Havre High runners making strides
Both the Havre High boys and girls cross country teams have made steady improvements as the season has gone on, and competing again this weekend, the Blue Ponies hope to do the same.
Friday the Central A Blue Ponies will run in Lewistown where they will be tested against 15-20 teams from the Class A, B and C ranks.
Conference rivals Belgrade, Butte Central, Livingston, Browning and host Lewistown are among the most noteworthy teams the Ponies will face, but Billings Central and Sidney should also prove to be worthy opponents this weekend.
"We get to see a lot of the Class A this weekend," Havre High head coach Kyle Fisher said. "And a lot of the tougher Class B and C teams as well. There is going to be a lot of good talent there this weekend. It will be a good meet for our kids, it will really push them and it's one of the harder courses we will run on."
Both the junior varsity and varstity teams will run on Friday, and the HHS girls varsity squad will include the same seven girls that have ran so well all season long.
Katie Christianson will look to lead the way, while Brittanee Korb, Shelby O'Neil, Trisha Kinsella, Ashlynn VanVoast, Larissa Price and Mikell Kinsella will also look to turn in solid times.
Last weekend the only conference team to beat out the HHS girls were the Lewistown Golden Eagles. Now heading into another race, the Ponies will hopefully make up some ground or even overtake the Eagles.
For the boys team, the Ponies have made some changes.
Kendall Murie, Marc Klimas, Greg Rhines, Dolan Tuss, Ty Bauer and Chazley Hulett will remain in varsity positions, but Daniel Hanson will join the group as a new addition.
"He's (Hanson) been working hard for us," Fisher said. "He's a senior runner and has been making his way onto the team and he is definitely deserving of the opportunity."
For both the boys and girls, the goal is still to improve pack times. The girls are definitely on the right track, recording a pack time of 1:40 last weekend with the top five girls in Missoula. But the Pony boys are still in need of some work. It's going to take improved times by the entire squad, as well as those No. 4 and No. 5 runners stepping up.
"If our kids want to compete," Fisher said. "And if we are going to compete as a team we need our kids to step up and run as a pack. Our girls have been doing a nice job of that and now we're looking for our boys to do better this weekend."
Individual times are still important, but with the level of talent, and with all of the conference teams present, Fisher will really be keeping an eye on just how this runners compete head-to-head with other top runners from the conference.
"We just need to go out there and run and put everything else behind us," Fisher said.
Friday the Ponies will compete in Lewistown. HHS is also scheduled to compete at a meet in Glasgow on Saturday. The Glasgow girls team has won an astounding 12 straight Class B state championships.