By Tiffany L. Rehbein
When the Havre High School cross country team opens its 1999 season at the Belgrade Invitational Saturday, the harriers will have the opportunity to compare current times with last years times.
They can see where they are and where their times are, said first-year head coach Kim Ray.
The team attended the Cut Bank Time Trials last weekend and junior Jennie Peterson paced the Blue Ponies. She finished third overall in 19:30, knocking more than two minutes from her fastest time last year.
Senior Jen Dibblee ran the second fastest time for Havre in 21:24. Freshman Jenna Baltrusch followed closely in 21:39. Baltrusch also plays basketball and will stay in Havre this weekend to play hoops.
Seven varsity and seven junior varsity runners will compete. Peterson, Dibblee, junior Jillian Brough, junior Nikki Grant, junior Erin Lynch, junior Carly Toldness and freshman Alicia Rundquist will run on the varsity squad.
In the JV race, senior Nancy Cline, freshman Jen Gorder, junior Andrea Holmes, senior Cara Holmquist, junior Stacey Siebrasse and senior Rachael Spangelo will run. Lone sophomore Maureen Porter is out for two weeks with an injury.
This will be a good race for everyone, Ray said. They will see more schools (than they saw at Cut Bank) and theyll see more competition like what they will compete against at divisionals and state.
Twenty-four teams have been invited to the Belgrade meet, including more than eight Class A schools.
Ray said she hoped to get a good look at Colstrip and Lewistown, both of whom finished in the top three in the state last year.
Im looking forward to seeing them, to see how we match up, Ray said.
The cross country team will run at the East Gallatin Recreation Area in Bozeman. The 3.1 mile course has no big hills but offers some difficult terrain, Ray said.
The top 10 finishers in the varsity race, which begins at noon, will receive medals. The top five finishers in the JV race, which begins at 11 a.m. will also receive medals.