By Kim Staudinger
What seemed to get off to a bad start for the Havre girls cross country team, ended up being a learning experience that will hopefully make the team better all around.
Lead runner Jenna Baltrusch nearly missed the bus headed for Glasgow and probably would have, had head coach Kim Ray not called her five minutes before the bus was scheduled to leave.
Ray said Baltrusch didn't run a very good time compared to what she normally would run and that she was last early on in the race, which is rare for her. Ray also mentioned the mental game may have been a factor for Baltrusch, even though it shouldn't have been.
"She didn't have time to prepare," Ray said.
Despite having her top runner nearly miss the bus, Ray said the meet was a positive for the team.
"Everybody ran their fastest time there," she said. "They knew it was a flatter course, but it was also a longer course."
Although the Ponies didn't have much competition as far as teams at the meet, the girls were able to cut their pack time down to two minutes.
"For them to get that close to each other for pack time was great," Ray said. "This is the best it has been for our team so far, which is where it needs to be at state."
Baltrusch was the lead runner for Havre, coming in second with a time of 19:59 behind Wolf Point's Bethany Long, who finished in a time of 19:15. Long, who also plays basketball, is the two-time defending state champion for Class B runners.
Alicia Rundquist placed third, running her best race ever with a time of 20:38. Katie Siebrasse finished seventh followed by Maureen Porter at ninth, Nikki Dibblee at 12th, Hailey Schnittgen at 13th and Shannon Newth at 17th.
Emily Kostelecky earned a first-place finish in the junior-varsity meet with a time of 23:03. Sherry Winchell placed third, Kim Jestrab seventh and Audrey Sprinkle ninth.
The following are the team scores from the Glasgow meet:
Williston, N.D., 62
Wolf Point, 86