It was not a typical season debut for the Havre High boys and girls cross country teams, but despite the poor weather that battered prep sports all over the state, the Blue Ponies made it out of the weekend with much-needed competition.
It was a windy and rainy day Friday, but the Central A Ponies, as well as the rest of the field at the Cut Bank Time Trials ran through it anyway. Thunder and lightning also made an appearance in Cut Bank, but first-year head coach Darci Heninger was just happy to officially get the 2013 season underway.
“As soon as we got off the bus I was excited to be on my old stomping grounds,” Heninger said. “It just brought back a lot of memories for me, and it was great to see other runners. The girl’s race was very competitive and very exciting to watch. It was just exciting to see it all from my position, I remember it from a runner's point of view, so it was just exciting to be back, this time coaching.”
The Ponies had a lot of unanswered questions heading into the weekend, but some issues should be cleared up.
One thing the Ponies now know is the boys and girls varsity seven. The HHS boys have just seven runners this year, but they now know how each runner stacks up with each other and other runners from across the state. And the HHS girls had 11 runners on Friday, but the time trials were used to decide the varsity seven moving forward.
“The boys lineup is set,” Heninger said. “We only have seven runners, but they did run better than I expected in their first race, they all ran pretty good. And I know Ethan Smith was very nervous because he is just a freshman and this is his first high school race, but he did a great job for us, and that was exciting to see.
“And we had some girls missing (Peyton Filius),” Heninger added. “But it did give me a better idea who the varsity girls are going to be. I know Peyton (Filius) is going to be my top runner, but I will know even more after we run in Malta next weekend because we will get to see all the girls run together.”
Filius will slide into the No. 1 spot in the lineup, while the top six girls from Friday make up the rest of the varsity seven.
Morgan Mazurkiewicz finished with a time of 21:25 and as the No. 16 girl overall. And Haley Ohm ran a 21:49 and was the No. 20 girl overall, while Kiana Robertson finished in 23:37 and was the No. 47 runner overall. McKenna Barkus also finished in 24:17, while Tori Mazurkiewicz finished in 25:20, and Meggie Zook finished in 25:53 to round out the top six Ponies. But also running Friday, Rachel Majeres finished in 27:14, Brooke LaValley finished in 27:44, Julie Mckinney finished in 28:01, and Talina Hernandez finished in 28:52. Alara Vogel also ran, but no time was recorded due to the storm that rolled in on the runners.
“I have a feeling that our varsity lineup will change a lot over the season,” Heninger said. “I have a lot of girls who run right around the same pace, and it is just going to depend on the day. I really think they will rotate quite a bit.”
Brandon Robertson led the boys with an 18:46 and as the No. 30 runner overall. But Sundance Lodge and Brock Ross also had solid outings. Lodge ran a 18:53 and was the No. 33 runner, and Ross ran an 18:54 and was the No. 35 runner overall. Dylan Stewart also finished in 20:48, Cameron Knapton finished in 21:30, and Smith finished in 23:07. Elijah David did not run, but will compete for the Ponies moving forward.
The HHS runners turned in some good times, but both the boys and the girls have some improving to do. The first weekend out gave coach Heninger a better idea of what to work on, the Ponies will look to show improvements heading into Malta.
“For the girls,” Heninger said. “They are all spread out with their times. I have told them at practice that our pack time is our goal right now, and by the end of year we really need to have that tightened up. From our top girl to our No. 7 runner, that is a six minute difference. We have to close that gap. And for the boys, our top three runners run in a good pack, but the bottom half has to pick up the pace. Once we get deeper into our season, and they get in better in shape, it will bring them closer. With their times.”
Saturday, the Ponies will run in Malta.
Havre Boys at Cut Bank
Brandon Robertson 18:46, Sundance Lodge 18:53, Brock Ross 18:54, Dylan Stewart 20:48, Cameron Knapton 21:30, Ethan Smith 23:07.
