Late season injuries can wreck a good track and field season. That is why the Havre High program isn’t taking any chances with divisionals and state just around the corner.
Plenty of Central A Blue Pony track and field stars will get some much-needed rest this weekend. But those who are not resting will continue to face off against another tough field of competitors. Saturday the Ponies will host a triangular with the Central A Lewistown Golden Eagles and the Class B Malta Mustangs and M-Ettes at the Havre Middle School track and field.
Some key names that will surely be limited, and may not compete at all for HHS, will be Peyton Filius and Rachel David, two talented middle distance runners for the Blue Ponies.
“We are kind of banged up right now,” Havre High head coach John Ita said. “We were seeded No. 1 going into the girls mile relay Tuesday night (Top 10 meet), but we decided to scratch kind of last second to get some girls some extra rest. But we have talked about the triangular, too, and we don’t think we are going to use our full slate of athletes. We just want to start resting and recovering before divisionals, and we will have 10 days of rest after this weekend. I don’t want to lose any athletes because we over trained.”
The Central A Divisional will be May 23-24 in Havre, and the state track meet will be May 30-31 in Butte.
But those who are not resting, will still get a chance to face some top tier talent Saturday at home. Both Lewistown and Malta house outstanding talent on the track and in the field events.
Brock Butcher, a dominating 100- and 200-meter runner, as well as a big-time long jumper anchors the Eagle boys. Ryan McKinney also gives the Eagles some talent in the 800, while Collin Hartford has what it takes to win the javelin Saturday. And for the girls team, Nicole Karhi will push everybody in the 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles and long jump, while Delainy Tedesco is quick in the 3200 and Mikaela Olson has a big arm in the javelin.
The Mustangs aren’t quite as dominant as the M-Ettes, but Kyle Mitche (100), Tyson Carney (throws), Nathan Veit (throws), and Ostin Welch (jumps) will put up solid times and marks for the Ponies to go up against. But the M-Ettes house the likes of freshman Sophia Stiles, a force in the 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles, long jump and triple jump. Throw Jada Nicholson (high jump) and Darby Schye (throws) into the mix, and the M-Ettes bring in a team that could very well push for the team title Saturday afternoon.
Some of the young Pony talent should take advantage of the triangular, especially with some veteran competitors out of action. Freshmen Meggie Zook, Naomi Terry, Dakota Acor and Mike Loftus continue to perform at a high level, while sophomores like Megan Erickson, Nate Rismon and Brock Ross also continue to step up and perform well. As underclassman, coach Ita is looking for a group like this to step up this weekend, taking advantage of another meet, and looking for opportunities to qualify for the divisional meet.
“This is the last time for kids to qualify for divisionals, so hopefully the kids go out and compete hard, have some fun and hopefully we get some good weather,” coach Ita said. “But this weekend will be a nice change of pace after going to Whitefish last week, and going to the Top 10 meet Tuesday. Saturday will be more relaxed, with a little more emphasis on our young kids competing well. But the kids that need rest right will get the rest, that gives other kids a chance to step up.”
Saturday’s field events begin at 10:30 a.m., followed by the track events beginning at 11 a.m. at the Havre Middle School track in Havre.