By Crystal Thompson
The Havre Blue Ponies, the newest Central A Girl's Cross Country State Champions, were honored last night with a car caravan, followed by a reception at Havre High School.
Members of both the JV and Varsity girl's cross country team, as well as Head Coach Kim Ray and Assistant Coach Christin Smith were present at the reception in the gymnasium to thank the community for their support during the team's outstanding year.
Coach Ray took the opportunity to introduce each runner and explain how she was a part of the team. Even those who did not run in the state meet, Ray explained, were still part of the first place team because of the support and willingness they expressed over the year. Coach Smith said that she was thrilled with how the entire team performed throughout the season, and she said that they definitely earned the state title.
The Havre girls haven't captured a cross country state title in ten years, but with a positive attitude and lots of hard work, this team came through and made it to state. With a final score of 98 points, the girls outran their closest competitor Miles City to take the title by three points.
"I'm completely proud of this entire team," said star runner Jennie Peterson, who came in fifth over all at the state meet, "the spirit of this team was just over our heads."
Coach Ray said that a major part of the state title was the depth of the team, "We needed people to work together," said Coach Ray, "we also needed them to stay positive, and they did."
"I never heard one of these girls complain," said Coach Smith.
Senior runner Nikki Grant said of the state meet, "I felt like oh man, I'm gonna die', but I just kept going and I got more relaxed." Grant contributed to the state title by finishing the race 37th over all.
The girls and the coaches seemed pleased with their performance during the course of the year, and they knew that they were strong contenders at state. When it came down to it, they did what they had to do to capture the title. Jillian Brough, whose 28th place finish also contributed to the title, said "We went out there and did what we were supposed to and came out three points on top."