BOZEMAN — Thursday will go down as a good day for the Butte High cross country program.
Butte High’s boys ran to fifth place at the season-opening Belgrade Invitational, which was run on the Gallatin County Regional Park. (Results)
“We had a good summer of training and a good camp where I think the captains set the tone for the season,” Butte High coach Guy Wadas said. “I thought today was a very solid start to hitting those goals.”
Gallatin ran to the team title, scoring 45 points to top a field that saw eight teams score points. Multiple teams backed out of the meet that was set for 15 team.
Billings West placed second at 49. Belgrade scored 73 for third, and Manhattan Christian checked in fourth at 94. Butte High scored 146 points, beating Bozeman by one.
Carson Steckelberg of Gallatin won the boys’ race, finishing the 5-kilometer course in 16 minutes, 20 seconds. Oren Arthen of Christian was second at 16:24, followed by Jaxon Straus of West in 16:29.
Ladd Hutchinson paced the Bulldogs. He placed 24th overall with a time of 18:14, beating teammate Brady Maloughney by three seconds. Ryan Tomich finished in 18:50 for Butte High.
Also running for the Bulldogs were Trey Whitlock (19:13), Adam Williams (12:27), Damian Young (19:52) and Vance Stapley (20:10).
“I think we have some depth on the boys’ side, great attitudes, and a great mentality,” Wadas said. “We have some new runners competing for the first time and they did well trying to figure out pace.”
Gallatin won the girls’ team title with 51 points. Billings West took second at 61, and Billings Skyview placed third at 87. Butte High did not have a team score.
Emma Stolte of Townsend won the girls’ individual title with a time of 19:18. Renee Parker of Boulder was second in 19:44, and Ali Keith of West took third in 20:11.
Pieper Joseph was the lone Butte High varsity runner. She finished in 22:20.
“The biggest thing today was the amount of fire and competitiveness in everyone,” Wadas said. “It was fun watching everyone battle in the race and support each other when they were watching their teammates. I think we can expect a lot more from each runner.”
Butte High will head back to Bozeman for a meet on Sept. 11.