By Tiffany L. Rehbein
With the first week of prep sport practices coming to a close, the Havre High School cross country team looks to send five runners to the state championships.
The first goal is that we take five individuals who are strong runners, individually motivated and team motivated to compete at state, head coach Kim Ray said.
The cross country team began practice on Monday evening. Through this week, they practiced at 7:30 a.m. and will begin at about 6:30 a.m. early next week and continue when school starts on Thursday, Aug. 26, Ray said. As the weather cools, practice will move to after school hours.
Ray cited team unity, motivation and support of each other as three main ingredients in building a successful program.
In helping build team unity the runners do a carbo load the night before a meet, Ray said.
We meet at a parents house and eat a high carbohydrate dinner together, Ray said. The high carbohydrates increase energy for the next days meet.
The parent involvment is also increased through the carbo meal.
The parents also supply goody bags, nutritional snacks, for the trips, Ray said. It really gets the parents involved.
The cross country team is led this season by senior Jen Dibblee.
She was their leading runner last year and will be again this season, Ray said.
But Dibblee wont the lone leader. Junior Jennie Peterson is also a returning runner.
Shes one of our top runners, Ray said. During the summer, Peterson competed in the 5K at the Governors Run at Helena and placed second overall. She also competed at the Big Sky State Games in Billings.
Between the two of them, theres some talent, Ray said.
Former KG cross country and track and field standout Christin Smith will be helping as an intern coach with Ray.
Im really excited shes helping, Ray said. Shes a great motivator. Shes been there and she knows how to do it.
Havre will host a meet in October and parents and the community are highly encouraged to come and lend their support to the program, Ray said.