With two of the other fall sports seasons already underway, the start of a new cross country season has slipped under the radar.
But with rosters filled with talented returnees and talented underclassmen this season, don't look past the Havre High girls and boys cross country runners. And after the success the Central A Blue Pony girls found a year ago, the HHS quad as a whole, is hungry for more success, and eager to get started.
Last season the HHS girls won the conference and took third place at the state level. The HHS boys didn't find near that amount of success, but with a brand new season ahead of them, they too are hungry for a successful 2012 outing.
The Ponies will get their season started on Friday, traveling to Cut Bank to take on a talented field of runners. But the HHS roster is going to test both teams all season long.
The Blue Ponies have just two events scheduled at home, one more than they had a year ago. On Sept. 9, the Ponies will host the annual Havre Invite on the campus of Montana State University-Northern. But this year, the Ponies will also host Divisionals on Oct. 13. Away races for the 2012 season include traveling to Malta, Lewistown, Missoula, Helena and Browning. If the Ponies have another successful season, they hopefully make another trip to Helena on Oct. 20, to compete at state. Helena will be the Preview Meet on Oct. 4.
But both Blue Pony teams do have the talent to find their share of success this season.
The Pony boys suffered losses like Garrett Aguillard and Dillon Seely, while the girls lost talent like Ashlynn VanVoast, Mikell Kinsella and Shelby O'Neil. They were good runners for HHS, but with only five key losses, HHS has a lot of talent to step up and fill in where needed.
"Garrett (Aguillard) was our No. 1 boy," Havre High head coach Kyle Fisher said. "And Ashlynn (VanVoast) was one of our top girls from last year. But those two and Dillon (Seely) all ran for us at state, so it was tough to lose them."
Returning for the boys will be Marc Klimas, Desmond Fialkosky, Marvin Spotted Bird and Dylan Stewart. They should lead the boys team, and should be accented by the likes of Ramsey Drew, Alec Drew, Nick Rhiines, Brandon Robertson, Cole Milligan, Dakota Christianson, Lance Seely, Derek Van Dessel, Sundance Lodge, Elijah David and David Borris.
And the girls welcome back Jess Wiken, an All-State runner, Trisha Kinsella, Katie Christenson and Larissa Price, four of the top five girls from last year. But Morgan Mazurkiewicz and Mckenna Barkus could also prove to be top runners, while Maurissa Dionne, Amber Spraker, Lainey Chagnon, Rinnah Kinsella, Raynell Clancy, Kayla Berg, Neya Biscoff, Kiana Robertson, Tori Mazurkiewicz, Brooke LaValley, Janae Barthel and Sydne Huston also look to make names for themselves.
"The girls and boys have both put in a lot of miles over the summer," Fisher said. "They did a lot of off season training, and we are looking for big things out of both teams. The girls are looking to improve on their season last year and to keep moving up. And the boys are the same, they just want to keep moving up and keep improving."
The Havre High girls should be a favorite in the Central A again, but Lewistown turns in a great team every year as well. The boys will have to battle it out all season long to remain competitive in the conference; but they also set their sights and goals high.
The Ponies are also helped by an always-tough schedule and this year is no different. Havre will compete in tough meet in Malta, Missoula, Helena Lewsitown and Browning during the regular. Havre also hosts two meets this year at the race course at MSU-Northern. The Ponies host the 2012 Havre Invitational on Sept. 22 and the Central A Divisional Meet Oct. 13. The Class A state race is set for Oct. 20 in Helena.
HHS will get the season underway ton Friday at the Cut Bank time trials in Cut Bank.
Havre High's Trisha Kinsella races in the 2011 Havre Invitational cross country meet last October in Havre. The Blue Ponies return plenty of talent on the boys and girls side this season.