By Kim Staudinger
The Havre girls cross country team took to the Montana State University-Northern campus course Saturday after battling injuries and illnesses all week, but still felt confident in a strong finish.
The one advantage the Ponies had was knowledge of the course they would run on.
"As a team they did really good for not being healthy and for not practicing some times during the week," head coach Kim Ray said. "At least three runners on our team are not 100 percent right now, so they did really good considering over half the varsity team didn't practice all week."
Leading Havre to a second place team finish, Alicia Rundquist once again took the top runner spot, finishing in a time of 20:35.
"Alicia looks really good right now," Ray said. "She's had a great season. It's nice we have someone else stepping up to that first runner/leader role and doing a good job" while Jenna has been sick.
Katie Siebrasse and Jenna Baltrusch finished 13th and 14th, respectively with times of 21:08.2 and 21:08.5.
"Katie ran a good time for our course," Ray said. "Jenna did a nice job of finishing. It was nice because she was a minute faster than last week. If she can keep improving like that, she will be in great shape for state."
Maureen Porter finished in 18th for Havre, followed by Nikki Diblee in 22nd, Shannon Newth in 24th and Hailey Schnittgen in 28th.
"Nikki is doing a nice job right now," Ray said. "She ran a good time on our course. Her time this year was faster than last year's time.
"Shannon is running the best she can right now," she said.
The only complaint coach Ray had about her team's weekend is having a few runners getting beat at the finish line.
"We got beat by two seconds getting to the line and we can't do that," she said. "With any Class A team, we can't give them those two seconds. You can make those up at other points in the race. My big worry right now is that we are giving up too many of those close points."
The Havre runners take to the college course again this weekend for the Central A divisional meet on Saturday.
Havre's junior varsity team also competed in the meet, but did not have enough runners to earn team scores. Emily Kostelecky took sixth with a time of 22:31, followed by Gwen Courtney with a 23:48, Kim Jestrab with a 24:41 and Audrey Sprinkle at 28:32. Sherry Winchell was unable to finish the race due to an injury.