The Butte Invitational Cross Country Carnival saw a new course, cold weather, a little bit of snow and some up-and-down results for Butte High and Butte Central runners.
Some 1,335 runners competed in the race. That included all 15 Class AA teams from Montana. (Results)
The Carnival also saw an exciting finish to the grade school 1-mile race, with Chase Choquette of Hillcrest sprinting down the stretch to edge Camden Houchin of Whittier by less than 2 seconds.
Most of the downs involved injuries and sickness.
Butte High’s girls ran just one varsity runner, Ida Real, who finished the race in 23 minutes, 17 seconds.
Helena High runner Kylie Hartnett won the girls’ varsity race in impressive fashion. She crossed with a personal-best time of 17:38. Bozeman runner Terra Trom finished second at 17:58.
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Bozeman won the girls’ team title with just 31 points. Helena High took second at 73, fllowed by Kalispell Flathead at 81.
“On the girls side we’re dealing with injuries and illnesses and with our low numbers, it’s hampered our progress this season,” Butte High coach Guy Wadas said. “But the healthy girls had a big day. I am proud of all the JV girls. They ran amazing races. Ida had a good race. She been battling some aches and pains as well.”
Butt Central’s Savannah Parks fought off some pain to finish in 24:07.
“Savannah ran OK, but she has had a sore shin for a few weeks that won’t quit nagging her,” BC coach Bob Johnson said.
Butte High’s boys, who have been returning to full strength after a rash of injuries and illness.
Bozeman won the team title on the boys’ side with 38 points. Billings Senior took second at 91, and Helena placed third at 115.
Butte High took 16th at 457. The Bulldogs were 14th out of the 15 Class AA schools.
“In the boys races, I think we performed pretty well,” Wadas said. “We beat a team (Belgrade) on overall time and on points. We haven’t done that all season. I think some of the runners were disappointed, but it was a tough week with homecoming events as a distraction.”
Owen Smith of Billings Senior won the boys’ race in 15:50. He beat Connor Ohara of Great Falls Russell by 10 seconds.
Bozeman’s Seth Wyatt (16:02), Stirling Marshall Pryd (16:06) and Jonathan Wheeler (16:09) were right behind.
J.C. Connole led the Bulldogs, posting a time of 18:21. Butte High’s Grant Smith (18:43), Brady Maloughney (18:44) and Trey Whitlock (18:52) broke 19 minutes. Sean Foley (19:02), Cohwen Houchin (19:34) and Ryan Tomich (19:45) broke 20 minutes.
BC’s Jayden Mitchell ran in a career-best 19:40.
Autumn Silk and Dylann Bartoletti placed 20t and 21st to lead East Middle School in the girls’ race. Julian Henn finished 25th to lead the Bullpup boys.
Whittier won the girls’ team title in the grade school race. The Wildcats posted 43 points. Margaret Leary took third at 109.
Whittier third grader Sophia Houchin won the girls’ grade school race 6:48. Kellie Jo Carpenter of Whitter placed second.
Choquette finished in 6:07.0 to win the boys’ race. Houchin, a fellow sixth grader, finished in 6:08.9.
Hillcrest took the boys’ team title with 24 points. Whitter was second at 33, and Kennedy took third at 90.
Last year’s meet was held at Fairmont Hot Springs because of construction at Stodden. When the meet moved back to Butte, organizers designed a new course to incorporate more of the Par 3 Course.
“With the new course layout, the times were just as fast as before,” Wadas said. “I think it’s a more spectator-friendly course and a whole lot more interesting with the change in terrain on the Par 3 course.”
The Butte High and Butte Central runners will head to the Capital City 7 on 7 meet in Helena.