MISSOULA — Jake Vetter had an impressive start to a busy day Saturday.
The Butte High senior ran the 5-kilometer course on the University of Montana Golf Course in 17 minutes, 31 seconds to lead the Bulldogs at the Mountain West Classic. (Results)
Vetter placed 95th out of 446 boys’ varsity runners.
Then, Vetter raced home to have his sore knee taped up in tine for him to contribute to an impressive second-half performance by the Butte High soccer team.
A little more than a week ago, that balky knee wouldn’t let Vetter finish the Butte Invitational at Fairmont Hot Springs. Saturday showed that Vetter just might be an All-State contender when the State meet rolls around.
His performance Saturday was the highlight for the Bulldogs, who had a pretty good day all around.
“It was a very large meet and although it wasn’t a perfect day weather-wise, the runners responded pretty well,” Bulldog coach Guy Wadas said. “We worked the kids hard this week, and they ran well on fairly tired legs.”
Kalispell Flathead star Ben Perrin won the race in 15:38. Wil Smith of Lewis and Clark (Idaho) placed second in 15:47.
Lewis and Clark won the team title with 85 points. Central Valley (Washington) took second at 112. Bozeman was the top Montana team at 127.
Butte High placed 44th out of 62 teams.
Seniors Billy Cunneen and Zach Carlson finished in 18:09 and 18:43 for the Bulldogs.
Also finishing for Butte High’s varsity squad was freshman Trey Whitlock (19:29), senior Xavier Black (19:36.57), senior Andrew VandenBos (19:36.77) and Sean Foley (20:13).
Freshman John Connole led the JV team, finishing in in 19:32. Wadas also pointed to the personal-best times of Cole Hunter (21:05) and Vance Stapley (24:54) in the JV race.
Butte Central’s Jayden Mitchell crossed the varsity line in 20:28.
Sophomore Hailey Nielson was impressive to lead the Butte High girls. She placed 31st out of 384 runners with a time of 20:09.
“Hailey Neilson’s PR was a good sign as she is looking really strong and nearly hit into the 19s,” Wadas said.
Fellow sophomore Aubrey Corcoran finished 76th with a time of 20:53.
Also running for the Bulldogs were freshman Piper Joseph (22:19), sophomores Kayla Felix (23:01) and Ida Real (23:03) and seniors Gabby Habberman (23:34) and Helena Schoonen (24:03).
BC’s Savannah Parks crossed in 24:09.
Billings Senior’s Tiahna Vladic won the race in 17:48. Missoula Hellgate’s Ember Stratton took second in 18:16.
Hellgate ran to the team title with 50 points. Bozeman was second at 54. Butte High placed 29th out of 52 teams with 744 points.
“The girls team as a whole is starting to really come together as group and are doing some nice things,” Wadas said. “If we can get all the boys healthy and get them to come together on the right day, it will be a nice finish to our season. Overall, we were pleased, but the team knows there is more work to be done so that we peak at the right time at state.”
The Bulldogs and Maroons will run again Thursday in the Capital City 7 on 7 Meet in Helena.