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HHS harriers race in Lewistown

 

September 13, 2018

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Tamera O'Leary and the Havre High cross country teams head to Lewistown Friday for the Lewistown Invitational. The Ponies host the Havre Invite next Saturday.

The Havre High cross country team is about to embark on the toughest part of its schedule in the next few weeks with some prestigious events on the horizon.

Yet, before hosting the Havre Invitational next week and heading to the annual Mountain West Classic in Missoula (Sept. 29), both Blue Pony teams will test themselves at the Lewistown Invitational Friday, against a field that features 10 Class A teams.

So far, the Ponies have taken part in two meets, the Cut Bank Time Trials and the Malta Invitational and while both have produced quality opponents for the Ponies, Havre really hasn't had a chance to battle any Class A competition, which is part of what will make the Lewistown meet so important.

Not only will Lewistown, the host team, be in attendance, but every other Eastern A school will be as well, including Belgrade, Billings Central, Miles City, Glendive, Hardin, Livingston, and Laurel. Butte Central of the Southwest A will also be competing along with Billings Skyview, as well as some Class B and C schools such as Malta and Hays-Lodge Pole.

Leading the Pony girls into action this week is Kadia Miller, who was an All-State runner a season ago and opened her 2018 campaign with a first-place finish in Malta last weekend. Miller leads a talented team that also includes Tamera O'Leary and Hannah Haslem, who each joined Miller by finishing in the top 10 last weekend.

"I am really pleased with what I have seen from Kadia," HHS head coach Josh Holt said.

"I am looking forward to seeing her race in Lewistown this weekend and I am looking for another strong performance from Hannah Haslem."

The other four varsity spots this week will be filled by freshman Emma Gillen, Grace Loftus, Lilly Taly and Rhoda Peterson.

"Emma has really put a lot of hard work in and it's showing," Holt said. "She has really stepped up to fill a gap left after last season."

In the boys competition, Havre also has a slew of runners fresh off top-10 finishes in Malta, including senior Jakob Keller, who was fifth in Malta as the Pony boys took home the team crown.

Yet, Keller wasn't the only standout performer. Cameron Pleninger finished eighth and right behind him in 10th place was Dylan Young. Noah Azure and Sidney Moffitt also ran well, winding up 12th and 14th respectively. All five of those runners will be back in action this week, along with Kendall Pleninger and Joshua Williams.

"Jakob has really stepped up as a leader for us," Holt said. "So I am excited to see what he can keep doing. Cameron has also been working really hard. Last week he took nearly two minutes off of his time and Sidney has also really been improving and getting his times down, too, so I am excited to watch him continue to improve."

The Lewistown Invitational will get underway Friday morning at 10. Both Pony teams will then return home for the Havre Invitational next Saturday, followed by the prestigious Mountain West Classic in Missoula Sept. 29.

 

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