MISSOULA — Saturday was a good day for Butte High and Butte Central runners at the 58th Annual Montana High School Association State Cross Country Championships in Missoula. (Results)
Both schools posted personal-best times to close a strong season, making their coaches quite happy.
“The boys and girls ran aggressively and confidently,” Butte High coach Guy Wadas said. “As a coach, you couldn’t ask for anything more.”
In the Class AA boys’ race, Missoula Hellgate won the team title with 62 points. Last year’s champion, Missoula Sentinel, took second at 66. Great Falls High placed third at 91.
Butte High finished 15th at 383.
Tanner Klumph of Missoula Sentinel won medalist honors at 15 minutes, 56 seconds.
Senior Brady Maloughney paced the Bulldogs, finishing his last prep cross country race in 18:14. He beat junior teammate Ladd Hutchinson by 2 seconds.
Junior Ryan Tomich finished for Butte High, while senior Adam Williams crossed in 18:52. Senior Cohwen Houchin broke the 19-minute mark with a time of 18:59. Senior Trey Whitlock finished in 19:05, and junior Riley Lubick ran in 19:20.
“It was a solid ending to a solid year,” Wadas said. “More than anything else, I am proud of the team for the way they gelled and bought into the team culture. We had a great mix of personalities on both the boys’ and girls’ squads. We lose a lot of talent and leadership from the group of seniors, but we have a really good core of returning runners.
“I don’t want to look too far ahead, because I want to see what this group can do in track in the spring first,” Wadas said. “The girls’ group was incredible to see develop. They grew in number, in confidence, belief in the training and in the process. They came together week by week.”
Bozeman won the Class AA girls’ title with 53 points. Hellgate took second at 68, and Great Falls finished third at 95. The Bulldogs placed 14th with 407 points and four personal records.
Kensey May of Hellgate won the girls’ race in 18:16. Senior Pieper Joseph, junior Octavia Breeton, senior McKenzie Case and junior Kayleen Noctor ran their fastest times Saturday.
Joseph led the Bulldogs in 21:15. Breeton was next at 22:21, followed by Case at 22:43.
Freshman Hailey Spearn ran in 24:00, junior Alexandria Kovnesky crossed in 24:29, and Noctor clocked in at 26:52.
“Picking an outstanding race is difficult, the girls as a group stood out to me,” Wadas said. “The coaches are so proud of what we’ve accomplished. I hope we can use this to grow the program and bring in all the runners from East (Middle School).”
In the Class A boys’ race, Hamilton led the way with 38 points. Hardin was next at 83, followed by Corvallis with 87. Corvallis runner Brinson Wyche won the individual crown in 16:25.
Butte Central ran four freshmen in the race. James Holmes led the way in 19:55. Jim Bradshaw finished in 22:23, and Patrick Stimatz posted a personal record in 23:45.
William McAnulty finished in 25:58 for BC.
With Hannah Sempf winning with a time of 20:03, Columbia Falls won the Class A girls’ title with 92 points. Corvallis was second at 99 followed by Hardin at 107.
Central sophomore Hallie Kellicut finished the race in 30:09.
“All the boys performed their best this week,” BC coach Bob Johnson said. “Even if their times were a few seconds slower, they were way better tan last time on this course, and they looked like runners today.”