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HHS thinclads looking to hit their stride at tough Whitefish meet


April 27, 2018

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Havre's Kyndall Keller, right, hands off to Jessa Chvilicek during a relay in Wednesday's Cal Wearley Invitational in Havre. The Blue Pony track teams are back at it this weekend when they attend the A.R.M. Invitational in Whitefish.

After getting most of their early-season track meets delayed, both the Havre High track teams have been busy and they will stay that way with another meet this weekend in Whitefish.

Both Blue Pony teams will join a number of other schools from the west at the A.R.M. Invitational in Whitefish, including most of the Western A teams such as Whitefish, Browning, Columbia Falls, Libby, Polson and even Class AA Glacier will be in attendance. The events will get underway Saturday at 10 a.m.

"After not getting a meet for the first month of so," HHS head coach John Ita said. "We have had three in over a week. The coaches are really pleased. The kids are doing really well and have been really consistent."

As far as team results go, things have been a bit mixed for the Havre girls, but after finishing second at the Cal Wearley track meet, the Ponies have finished second in two of three meets now. A big reason for that is the Ponies' ability to score points in a number of different events. Some of the top performers have been Jessa Chvilicek in the jumping events, as well as Logan Huebsch and Ireland Coyne in the hurdles. Katie Wirtzberger is also off to a strong start in the sprinting events and Sarah Faber is another who is contributing consistently in the high jump.

"Jessa is qualified for state in the high jump and Sarah has been really close and jumped over 5-0 two weeks in a row," Ita said. "There are some good things going on."

Ita said a focus for both teams was not to overwork themselves with meets in Glasgow and Belgrade last week, in addition to the Cal Wearley in Havre Wednesday and the Whitefish meet Saturday.

"We knew with some of the Western A teams coming up, we wanted to rest up and give our athletes a chance to do their best on Saturday," Ita said. "The kids still feel like they are behind and are trying to catch up, so we tried to limit them to maybe one or two of their top events (Wednesday)."

While the girls team has been much more successful scoring points so far this season, the Havre boys also have some stellar athletes who should have a chance to do well in Whitefish. The Pony boys just don't have the depth, yet, of the girls and that's something that Ita said is going to take time.

"We are just young right now," Ita said. "But we have Ivar Aareson and he has already qualified for state. He is doing some really good things. I also think that Andrew Boucher has a chance to be a consistent point getter for us. Cole Watson is another one that has really come on lately."

Aageson is the most consistent point scorer for Havre, which finished 10th at the Cal Wearley with 19.5 points. Yet, in that meet, Aageson only competed as an individual in the 300 hurdles, where he ran a 41.6 to take home first place. Aageson has also been competing in the 100 hurdles and jumping events and should have more events on his plate in Whitefish.

Boucher has been another solid performer for Havre and he will be in contention for points in the 400 and 800, while Havre will hope to get something from Cole Watson in the sprints. Another potential contributor for Havre is junior Jakob Keller, who was second at the Cal Wearley in the 3,200 thanks to a time of 11:21.

After taking part in the Whitefish A.R.M. Invitational Saturday, Havre will compete in the Glasgow Top 10 meet Tuesday. Only qualified athletes will be allowed to participate.

"It's crazy to think," Ita said. "But we are down to having a month left of the season already."


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