Havre Girls at Cut Bank
Morgan Mazurkiewicz 21:25, Haley Ohm 21:49, Kiana Robertson 23:37, McKenna Barkus 24:17, Tori Mazurkiewicz 25:20, Meggie Zook 25:53, Rachel Majeres 27:14, Brooke LaValley 27:44, Julie Mckinney 28:01, Talina Hernandez 28:52.
GIRLS Top 30
1. McKena Morley, Bigfork, 17:20; 2. Bailey Smith, Glacier (Kal), 19:37; 3. Corinne Hamilton, Glacier (Kal), 19:56; 4. Samantha Mundel, Col Falls, 20:04; 5. Cambria Hassell, CMR, 20:18; 6. Claudia Hewston, Polson, 20:22; 7. Mercede Erickson, Glacier (Kal), 20:31; 8. Courtney Little Dog, Browning, 20:38; 9. Jessica Chery, Glacier (Kal), 20:44; 10. Mirnda Champion, Glacier (Kal), 20:58; 11. Mackenzie Bauma, Flathead HS, 21:00; 12. Alisha Jore, Polson, 21:09; 13. Kenzie Lencioni, Belt, 21:14; 14. Isabella Seemann, Polson, 21:15; 15. Tegan Bauer, Polson, 21:23; 16. Morgan Mazurkiewicz, Havre, 21:25; 17. Natalie Jeude, Flathead Hs, 21:37; 18. Tiffany LeFebre, CMR, 21:39; 19. Katie Maltugh, Glacier (Kal), 21:43; 20. Haley Chan, Havre, 21:48; 21. Hannah Schaffer, GFHS, 21:49; 22. Nicole Bouma, Flathead HS, 22:09; 23. Josie Brousseau, Glacier (Kal), 22:10, ; 24. Julian Kaptanian, Flathead HS, 22:12; 25. Cheyenne Weavley, Augusta, 22:37; 26. Meaghan Winder, Belt, 22:37; 27. Chanal Standing Rock, Rocky Boy, 22:39; 28. Jayla Wells, Browning, 22:44; 29. Anna Young, Polson, 22:45; 30. Marissaa Lencioni, GFHS, 22:51.
BOYS Top 30
1. Kade Mc Cutcheon, Glacier (Kal) , 16:26.08; 2. Logan Harmon, Glacier, 16:26.39; 3. Logan Morley, Bigfork, 16:38; 4. Shay LaVallie, CMR, 16:39; 5. Roben Castren, Glacier, 16:42; 6. Sylas Schutt, Flathead HS , 16:53; 7. Nathan Connell, Glacier, 17:01; 8. Noah Hill, Glacier, 17:05; 9. Chance Kittle, Flathead HS , 17:15; 10. Emmette Dusty Bull , Browning , 17:24; 11. Tel Motichka, Polson, 17:30; 12. Jordan Engel, Flathead HS , 17:40; 13. Edin Agamenomi , CMR, 17:42; 14. Jacob Callas, Flathead HS , 17:54; 15. Cody Kirkaldic, Hays Lodge Pole 18:01; 16. Carson Brown, Glacier, 18:03; 17. Jacob Blake, CMR, 18:04; 18. Robert Hafemeyer , Flathead HS , 18:08; 19. Jared Berkram, Cut Bank , 18:09; 20. Luke Henke , Shelby, 18:15; 21. Colton Woll, Bigfork, 18:20; 22. Tristan Gone, Havre, 18:21; 23. Bryer Anderson, Glacier, 18:24; 24. Paul Bielawski, Shelby, 18:25; 25. Will Hoard, GFHS, 18:29; 26. Mason Devrico, Flathead HS , 18:36; 27. Ty Runing Fisher , Browning , 18:37; 28. Devin Vaughan, GFHS, 18:43; 29. Jerrelle Big Hair, GFHS, 18:44; 30. Brandon Robertson, Havre, 18:46