There was a lot of hype about the Havre High cross country program heading into the 2012 season. And after the divisional meet, so far the Blue Ponies haven’t disappointed.
Saturday, the Ponies hosted the Central A divisional meet in Havre. The meet took place on the campus of Montana State University-Northern, one of the toughest courses the Central A harriers compete on all season long. And benefiting from true home field advantage, both Pony squads had solid outings against the Belgrade Panthers, Lewistown Golden Eagles, Livingston Rangers, and Browning Indians.
The HHS girls captured their second straight conference title, taking the No. 1 spot with 30 points. They barely edged the Eagles who finished in second with 35, while the Panthers were third with 89, the Indians were fourth with 96, and the Rangers were fifth with 114. In the boys field, the Ponies finished in a solid fourth place with 99 points. The Panthers were first with 45 points, while the Eagles were second with 51, and the Indians were third with 62. The Rangers finished fifth with 101 points.
“This is definitely the best we have seen the girls run,” Havre High head coach Kyle Fisher said. “I think last week we weren’t at the top of our game, but I think it gave us the motivation to step up and get back to where needed to be. For them to win back to back conference titles is huge, and I am very proud of every single one of them. They stepped up as a team and did a fantastic job.”
And while the girls were impressive as a team, Jess Wiken also had a standout afternoon from a personal standpoint. Wiken took the No. 1 spot overall with a time of 18:48.08, turning in her best time of the year to help lead the Ponies to a second straight title.
“It feels amazing,” Wiken said after the race. “It is surreal. I can’t even believe it (finishing in first place), being able to lead the race the whole time, and to be able to stay at that pace was pushing my teammates to also finish closer to me. I was just thinking that this was my last home race, and it doesn’t even matter if I throw up or anything at the end, because it is the end. I just needed to push as hard as I could.”
And Wiken did spark a great outing overall by the Ponies. Katie Christianson finished as the No. 2 runner overall with a time of 19:04.12, while Trisha Kinsella was the No. 6 runner overall with a time of 19:48.58. Larissa Price also had a huge day, finishing in the Top 10 with a time of 20:08.07, good enough for eighth place overall. Morgan Mazurkiewicz finished No. 13 with a time of 21:00.78, while Kiana Robertson ran a 22:14.71 (No. 22), and Liz Facio ran a 22:41.78 (No. 25).
Every HHS girl also recorded a personal best on Saturday. Wiken bested her time by 15 seconds, but Price made a huge jump, besting her previous PR by over 20 seconds.
“On a windy day and on a course like this,” Fisher said. “It is a very tough task to PR. And for them to all step up and run they way they did today just shows their potential and how hard they worked this year.”
And the HHS boys No. 4 finish as a team was also a big accomplishment by the Ponies.
“Overall, our boys one through seven, had a nice pack time,” Fisher said. “They really did a nice job today and our conference so darn tough on the boys side. Any of these five teams can be a top 10 team next weekend (at state), and for them to place where they did was good.”
Marc Klimas also had another standout day, continuing to lead the Ponies in his senior season. Klimas finished as the No. 7 runner overall with a time of 16:42.39. Klimas was the only HHS boy to finish in the Top 10, but Elijah David also stepped up, finishing as the No. 19 runner overall with a time of 17:40.05. David is a sophomore, but is running cross country for the first time this season.
“Marc was an All-Conference kid again this year,” Fisher said. “And he placed one spot better than he did last year. And Elijah David gets better every time he runs, so he is going to be fun to watch in the future. Every one of our boys worked hard today and it was a just great day for them.”
Desmond Fialkosky ran a 17:46.11 (No. 21), Sundance Lodge ran an 18:22.22 (No. 25), Derek VanDessel ran an 18:40.60 (No. 27), Bren Broadhead ran an 18:44.04 (No. 28), and Dylan Stewart ran an 18:45.17 (No. 29) to wrap up the varsity boys.
