Havre Daily News - News you can use

Pony thinclads race in Belgrade


April 19, 2019

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Sadie Filius goes over the hurdles at the Cal Wearley Invitational earlier this month. Filius and the Blue Pony track teams are competing in the Gallatin Valley Invitational in Belgrade today.

In terms of results, the first month of the track season couldn't have gone much better for the Havre High girls track team as the Blue Ponies have finished first or second as a team in each of their four track meets.

However, much of that success has come against teams from Class B and Class C. Havre hasn't had a chance to compete against many Class A teams yet this season, which makes today's Gallatin Valley Invitational even more exciting for HHS. Events got underway this morning at 10:30 a.m.

One thing that makes the meet so compelling for the Ponies is the fact that they will see many of their Central A rivals for the first time as Belgrade, the host team, along with Dillon, Livingston and Lewistown will offer some challenging Class A squads to compete against. Some Class B teams will also be joining the meet such as Anaconda, Manhattan, Broadwater, Three Forks, Jefferson and Whitehall. Bozeman of Class AA will also be competing, giving the Ponies, both the boys and girls teams, a bunch of new teams to test themselves against.

"There will be some other Class A teams there," HHS head coach John Ita said. "Dillon will be there, and there are some other really good relay teams there. Also, there are some pretty solid Class B teams, so there should be some really good competition."

While the Havre girls finished second last weekend at the Havre Lions track meet, which ended a streak of three-straight first-place finishes, the Ponies were dealing with some injuries and didn't have Katie Wirtzberger or Sadie Filius at 100 percent. Filius has been excellent in the 300 hurdles so far this season, while Wirtzberger is a threat to score points in just about any of the sprints, although the 200 is probably her best event.

Both Wirtzberger and Filius have been crucial parts of the relay teams, which have been consistent point getters for HHS, yet Ita said that Filius would miss the meet in Belgrade. Havre has plenty of other candidates for both the short (400 meter) and long (1,600) relays. Jessa Chvilicek, who has won the 100 and the high jump in different meets this season, tends to compete in both. Loy Waid is another strong sprinter who runs on both teams in addition to Kadia Miller, who runs distance events and will also run the long relay.

"Sadie is still dealing with a minor injury so we are going to hold her out," Ita said. "Just want to be cautious. But Katie is going to be back and in the long relay, we will have Kadia Miller and she has been running some really nice times."

Grace Loftus is yet another Pony girl who does well in the sprints, however, she also scores points in the jumps along with Chvilicek and Wirtzberger. HHS also had talented contributors in the high jump (Sarah Faber) and the triple jump (Devyn Huebsch). Abbey Morse is another individual who has the ability to score points in throwing events.

When it comes to the boys team, the Ponies are fresh off a fourth-place finish in Havre, which was their best team showing of the season so far. Andrew Boucher has been a strong contributor in the sprints and the 400 relay and Havre will again look to him for points. Another point-getter has been Mason Rismon, who has won the javelin the last couple of meets and will seek to test his skills against a stronger field of athletes.

Rismon isn't the only threat to score points among the throwers as Dylan Chvilicek and Casey Mariani have also placed in meets this season. The other strong area for the HHS boys team is the distance events, where runners like Noah Azure, Dylan Young and Jakob Keller are all capable of placing.

The meet in Belgrade is the beginning of a busy stretch for the Ponies who will compete in Malta next Tuesday and then the Glasgow Top 10 meet April 30.


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