By Tiffany L. Rehbein
The Havre High cross country team knows the competition.
Theyre hungry enough to run really, really fast and place, said first-year head coach Kim Ray about her harriers, who will compete at the cross country divisionals at Livingston Saturday.
No. 1 Blue Pony harrier junior Jennie Peterson has placed first in four of five meets this year. She overcame Central A Brownings top harrier McKenzie Sherburne at Havre last week.
She overpowered Central A Lewistowns top runner Stevi Gore.
She has been stronger than Central A Livingstons top pacer Jill Mckiernan.
Senior Jen Dibblee downed Sherburne at Havre last week. Her goal is to dig deep and beat Gore of Lewistown.
Dibblee has already proven she can beat Lewistowns No. 2 runner Heather Wise.
Shes determined that, as a team, we can beat Fergus, Ray said.
Freshman Jenna Baltrusch finished little more than six seconds behind Sherburne last week.
She could easily be in the top 15 at state, Ray said about the freshman. She needs to run really well on this course so she can compete and know she can beat some of those Lewistown girls who are in front of her.
Lewistown tied with Havre in the team totals last week at Havre with 48 points. The Eagles won the tiebreaker, which came down to the sixth place finisher.
Two weeks ago at Lewistown, the Eagles tallied 34 points. The Blue Ponies notched 36.
Last year, Lewistown won the state cross country title.
The team wants to take first, Ray said about the Blue Ponies. They want to beat Fergus and thats who we will be competing with down there.
Junior Erin Lynch, the Ponies No. 4 harrier, knows she can compete with the No. 3 pacer Baltrusch, Ray said.
She knows she can move up and run with them, Ray said. They do it every day at practice, now she needs to do it in a meet.
Lynch notched a career-best time of 21:27 at Lewistown two weeks ago.
Junior Jillian Brough, Havres No. 5 runner, looks to clock a personal-best time.
She now really believes in herself, Ray said. At Havre, Brough was overcome by a hair at the finish line by an opponent.
She said shes never going to let anyone beat her at the line like that again, Ray said.
Junior Nikki Grant, the sixth harrier for the Ponies, has had a great week of practice heading into divisionals, Ray said.
She needs to stay closer to Jillian, Ray said. Shes looking good.
Alicia Rundquist and Carly Toldness are in contention for the seventh place spot on the team. Seven runners and two alternates advance to the state competition next Saturday at Helena.
Senior Nancy Cline looks to end her high school cross country career by breaking a 25-minute mark.
Jen Gorder, a freshman, has struggled with a sore leg throughout the season, but looks to compete at Livingston.
Senior Cara Holmquist also looks to continue getting stronger throughout this final meet before state.
Freshman Ericka Bailey will be competing in only her third meet of the season and has been averaging times in the high 23s. Rachael Spangelo and Stacey Siebrasse round out the roster for the Ponies.
Theyre really ready to go. Theyre ready, Ray said.