We are all very excited, and that (having home fans) will really help us. It will push us to make good impressions in front of our friends and families. People will get to see how good we have actually gotten.”
HDN: What makes the girls team so good this year, and how well do you think the team can do at divisionals this weekend?
Kinsella: “I think it is how we push each other every day. We want to get to where the person ahead of us is on the team, and that really pushes us to keep our pack time so low. And we all really get along, and are very close so that helps too. And we definitely want to take first again as a team (at divisionals). We have talked to Fisher about it already, and he told us we just need to push ourselves to finish better than the girls we have struggled against and have yet to beat this season.”
HDN: What do you think about while running?
Kinsella: “This year it has been way different. I clear my head and tell myself to stay positive, and I just go out there and run as hard as I can and try to stay close to Jess (Wiken) and Katie (Christianson). I really just try to focus on running most of the time, but my grandmother passed away two years ago and she is my inspiration do good.”
HDN: In a sport like cross country, how important is it to improve all season long, and not peak too early?
Kinsella: “If you run too fast at the beginning of the season, it is hard to improve and you are just going to be disappointed in your times. You want to slowly move into it and hopefully your times get better and better each week, so that at state you are giving your full effort. You need to get out of your comfort zone and push yourself at state, and just tell yourself that you are almost done, and just to push it.”
HDN: What team do you enjoy beating the most during the season?
Kinsella: “Lewistown. They have always been our rivals, and my sophomore year they kept beating us, so last year it was the most amazing thing ever to finally beat them. But this year that is kind of our goals again, we need to go to divisionals and beat everybody.”