GREGSON — A smokey day turned into a clear, gorgeous evening Tuesday at the Fairmont Hot Springs Golf Course.
That brought a smile to the face of Butte Central cross country coach Bob Johnson. The performance of his Maroons did, too.
Central’s five varsity runners — four boys and one girl — had their coach feeling optimistic following the Butte Central Invitational.
“For being young, I think we’ll be pretty good as the season goes on,” Johnson said.
The Maroons are quite young, too. Their boys — James Holmes, Jim Bradshaw, Patrick Stimatz and William McAnulty — are freshman. Sophomore Hallie Kellicut is the veteran of the squad.
For their second time out this season, Johnson was pleased.
“They all ran well,” he said.
Livingston’s boys ran to the team title, scoring 15 points. Anaconda placed second at 56, just two points ahead of third-place Stevensville. No other boys’ team had enough runners to score as a team. (Boys team scores; Girls team scores; Individual results)
No girls’ varsity teams had enough runners for team points. Browning, a perennial contender, backed out of the meet because of injuries on Tuesday morning.
Butte High, which occasionally competes in the Butte Central Invitational, did not run. The Bulldogs will run Saturday in Bozeman.
Livingston took three of the top five spots on the boys’ side. Andrew Durgan won the 5-kilometer race with a time of 18 minutes, 22 seconds. Teammate Charlie Serafin took second place in 18:31.
Whitehall’s Wesley Biggers placed third at 18:37. He was followed by Drummond’s Scott Parke at 18:52 and Livingston’s Max Stern at 18:55.
Holmes paced the Maroons. He placed 12th with a time of 22:13. Bradshaw finished in 25:00, Stimatz crossed in 30:20, and McAnulty cam in with a time of 34:42.
Genesis Boyles of Ennis won the girls’ title with a time of 24:53. Anaconda’s Cora Pesanti placed second in 25:10, and Haley Rigler of Livingston finished third at 26:12. The next two runners were Elsie Wadle of Livingston in 26:37 and Cadence Moore of Frenchtown in 26:39.
Kellicut finished the race in 34:37 for 11th place.
Butte Central will have plenty of time to get ready for the next meet. The Maroons will not run again until the Mountain West meet in Missoula on Sept. 18.