By George Ferguson
There is no place like home is how the saying goes. And it couldn't be more true for the Havre High girls cross country team. The Ponies grabbed first place honors in the Havre Invitational cross country meet held on the Montana State University-Northern campus on Saturday.
The Ponies finished with a score of 33 to win the meet. Lewistown came in second at 55, followed by Browning with a score of 75 . Defending Class B state champion Cut Bank came in fourth with a score of 86.
Browning's Wasewi Shawl took medalist honors with a time of 19:03. Havre's top finisher was Katie Siebrasse, who came in sixth place with a time of 20:42. Kelsey Malsam, in only her second varsity race, finished right behind Siebrasse in seventh place with a time of 20:49.
"The girls ran a really good race this weekend," said Havre head coach Kim Ray. "Katie had a great race and Kelsey Malsam finished second for us, and that is just outstanding given the course and this being only her second race on the varsity level."
Ray was also very impressed with the effort of Browning's Shawl.
"I believe she ran the fastest time ever on this course in a girls race," Ray said. "This course is very tough and she ran a very impressive race."
Overall the Ponies had five runners finish in the top 15, giving them an outstanding pack time of 35 seconds.
"Our pack time was tremendous this week," Ray said. "The girls have been really consistent the last three weeks, and that is a good thing as we get to the state meet."
McKayla Patterson finished in 11th place with a time of 21:05. She was followed by Alicia Rundquist in 13th place and Shannon Newth in 14th place. Emily Kostelecky crossed the finish line is 33rd place, but Andee Peterson was unable to finish the race because of an injury.
Ray likes to see the diversity in her team over the last several races.
"The last few races we have had different girls finishing first and second for us," Ray said. "That tells me that all of our girls are running really well, and that they are comfortable with taking the lead on our team."
It's something that's very important with the Central A Divisional meet next weekend.
"I feel very confident about where we are as a team heading into the last two weeks of the season," Ray said.
Besides her team coming out on top, Ray was also very pleased with how smoothly the meet went.
"We had a lot of support for this meet," Ray said. "A lot of people helped out and volunteered their time. We had a lot of people come out to support the girls and we're always thankful for that."
"I also have to thank MSU-Northern for their help, and Dave and Pam Wilson, as well as Jeff Diblee for all of their help with this meet."
The Ponies now head to the Central A Divisional meet in Belgrade on Saturday.
Team scores Wetaskiwin 51, Browning 66, Columbia Falls 71, Havre 103, Dodson 108, Cut Bank 134, Harlem 139.
Top 10 Russ Neff, Moose Jaw, 16:36; Matt Neff, MJ, 16:39; Isaiah Webber, Brown, 17:12; Kasey Barsotti, Hav, 17:13; Scottie Wright, Wet, 17:17; Dustin Schmidt, Wet, 17:20; Scott Mitchell, MJ, 17:27; Andrew Gilham, CB, 17:38; Dan Sperber, Wet, 17:49; E.J. Aims Back, Heart Butte, 17:50.
Team scores Havre 33, Lewistown 59, Browning 75, Cut Bank 86, Columbia Falls 122, Malta 147, Dodson 195.
Top 10 Wasewi Shawl, Brown, 19:03; Janelle Williams, Wet, 20:00; Kailey Smith, Moose Jaw, 20:22; Samantha Rogers, MJ, 20:33; Candice Rodriguez, Lew, 20:36; Katie Siebrasse, Hav, 20:42; Kelsey Malsam, Hav, 20:49; Trisha Doyle, MJ, 20:53; Lyndie Neville, Mal, 20:58; Shauna McCracken, CF, 21:00.
Havre Runners: 6. Katie Siebrasse, 20:42; 7. Kelsey Malsam, 20:49; 11. McKayla Patterson, 21:05; 13. Alicia Rundquist, 21:07; 14. Shannon Newth, 21:08; 33. Emily Kostelecky, 22:41; DNF. Andee Peterson.