By Tiffany L. Rehbein
With divisionals fast approaching, the Havre Blue Pony track team has seen almost all of its Class A competition.
This weekend at Cut Bank, they will get to see one more. Browning.
While the Indians do not have the depth to compete with the Havre boys or girls, they boast a talented sprinter in Jovan Fisher who could push the Havre boys.
"We are hoping Browning is there so we can see what they have," Havre head coach John Ita said.
The Blue Ponies will bring to Cut Bank what they learned against the stiffer Class AA competition After last weekend at Great Falls and Butte.
"The Optimist was a great lesson for our girls," Ita said. "We learned a lot of valuable lessons. Our eyes were opened to a world of Class AA competition."
In an unfamiliar position, the Blue Ponies did not capture any individual medals at the Optimist meet. However, they did claim some top six finishes.
Junior Alyssa Matter placed fourth in the 100 with a time of 13.6. Junior Jennie Peterson placed third in the 3,200 meters with a time of 12:03.38.
Sophomore Amy Ranes placed fifth in the high jump at 4-10, a height she has maintained for two-straight weeks. Freshman Brooke Schwan placed sixth in the event at the same height.
Senior Erin Patera placed fourth in the javelin with a toss of 115-10. Junior LaShae Michels finished fourth in the long jump with a season-long leap of 16-1. She placed third in the triple jump, leaping 33-8 1/2.
"The girls can either learn from this or shrink from it," Ita said. "We learned the value of many things."
The boys, too, learned some valuable lessons.
"We learned things like the value of warming up," Ita said. "We spend 40 minutes a day in practice warming up. There is a reason for it. The sun doesn't warm you up. You have to do inside and out."
The boys' sprints fared well at Butte, placing three in the finals. Junior Brent Finneman finished fourth in the 100 with a time of 11.44. He went on to set a personal-best time of 22.92 in the 200 and placed second in the race.
Jake Dusek placed sixth in the triple jump with a personal-best leap of 42-0. Chris Klobofski placed fifth in the shot put with a personal-best throw of 48-5.
"They competed pretty hard," Ita said. "We might not have placed, but we set a lot of personal records."
Jesse Suek placed third in the discus with a toss of 146-0. Brian DeRosa, who pulled a groin at Butte, could be questionable for competition at Cut Bank.
Along with the lessons learned, the Ponies had the opportunity to see Central A's Belgrade, Butte Central, and Anaconda in action.
"It was wonderful to see Belgrade," Ita said. The Blue Ponies were defeated by the Central A team, but it's not something to be concerned about.
"I think we can get them," Ita said. "It's not a drumming we can't recover from."
With the renewed desire to compete, the Ponies are ready for Cut Bank. Class C's Blue Sky, Valier, KG, Augusta, Chester, Brady, Class B's Choteau, Conrad, Cut Bank, Fort Benton, Shelby JV, and Simms, and Class A's Havre and Browning will be at Cut Bank.