By Tiffany L. Rehbein
The Havre High cross country team wowed its hometown fans with a first-place tie at the Havre Invitational Saturday.
At its first and only home meet, the girls notched 48 points, good for a tie with Central A rival Lewistown. The tie breaker, that went to Lewistown, was decided by the sixth-place finisher.
Lewistowns sixth-place harrier Katie Brodock, who finished 25th overall, knocked off Havres Nikki Grant, who finished with a time of 22:35.25 in 31st place, to seal the victory.
We had our opportunity to win it, said head coach Kim Ray. We had a couple people who could have broken up other teams pack times. Last week, we lost to Lewistown by two points, this week we tied. It lets us know that we can compete with them.
Jennie Peterson placed first at the meet, her fourth top-notch finish this year, clocking in at 19:27.66. Peterson finished more than 40 seconds ahead of her nearest competitor.
Coming over the first hill, running in front of Cowan Hall at the MSU-Northern course, Peterson, who took an early up-front position, was leading the pack by more than 12 seconds.
Stevie Gore of Lewistown and MacKenzie Sherburne of Browning were her nearest competitors.
Jennie had a really good race, Ray said. Nobody was even with her.
Senior Jen Dibblee pushed hard at the end and overcame a Lewistown opponent to finish third in 20:29.47.
Jen Dibblee had a sore leg and to come into this strong, it was good for her to run her time, Ray said. Dibblee, a senior, marked a career-best Havre course time.
Freshman Jenna Baltrusch finished sixth overall in 20:43.79.
They looked really good, Ray said. Our course is a hard course and for them to run the times that they ran, its really good motivation coming into this weekend at divisionals.
Erin Lynch finished 17th overall in 21:42.35, Jillian Brough clocked in at 22:03.13 and Carly Toldness finished at 22:41.01.
Alicia Rundquist clocked in at 23:14.04, Cara Holmquist finished in 23:27.85 and Ericka Bailey and Stacey Siebrasse followed each other across the line in 23:52.13 and 24:03.04, respectively.
Columbia Falls notched 68 team points and posted the seventh-, eighth- and ninth-place overall finishers. Cut Bank tallied 85 team points, good for fourth place.
Browning, another Central A opponent, finished fifth with 191 points behind the fifth-place finish of Sherburne, who finished with a time of 20:37.60.
I was really, really impressed with the crowd and KG is so close, it was like a home meet for them, Ray said. A lot of people need to be thanked for volunteering as flaggers and timers and all the volunteer help, especially the college for letting us use their facilities. IGA and Albertsons donated apples and oranges, and Todd and Lori Solomon let us use their tent. It was great community support.
The girls travel to Livingston to compete at divisionals Saturday.
Theyre ready to beat Lewistown; theyre ready to go to state, and theyre ready to compete, Ray said. They see themselves doing well there.
The Havre Middle School harriers finished their season at the invitational.
Emily Kostelecky finished 18th to lead the little Ponies with a time of 11:43. Amanda Laeuppla finished 20th with a time of 12:20.
Goldie Dodson and Alisha Crosby crossed together to finish 22nd and 23rd with times of 12:37 and 12:38, respectively.
Laura Yellow Eyes clocked in at 12:47, good for 28th place. Katie Jarvis, Kyla Kelsey and Leandra Crosby filled out the top spots in the 30s, with times of 13:43, 13:45 and 13:52, respectively.