By Kim Staudinger
The Havre High School girls cross country team faces a tough race this afternoon as it travels to Cut Bank to compete in the Blue Ponies' only afternoon race this season.
Head coach Kim Ray says she hopes the heat does not affect her runners, but that is not the only thing her team will have to be prepared to deal with.
"The Cut Bank course is one of the tougher courses we race on," she said. "It is a really nice course, but it has one big hill at the start and one at the end. It is kind of a rolling course."
Ray says at least 75 runners are expected to race and teams such as Great Falls High School, C.M. Russell High, Browning, Shelby and others will be competing.
"Because it is the time trials, no team scores are kept," she said. "It is a nice meet to give coaches an early look at who is out there."
Ray anticipates her team should do well this weekend and says her girls are ready to stop running against themselves.
"All my girls are probably ready for a real meet and some real competition," Ray said. "They have practiced really hard this week. As a team, we should be a little faster overall than last year."
Ray has three runners she feels will have a great weekend, but expects one girl in particular to leave other coaches wondering who she is and where she is from.
"Katie Siebrasse is doing real well in practice right now," Ray said. "She will surprise some of the other coaches with how well she runs."
Ray also expects a good weekend from Jenna Baltrusch and Alicia Rundquist.
"I expect Jenna to be right at the top running with Heidi (Lane from CMR). She will help us get a good start and will be our team leader for running purposes," she said. "Alicia will also do really well. She should come in and run faster than she did last year. Alicia works 110 percent every day."
The meet begins at 4:50 p.m. today at the Cut Bank Golf and Country Club.