By George Ferguson
It was a solid showing for the Havre High Cross Country team at the Belgrade Invitational held at the Gallatin County Recreation Area on Saturday.
The Ponies finished in fifth place with a score of 141. Bozeman finished in first place with a score of 58 followed by Butte High, Billings Senior and Billings West. The Ponies were the top Class A school at the meet and the results definitely pleased head coach Kim Ray.
"I was real pleased with the weekend overall," Ray said. "The girls ran really well and to finish where we did as a team was a good accomplishment."
"There were some really good AA schools at this race and it was held on a tough course and we had some tough conditions, so I am really happy with this finish," Ray said.
Individually the Ponies were led by Alicia Rundquist, who finished in 15th place crossing the finish line with a time of 20:54. Next to cross the line for the Ponies was Shannon Newth in 27th place at 22:03. followed by Andree Peterson in 30th place at 22:11. Rebecca Hilliard came in 34th with a time of 22:28 and right behind her was MiKayla Patterson at 22:29. Katie Siebrasse came in 37th at 22:30.
"Some of the times were a little off with the rain and the narrow course but I thought all of our runners ran really hard and really well," Ray said. "What we need to take away from this race is that we need to improve our pack time a little and get our other runners just a little closer to Alicia's time and that will help us out tremendously."
Overall there were 115 runners in the varsity race and 10 class A schools competing. The fact that the Ponies finished ahead of all the other Class A schools is a good sign for Ray's team down the road.
"We finished just ahead of Colstrip and they are one of the teams that we knew would be tough," Ray said. "We haven't seen any of the schools from the west but to finish on top of the other Class A schools really gives us confidence for later on in the season."
Another bright spot was the performance of the Havre High JV team. They finished third in the JV race behind Butte and Billings Senior and had an excellent pack time of 24. For the JV squad, Kelsey Malsam was the top runner with a time of 24:36, followed by Megan Toldness at 24:40, Gwen Courtney at 24:44, Kim Jestrab at 24:54, Nikki Dibblee at 25:01, Sherry Winchell at 25:34, Riley O'Connell at 28:03, Kayla Fehr at 30:16, Laura Zentmire at 30:30, and Kristin Burt at 35:35.
The Ponies' season continues on Friday when they travel to Cut Bank for the second time in three weeks.