By George Ferguson
The Havre Blue Pony cross country team took home all the hardware a team can carry this weekend at the Fergus Invitational in Lewistown. The Havre girls took the team titles in the varsity and JV meet, while the Havre boys defended their team title as well.
The Pony girls finished with a total team score of 31 followed by host Lewistown at 55. Class B Townsend finished third with a score of 83.
Individually, Havre's Shannon Newth was the top Pony finisher crossing the finish line in third place with a time of 20:25. Alicia Rundquist was right behind her with a time of 20:39. The Ponies also got a big boost from Katie Siebrasse, McKayla Patterson and Andree Peterson. Those three finished sixth, eighth, and 10th, respectively.
"All of the girls ran great," said head coach Kim Ray. "They were just ready to compete this weekend. Shannon was almost a minute faster than last week and four of our girls had their fastest times of the year."
The pack time her team put up also left a smile on Ray's face.
"We had a pack time of :51 and that is right where we need to be when we get to state," Ray said.
The performance of Havre in the JV meet is also a positive step for Ray's team.
"We had girls finish first and second in the JV meet," Ray said. "That means our top JV runners are getting closer to the sixth and seventh spots on the varsity team, which is good to see."
Overall, Ray was not only pleased with the results of the meet, but she thinks that it was great preparation for the final few weeks of the season.
"Our performance at this meet is great for us heading into the Mountain West meet next week in Missoula," Ray said. "We're really excited for next weekend."
The Havre High boys club team also had a big weekend in Lewistown, as well. For the second straight year they took home the boys team title, and Jeff Sprinkle won the individual meet for the second straight year as well.
Sprinkle crossed the finish line in first place with a time of 16:35. Kasey Barsotti came in right behind Sprinkle with a time of 17:14, while sophomore Kyle Baltrusch finished fourth with a time of 17:37. Evan Olson and Andy Meyers finished ninth and 11th overall to help the Ponies to the team title.
"I was extremely pleased with our finish," said boys head coach Ron Watson. "Our runners were prepared both mentally and physically, and that lead to our best finish of the season."
Along with Sprinkle's first-place finish, Watson was pleased with the performance of Barsotti.
"I am real pleased with Kasey's performance," Watson said. "He has been consistent, dependable and really competitive."
Both the Havre girls and boys teams next travel to Missoula for the Mountain West Invitational race on Saturday.
Havre, 31Lewistown, 55 Townsend, 86 Centerville/Belt, 146 Belgrade, 159 Lodge Grass, 169 No Score, Wolf Point, Red Lodge, Livingston, Cascade, Hays-Lodge Pole, Laurel, G.F. Central
Shannon Newth, 20:25
Alicia Rundquist, 20:39
Katie Siebrasse, 21:06
McKayla Patterson, 21:13
Andree Peterson, 21:15
Becca Hilliard, 21:53
Emily Kostelecky, 22:55
Havre, 27 Belgrade, 54 Lodge Grass, 99 G.F. Central, 116 Livingston, 143 Centerville/Belt, 161 Wolf Point, 167 Townsend 167No Score, Red Lodge, Laurel, Hays-Lodge Pole
Jeff Sprinkle, 16:35
Kasey Barsotti, 17:14
Kyle Baltrusch, 17:37
Evan Olson, 18:05
Andy Meyers, 18:13
Greg Leyba, 20:05
Ryan Gilbreath, 20:37