BUTTE Clinging to a mere four-point lead over second-place Anaconda after the first day of competition at the Central A Divisional track and field meet, the Havre girls could have folded under the pressure and come back home disappointed.
Instead, they presented a stern warning to every other Class A school throughout the state with a dominating performance Saturday to race away for the divisional team title.
Havre finished with 111 team points and blew away Anaconda and the other competing schools during the second day. The Copperheads finished in second place with 98 points, followed by Belgrade (93), Dillon (75) and Lewistown (57).
Highlighting the Ponies' victory was a new meet record in the 400 relay. Havre, represented by Brooke Schwan, Rylee O'Connell, Lashae Michels and Alyssa Matter, finished the race in 50.56 seconds to break the mark for four-hundredths of a second. Lewistown set the record of 50.6 seconds in 1994.
Michels won the triple jump and finished second in the long jump. She ran the second leg of the 400 relay and the anchor leg on Havre's fourth-place 1,600 relay team.
Shockingly, Michels's win in the triple jump was the Havre girls' only individual victory in the meet.
Jayla McPherson placed second in the shot put and discus, Jen Peterson was second in the 3,200 and third in the 1,600, and Matter, who ran on both relay squads, finished second in the 100 hurdles and sixth in the 100.
Jenna Baltrusch was third in the 3,200 and fourth in the 1,600, Jillian Brough finished third in the 800, Maureen Porter placed third in the pole vault, Schwan was third in the 100 hurdles and tied for fourth in the high jump, Karla McCormick was fourth in the 300 hurdles.
Alicia Rundquist placed fifth in the 3,200, Katie Siebrasse placed sixth in the 400, Rylee O'Connell was sixth in the 200, and Katie Malsam finished sixth in the javelin.
Havre's boys scored a meet-high 74 points on Saturday, but a scoreless afternoon in field events Friday squashed any hopes the Ponies had of winning a team championship.
Butte Central cruised to the title with 115 points, followed by Belgrade and Havre with 91 and 87, respectively.
Havre set a meet record in the 1,600 relay with a time of 3:28.1. That mark shattered the former Belgrade record of 3:28.9 and was a blistering 1.3 seconds faster than second-place Anaconda, who finished with a 3:29.44.
Havre was represented in that relay by Adam Landgraf, Joe Roman, Grant Roman and Steve Heberly.
Havre also won the 400 relay behind the efforts of Landgraf, Heberly, Grant Roman and Jared Gabriel.
Heberly was a double-winner in individual events with victories in the 100 and 200, Joe Roman secured a win in the 800 and was sixth in the 400, Garrett Watson finished third in the 3,200 and fourth in the 1,600, Grant Roman placed third in the 400 and sixth in the 200, and Brian Derosa finished third in the 110 hurdles and fifth in the 300 hurdles.
Joey Howland placed one spot ahead of teammate Jacob Lorang for fourth in the pole vault, Jeff Sprinkle was fifth in both the 1,600 and 3,200, and Landgraf was sixth in the 100.
The Class A state meet will be held this weekend April 25 and 26 at MetraPark in Billings.