GREGSON — Even if his time wasn’t near his long-term goal, Butte Central runner Conor McGee had no complaints Tuesday evening at the Fairmont Hot Springs Golf Course.
The senior placed fourth at the Butte Central Cross Country Invitational, finishing the 3-mile race in 18 minutes, 19 seconds on the course that is notorious for its slower times.
Jonathan Eastwood of Belgrade won the race in 17:07. Sage Schoonen of Dillon was next at 18:00, followed by Ronald Venema of Corvallis at 18:01.
“This is a slow course,” said McGee, who also placed fourth in Livingston on Friday. “It’s much slower than I wanted to do it, but that’s the wind and the grass.”
McGee has some lofty goals heading into his senior season with the Maroons.
A year ago, McGee placed 18th at the Class A state meet in 16:41. This year, he plans to blow that time out of the water.
“I’d like to be a sub-16 runner come state time,” he said. “That’s the end goal. If I put in as much work as I have been and I keep focused, I think I can do it.”
Compared to this time last year, McGee said he is on pace to do just that.
“I feel like coming into the season I’m definitely mid-season form, which is exactly where I want to be,” he said. “Starting off I’m feeling much, much better than I did. Last week I ran 40, 41 seconds faster than what I started the year last year.”
Butte Central coach Bob Johnson has faith his top runner will be able to reach his ultimate goal.
“He ran hard all summer, and it shows,” Johnson said.
Corvallis won the team title with a score of 48. Frenchtown was second at 77, followed by Belgrade at 96, Lewistown at 118, Dillon at 140 and Butte Central at 190. Livingston (202) and Whitehall (259) rounded out the team standings.
Butte Central freshman Brian McGeehan placed 30th in 20:03. Classmate Theron Nelson came in 45th in 21:07.
Senior Clay Stillwagon, who ran bare foot, finished 22:25 for the Maroons, just ahead of BC sophomore Ian Campbell (22:47). Freshman Nathan Ortega crossed the finish line in 25:27.
Corvallis also won the girls’ title. The Blue Devils scored 28 points. Belgrade was second at 94, followed by Lewistown (103), Dillon (131) and Frenchtown (211).
Corvallis’ Amelia Gardner and Albany Jessop finished 1-2 at 21:45 and 22:35. Makayla Schneider of Missoula Loyola was third at 22:41.
Sophomore Abby McGee, Butte Central’s lone girl varsity runner, placed 22nd at 25:56.
Johnson said he is happy with his team heading into Saturday’s Pony Invitational in Harrison.
“I’m pretty pleased with all of them,” the coach said. “They’re running pretty well early in the season.”1 comment