Next up for the Ponies is the state meet on Saturday in Helena.
Central A Divisional
Team scores -- Belgrade 45, Lewistown 51, Browning 62, Havre 99, Livingston 101.
Top 30 -- Jonathan Eastwood, Bel, 15:56.07; Colton Hegdal, Bel, 16:08.11; Charles Vance, Liv, 16:10.03; Trel Bulluck, Lew, 16:19.77; Wyatt MadPlume, Bro, 16:24.96; Teran Alaers, Lew, 16:30.19; Marc Klimas, Hav, 16:42.39; Brady Stone, Bro, 16:53.27; Paul Fuller, Bel, 17:00.88; Aidan Stansberry, Lew, 17:03.80; David Otto, Bel, 17:05.41; Emmette DustyBull, Bro, 17:06.10; Charles Mogen, Liv, 17:14.33; Shawn Bullchild, Bro, 17:14.77; Hans Pederson, Lew, 17:15.31; Ryan McKinny, Lew, 17:17.92; Kelsey Kale, Lew, 17:30.58; Hayes Majerus, Lew, 17:35.33; Elijah David, Hav, 17:40.05; Laden Ricketts, Liv, 17:45.62; Desmand Fialkosky, Hav, 17:46.11; Jonathon Fuller, Bel, 18:03.38; Derrick Meineke, Bro, 18:06.80; Branden Trombley, Brow, 18:18.08; Sundance Lodge, Hav, 18:22.22; Colby Minert, Bel, 18:28.26; Derek VanDessel, Hav, 18:40.60; Bren Broadhead, Hav, 18:44.04; Dylan Stewart, Hav 18:45.17; Waylen Ladue, Bro, 18:48.19.
Marc Klimas 16:42.39
Elijah David 17:40.05
Desmond Fialkosky 17:46.11
Sundance Lodge 18:22.22
Derek VanDessel 18:40.60
Bren Broadhead 18:44.04
Dylan Stewart 18:45.17
Team scores -- Havre 30, Lewistown 35, Belgrade 89, Browning 96, Livingston 114.
Top 30 -- Jess Wilken, Hav, 18:48.08; Katie Christianson, Hav, 19:04.12; Delainy Tedesco, Lew, 19:05.58; Sarah Foster, Lew, 19:08.28; Courtney Juneau, Bro, 19:28.60; Trisha Kinsella, Hav, 19:48.55; Kaitlyn Poss, Lew, 19:59.77; Larissa Price, Hav, 20:08.07; Marissa Westenskow, Liv, 20:31.80; Josie Walters, Lew, 20:32.61; Kenzie Fradley, Lew, 20:35.82; Kelsie Harriman, Liv, 20:44.91; Morgan Mazurkiewicz, Hav, 21:00.78; Sadie Reddick, Bel, 21:01.34; Makell Meyle, Bel, 21:02.93; Shelbi St.Goddard, Bro,21:20.77; Paige Stewart, Bel 21:23.15; Espe Battrick, Lew, 21:28.96; Maida Walters, Lew, 21:37.63; Cora Steinbach, Bel 21:48.64; Jayla Wells, Bro, 22:08.31; Kiana Robertson, Hav, 22:14.71; Kierstyn Brandt, Bel, 22:28.82; Lyndsey Seifert, Bel 22:36.61; Liz Facio, Hav, 22:41.78; Shania Hoyt, Bro, 22:44.54; Becky Imberi, Bel 22:47.79; Marti Eaglefeathers, Bro; 23:06.62; Marena Vandenbert, Bro, 23:13.24; Ella McKenzie, Liv, 23:20.73.
Jess Wiken 18:48.08
Katie Christianson 19:04.12
Trisha Kinsella 19:48.58
Larissa Price 20:08.07
Morgan Mazurkiewicz 21:00.78
Kiana Robertson 22:14.71
Liz Facio 22:41.78