by George Ferguson
Havre Daily News Sports
After three weeks of practicing outdoors, indoors, in swimming pools and wherever else the weather took them, the Havre High boys and girls track teams finally got on the track against some real competition Saturday afternoon at the Glasgow Invitational.
While team scores were not kept and the meet was a time trial format, the Ponies fared well despite missing some key athletes and having limited practices coming into the meet.
"We felt like the kids all ran and competed well this weekend," said Havre High head coach Mark West. "It is still really early in the year and we are easing into things a little bit, but for the most part I am really happy with the way the first meet went."
On the girls side of the meet, the Ponies placed 11 individuals in 10 events led by sophomores Lena Suek and Carmen Neuens.
Suek shined in the throws, finishing first in the javelin with a final toss of 110-5. She also placed second in the discus and fifth in the shot put.
Neuens was also outstanding in the jumps. She and teammate Casea Pollington went one-two in the high jump with Neuens taking first-place honors with a final leap of 5-2. Neuens also added a second-place finish in the long jump.
"I thought Lena and Carmen had a great first meet for our girls team," West said. "But our whole girls team performed well. While nothing really surprised us the entire team really was solid the whole meet."
Havre also had multiple placers in the 200 meters with Kelsey West finishing fourth and Mandy Nystrom finishing fifth.
In the distance races, Havre got a second-place finish from Darci Briere in the two-mile and a fourth-place finish from Kelsey Malsam in the mile. The Ponies 1600-meter relay team also finished strong with a time of 4:35, which was good enough for second place.
On the boys side, Havre's 2005 debut was also a success. The Ponies had seven individuals place in eight different events led by senior Scott Robinson, who grabbed a second-place finish in the 200 meters with a time of 24.4. He also finished third in the long jump with a final leap of 19-5. Ryan Horne also gave the Ponies a lift with a win in the high jump. Horne reached 6-0 to win the event.
"I thought that Scott Robinson had a pretty good day, but again it's early," West said. "Ted Wells and Derek Verploegen also ran really well in the sprints this weekend. The boys did about what we expected, and I am pretty pleased with how we did as a team."
Wells finished fourth in the 200 meters and Verploegen came in fourth in the 400. Havre also placed well in the relays. The Ponies won the 1600-meter relay with a time of 3:43 and the Havre JV's finished fifth.
Chris Buskirk also gave the Ponies points in the throws by finishing fourth in the discus. The Ponies also got points in the distance races with Marcus Campbell finishing second in the two mile and Robert Brooks coming in fourth in the mile.
The Ponies will now stay home for two straight weekends, starting this Saturday with the Chinook Invitational. The Chinook invite will get under way Saturday morning at the Havre Middle School track.