By Tiffany L. Rehbein
The end of a season means nothing to over-achievers.
Three members of the fourth-place state finishing Havre High cross country team combined with three other state cross country competitors and formed a team that won the USATF Montana Junior Olympic Cross Country meet held Saturday at Big Timber.
Havres Jennie Peterson, Jillian Brough and Jenna Baltrusch ran with McKenzie Sherburne of Browning, Stevie Gore of Lewistown, and Claire Anderson of Whitefish to claim the top team honors.
At Big Timber, Peterson won the 3.1-mile, or 5K, race with a time of 20:53 to pace the team.
At the state competition two weeks ago, Sherburne won the individual honors with a time of 18:39 clocked on the three-mile course.
Peterson finished fifth overall, clocking in at 19:10.
Lewistowns Gore finished ninth in 19:29, while Anderson of Whitefish finished 14th overall with a time of 19:49.
Baltrusch finished 17th overall, clocking in at 19:56, her career-best finish.
Brough stopped the clock at 21:04, also a career-best time, and finished 42nd overall.
We got together this team to compete and represent Montana, Peterson said. She and Brough were encouraged to form the team after reading a pamphlet at the state cross country meet.
The team was formed at the last minute, with some final phone calls being made late at night confirming the teams participants.
We were calling people at 10:30 Thursday night to make sure we even had a team to go down there, Peterson said.
The top 10 individual runners, all of whom made the cut from the Montana team, qualified for the national meet that will be held Dec. 11, at Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Anywhere from 175-300 runners could participate at the national meet.
Basically, its going to be top competition, because its nationals, Peterson said. Some people down there take cross country quite seriously.
More than running, the girls are currently looking for sponsors to help cover some costs of the trip, such as airline fees, and basic costs of a four-day stay in Spartanburg.
The best part is knowing that we had some of the best girls in the state of Montana on the team, Peterson said. Im not really sure how well do, but we do have some of the top runners. It will be exciting to go down there if we get the opportunity. It will be magic.