By Tiffany L. Rehbein
After taking a one-year hiatus from the Cut Bank Time Trials, Jennie Peterson led the Havre High School cross country team in the opening meet placing third overall with a time of 19:30.
I was really pleased overall with everyones times, first year head coach Kim Ray said.
Not knowing what to expect at the meet, Ray said she hoped to see each runner improve on their personal best time from previous years. No team points were tallied.
Peterson, a junior, knocked more than two minutes from her personal best, a mark she set at the State A meet last season.
Senior Jen Dibblee was only 24 seconds behind her own personal best mark. She ran the three mile, slightly wet course in 21:24.
Each runner on the team ran the third mile at a slower pace than the first two.
We need to get the third mile as strong as the first two miles, Ray said. We couldnt keep the same pace througout the race, but we need to compete with the last mile as strong as the first.
Freshman Jenna Baltrusch, both a basketball player and cross country harrier, proved to be the biggest surprise of the meet. In her first cross country meet ever, and overcoming rookie nerves, Baltrusch timed in at 21:39, the third fastest on the team.
I was really pleased with Jenna, Ray said. For her to come in and run like that, she really came through.
Senior Cara Holmquist and junior Erin Lynch did not compete due to injuries. Junior returning runner Jillian Brough clocked in at 23:30.
I didnt really know what to expect, Ray said. But I was really pleased with their times and how they ran.
The team will travel to Belgrade to run at the Belgrade Invitational Saturday.