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Blue Ponies race toward the postseason

For the Havre High cross country teams, the most important part of the season is just about here and this weekend in Livingston, both Blue Pony squads will have their final tune up before the All-Class state meet in Helena next weekend.

In the past, the weekend prior to state was reserved for the Central A Divisional meet. And while Havre and the rest of the Central A teams will compete against each other Saturday in Livingston, it's now called the Fall Classic. It's no longer a divisional meet. Regardless, it will be the final race before state and Havre head coach Josh Holt, said his team is looking forward to the challenge. The first race will get underway at 10 a.m.

"We call it the Fall Classic now," Holt said. "But I absolutely think it's a good prep for state and to see where the kids are at the week before. I expect to see some really good times and we are on that downhill slide. We are a week away from state and the kids are excited and ready to go out and get at it."

While the meet will now feature both teams from Havre, Lewistown, Livingston and Belgrade, another new thing about the meet, at least for the Ponies, will be the course.

"I don't really know much about the course," Holt said. "I have never been there. It's going to be new to me and new to all the kids. We will go down (Friday) and take a look at the course and formulate a strategy. Then we will see where we are at."

As far as the Havre girls go, Kadia Miller will be the top runner again, and based on how she has performed this season, she should contend for the top overall spot in the meet when it's all said and done. Yet, right behind Miller are two other talented runners in senior Kaylee Nystrom and freshman Tamera O'Leary. The other varsity runners for the Havre girls this week will be Amelia Miller, along with Lilly Taly, Melanie Jones and Madison Shennum, who all competed in Helena last weekend.

"I am expecting some good things from our girls," Holt said. "I thought we did well in Helena. Kaylee was not with us in Helena, but she will be there and we will have a full team, so we are excited about that."

The Pony boys will also bring the same seven runners to Livingston that they have had in their lineup all season long, led by the No. 1 Austin Jones. Joining Jones as the top performer for the Havre boys is Jakob Keller, who has been consistent as the No. 2 runner for the Ponies throughout 2017. The other varsity runners for Havre will be Noaz Azure, Trevor Williams, Quinn Reno, Cameron Pleninger and Barrett Kilgore.

The Fall Classic will get started Saturday morning in Livingston at 10. Both Havre teams will then be back in Helena next weekend for the All Class state meet.


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