By George Ferguson
The Havre High cross country team's second visit to Cut Bank saw a little better weather and some faster times on Friday than it did three weeks ago.
The Ponies finished second overall in the Cut Bank Cross Country Invitational and had five runners finish in the top 20 individually at the meet held at the Cut Bank Golf Club.
Defending Class A champion Bigfork finished first with a score of 17, followed by the Ponies at 54. Defending Class B champion Cut Bank was third with a score of 80.
Havre High head coach Kim Ray could not have been more pleased with her team's effort on Friday.
"As a team, we ran really well," Ray said. "We finished with a pack time of 1:20 and we did a good job of our runners staying close to each other."
Individually, Havre was again paced by senior standout Alicia Rundquist, who came in fifth with a time of 20:24. However, her teammates didn't let her out of sight. Six more Pony runners were within two minutes of Rundquist as they crossed the finish line.
Katie Siebrasse finished in eighth place overall with a time of 21:10 while Shannon Newth was 10th at 21:13. Mackayla Patterson came in 14th with a time of 21:35 and Andree Peterson was 17th at 21:47. Emily Kostelecky came in 25th at 22:21. Becca Hilliard and Kelsey Malsam finished 28th and 29th.
"All of our girls were very happy with how they ran individually," Ray said. "Most of them either beat or met the times they set for themselves coming into the race, and that is good to see happen to them this early in the season."
Overall 91 girls competed in the race, and while Ray was very happy with the results she was also glad for the opportunity to scout a couple of unfamiliar teams in Class A.
"We saw Bigfork, Whitefish and Columbia Falls at this meet and it was good for us to see those team's strengths and weaknesses," Ray said.
She was especially interested in the defending state champs and how they ran.
"Bigfork is a really tough team," Ray said. "They scored a 17 and 15 is a perfect score so they were impressive. It was a good opportunity for the girls to see them and to learn where they need to improve in order to compete with them down the road."
The Havre boys cross country club team also competed in the meet and finished second behind Browning with a score of 70.
The Ponies were led by Jeff Sprinkle, who came in sixth place with a time of 17:02, followed by Wes Main in eighth at 17:07. Kasey Barsotti finished 13th at 17:21, followed by Andy Meyers and Evan Olson, who finished 21st and 22nd, and Kyle Baltrusch in 27th place.
Next up for the Ponies is a visit to Lewistown on Saturday. The JV team will also be in action on Saturday in Malta.
Bigfork 17, Havre 49, Cut Bank 95, Browning 113, Columbia Falls 132, Shelby 245, Ponoka, AB 349. No score: Centerville, Hays, Cascade, Harlem, GFC, Whitefish, Heart Butte, Valier
Havre Girls: 5, Alicia Rundquist, 20:24; 8, Katie Siebrasse, 21:10; 10, Shannon Newth, 21:13; 14, Mckayla Patterson, 21:35; 17, Andree Peterson, 21:47; 25, Emily Kostelecky, 22:21; 28, Rebecca Hilliard, 22:38; 29, Kelsey Malsam, 23:05; 34, Kim Jestrab, 23:32; 39, Megan Toldness, 23:50; 42, Nikki Diblee, 24:01; 57, Gwen Courtney, 25:20; 63, Mackenzie Kinna, 25:49; 69, Rylee O'Connell, 26:23; 83, Laura Zentmire, 28:38; 84, Kayla Fehr, 28:52;90, Kristy Collins, 31:13; 91, Kristin Burt, 35:38
Browning 29, Havre 70, Columbia Falls 123, Whitefish 156, Cut Bank 172, Big Fork 191, Heart Butte 235, Ponoka, AB 262, GFC 318, Harlem 329, Centerville 333, No Scores: Lethbridge, Hays
Havre Boys: 6, Jeff Sprinkle, 16:49; 8, Wes Main, 17:07; 13, Kasey Barsotti, 17:21; 21, Andy Meyers, 18:01; 22, Evan Olson, 18:03; 27, Kyle Baltrusch, 18:26; 72, Ryan Gilbreath, 20:22