It seems as if the extremely tough competition that the Havre High cross country program continues to face is never ending. And going form the Mountain West meet last weekend, to what is in store this weekend, this could be the toughest stretch yet.
Today the Central A Blue Ponies will compete in Helena at the annual preview meet. It is a different format than runners are accustomed to, as there will be seven races instead of just one. The No. 1 runners will run against the other No. 1 runners, and so on.
And the competition should be tough, as nearly 40 teams are expected to show up including the entire Class AA, and most of the Class A.
“This is a good meet for us,” Havre High head coach Kyle Fisher said. “And this is the most unique meet we will go to this year. This format makes it challenging for our kids because most of the time, our kids pace themselves off of each other. This is a learning experience to have to run on their own basically.”
The times normally vary at this meet each season. Some kids will see improvements on their time, while other’s may record slower times. The times usually improve just because of how late it is in the season, but those who don’t see better times should still be pushing themselves and improving. This is a very challenging course and the format does pay a toll on runners.
But either way, this is a good time to run this course, as it is also the course they will run at state.
“Helena isn’t the easiest place to run,” Fisher said. “But it just depends. Some kids will see improvement, and others wont. But the good thing is, this is the course that we will run on at state, so it will be a preview for those kids who haven’t ran here before. And obviously you want to see improvements every week, but this is one week where we just want to see improvements in the kids and don’t worry too much about times as long as the kids are competing.”
Running for the boys will be No. 1 Marc Klimas, No. 2 Desmond Fialkoski, No. 3 Elijah David, No. 4 Sundance Lodge, No. 5 Dylan Stuart, No. 6 Dakota Christianson, and No. 7 Bren Broadhead. And for the girls, HHS will take No. 1 Jess Wiken, No. 2 Katie Christianson, No. 3 Trisha Kinsella, No. 4 Larissa Price, No. 5 Morgan Mazurkiewicz, No. 6 Liz Facio, and No. 7 Kiana Robertson.
The girls have been very steady and confident this season, while two young runners step in to the varsity lineup for the boys. Neither Dakota Christainson or Broadhead have ran a varsity race this season, but have done a lot of improving, and earned a carsity spot this weekend.
“We have seen a lot of improvements in their times,” Fisher said. “And they are really closing the gap on those top end kids.”
Competing in Helena tonight, it will be a very tough weekend for the Ponies. But they have the talent to place a good number of runners in the top finishing spots, if they run well and to their potential. The Blue Ponies will then close out their regular season at the Browning Invitational on Saturday afternoon in Browning.