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Ponies look to mine gold in Butte

Havre High track teams head to Class A state meet


Last updated 5/29/2014 at 11:04am

Daniel Horton

Havre High freshman Mike Loftus, right, rounds the turn during the Central A 200-meter finals last weekend in Havre. Loftus and the Blue Pony boys will look for plenty of points at Friday-Saturday's Class A state track meet in Butte.

Last weekend at the Central A divisional track meet in Havre, the Havre Blue Ponies’ lack of numbers proved to put the program at a disadvantage in the team standings. But that doesn’t mean the Ponies don’t have standout individuals.

In fact, the Ponies do have quality athletes, and those individuals will be on display this weekend for one final track meet as they attempt to finish strong among the best of the best.

With just one meet left on the schedule, the Ponies will spend Friday and Saturday at Bulldog Memorial Stadium in Butte for the Class A/B state track meet. Field events will begin at 9 a.m. and running events will begin at 10:30 a.m. Friday morning.

The pool of team talent is deep, just as it is every season.

Whitefish won the team title on the boys side last season, as did Corvallis for the girls. But teams like Sidney, Billings Central, Dillon, Laurel, Belgrade and Hamilton will also make a push for top finishes. Programs like the Ponies’, as well as Glendive, Frenchtown, Lewistown, Columbia Falls, Polson, Livingston, Miles City, Stevensville, Browning, Butte Central and Anaconda’s will also bring talented individuals.

“It’s going to be a tough weekend,” Havre High head coach John Ita said. “It is going to be a tough weekend down there in Butte. We aren’t a team that is expected to score too many points, but I think we can sneak in there and really compete, and I think we will earn some top individual finishers.”

Last year the Ponies had just two individuals place in the top six at the state meet. Peyton Filius took sixth in the 800 meters with a time of 2:24. 37 and Martha Stocker took third in the shot put with a throw of more than 37-6. This season the Ponies will look to build off of that success with a large group of young and experienced individuals.

Both Filius and Stocker will compete at state again this weekend, as they look to help lead the way to a more productive outing for the boys and girls squads. Filius will enter state after finishing third in the 800 at divisionals, while Stocker enters state after finishing the shot put in fourth at divisionals. Rachel David will also compete in the 400 and 800, while Haley Ohm will compete in the 1,600 and 3,200, and Naomi Terry will compete in the long jump. Ceyara Plante will also compete in the triple jump, while Kristen Nash will compete in the discus, and Carleigh Rennick will compete in the javelin. Both the short and long relays will also run for the HHS girls.

Lacey Waid is a strong favorite to win an individual title in the pole vault this season. The senior vaulter has set a new HHS record this season at 10-6, but has potential to clear 11-0 and maybe even more.

The HHS boys will also face an uphill battle over the next several days.

And just like the girls, some Blue Pony boys also have a shot at earning points in the pole vault. Thomas Gruber has been outstanding this season, and is coming off a 13-6 weekend at divisionals. Gunnar Aageson could also perform well if he can match his best of 12-6.

Daniel Horton

Havre High senior Martha Stocker throws the discus during last weekend's Central A Divisional in Havre. Stocker will hope to get on the medal stand in that event for the second year in a row. The HHS girls attend the Class A state meet Friday-Saturday in Butte.

Ryne Antley and Kade Rismon will also throw for the Ponies, while a handful of runners will also push for points. Antley will compete in the javelin and Kade Rismon will compete in the shot put. Nate Rismon will also compete in the 200, pole vault, long jump, and triple jump, while Mike Loftus will run the 200 and 100-meter sprints. Rounding off the HHS competitors will be John Faber and Nick Keller in the high jump both clearing 5-8 this past weekend. The short relay will also be in the hunt for points coming off of a No. 1 divisional finish with a solid time of 45.62 seconds. Gruber, Kade Rismon, Faber and Loftus will run the short relay for the Ponies.

“We have the talent to score points this weekend,” Ita said. “If Lacey Waid and our other vaulters can get in there and compete, and if some of our middle distance kids can sneak in there and perform for one more weekend, then we should be able to compete and score some points. But we know it is going to be tough for everybody, the competition is always great at the state meet and it’s not easy to place.”

Friday and Saturday the Ponies will join the rest of the Class A at Bulldog Memorial Stadium in Butte for the state meet.


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