BOZEMAN — Saturday was a nice day for the Butte High boys’ cross country team.
The Bulldogs took a step in the right direction as the team placed 13th at the Bozeman Cross Country Invitational on the Bridger Creek Golf Course. Butte High’s runners posted multiple personal-best times while running in their second meet of the season. (Results)
“The Bulldogs had a phenomenal day,” Butte High coach Guy Wadas said. “We had tons of PR’s and season’s bests.”
Making the day even more impressive, Wadas said, was the last week saw practiced hindered by the wildfires burning in the area and around the western part United States.
“It was after not-so ideal training conditions this week with the smoke,” Wadas said. “The runners handled the large race well as it was the biggest race some have ever been in.”
Finneas Colescott of Missoula Hellgate won the boys’ varsity race, finishing the 5-kilometer course in 16 minutes, 12 seconds. He beat Ryan Harrington of Great Falls High by 4 seconds. Colton Graham of Missoula Hellgate placed third in 16:20, and Carson Steckelberg of Gallatin finished third at 16:23.
Ladd Hutchinson paced Butte High boys. He posted a personal record with a time of 17:56. Brady Maloughney also PR’d with a time of 17:59.
Trey Whitlock finished in 18:53 for the Bulldogs, while Ryan Tomich clocked in with a time of 18:56.
All seven Bulldog varsity runners broke 20 minutes. Adam Williams (19:09), Damian Young (19:49) and Kaden Hennessey (19:56) competed for the Bulldogs.
Butte’s Cohen Grunhuvd (20:07), Vance Stapley (20:23) and Riley Lubick (20:31) ran junior varsity.
Missoula Hellgate won the team title with 53 points. Bozeman took second at 79, and Helena Capital placed third. Butte High scored 347 points in the tournament that saw 18 team scores.
Bozeman won the girls’ team title with 62. Hellgate took second at 78, and Helena High placed third at 85.
Hellgate’s Kensey May won girls’ medalist honors in 18:28. Kylie Hartnett of Helena placed second at 18:52. She was followed by Hayley Burns of Bozeman in 19:30 and Emma Stolte of Townsend in 19:34.
Butte’s McKenzie Case (23:18), Octavia Breeton (24:46), Alexandria Kovnesky (24:13) and Kayleen Noctor (29:21) ran the JV race.
“We didn’t race any varsity girls today,” Wadas said. “On the boys’ side we are moving the front guys forward and the others are battling to be in the top seven. I definitely liked seeing that.
“On the girls’ side, we are very young running-wise,” the coach added. “Not many have race experience, and that’s what we need. You can’t really simulate that in team time trials or workouts.”
Butte High will be at the Mountain West Invitational next Saturday in Missoula. First, though, the Bulldogs will soak in a strong performance in Bozeman.
“We are making steps in the right direction,” Wadas said. “We’ll enjoy this and then we’ll get back to work tomorrow.”