Pony runners up for a test
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The Havre High boys and girls cross country teams are both coming off of a successful weekend.
And now traveling to one of the biggest meets they will run in all year, the Central A Blue Ponies are hoping to keep making positive strides.
Saturday the Ponies will compete at the Mountain West Meet in Missoula. And while anywhere from 50-60 teams from all over Montana, Washington and Idaho are expected to make the trip, the Ponies can expect to be running against hundreds of other runners in each race.
"It's always an exciting meet," Havre High head coach Kyle Fisher said. "This is the biggest meet we go to besides state and each race should have 300-400 kids in it, so it should be exciting for the kids to be a part of an event like this."
But even with the crowded meet, the Ponies will be able to gage themselves against certain opponents.
Also expected to compete this weekend are conference rivals Lewistown, Belgrade and Browning. And while HHS will be able to compare times and finishes with conference opponents, the Ponies will also have the ability to do the same with teams out of the Western A, teams the Ponies will see at state.
"This will be a good measuring tool against the conference," Fisher said. "As well as the Western A schools. We haven't seen much of them (Western A) this year."
Getting a good look at the competition will be crucial on Saturday, but the Ponies are also focusing cutting pack times.
The Ponies have been steadily improving on both the boys and girls teams, but there is still work to be done. Last weekend the boys pack time for the top five boys was right around 2:30. And for the girls, it was right at 1:15.
The girl's pack time is very good for being this early in the season, but Fisher knows they can do better. And for the boys, for the them to close the gap it is going to take those four and five runners to shave some seconds off of their personal times.
"The kids are doing a good job of that," Fisher said. "And that's what we are looking for this weekend."
Running for the HHS boys will be Kendall Murie, Marc Klimas, Greg Rhines, Chazley Hulett, Dillon Seely, Dolan Tuss, Zack Smith and Ty Bauer.
And for the Pony girls, it will be Katie Christianson, Brittanee Korb, Shelby O'Neil, Ashlynn Van Voast, Mikell Kinsella, Trisha Kinsella, Larissa Price and Brook Jappe. Jappe's participation is still in question due to injury, and in the case she doesn't run, Courtney Bricker will take her place.
"The kids always like running this course in Missoula so I expect good things out of this weekend," Fisher said. "We are looking to improve every week, and that's our goal, to improve from the last weekend."
The Ponies will be in Missoula on Saturday where they will participate in the Mountain West meet. The meet will take place at the University of Montana Golf Course.