By Bill Foley
When the Butte Central cross country team opens the season Saturday at the Powell County Invitational in Deer Lodge, the Maroons will give their fans a glimpse of what looks to be a very promising future.
Central will send four freshman boys and one sophomore girl to the meet, which begins at 10:30 a.m. on the Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site.
Jim Bradshaw, James Holmes, Patrick Stimatz and William McAnulty will run for long-time coach Bob Johnson’s BC boys’ team.
Johnson also has four seventh-grade runners, so he is looking forward to having a full team in a couple of years. The Maroons could have a team score this year, if they could get just one more boy to come out.
“I can’t find a fifth one,” Johnson said. “I’ve been kind of hoping, and the kids are really trying at school.”
In the meantime, Johnson will enjoy the talent that he has. He said Bradshaw and Holmes ran during the season, and Stimatz has been really coming on in practice. McAnulty is also showing promise, the coach said.
“The boys are running pretty good,” Johnson said. “They’re all starting to get in shape.”
On the girls’ side, Hallie Kellicut is back after a freshman season in which she made great strides. Kellicut competed at the Class A State meet, finishing the 5-killometer course in 29 minutes, 43 seconds.
Kellicut ran her two fastest times of the season on her last two races.
Johnson said he is looking forward to Saturday’s race because it will be run on several different surfaces — pasture, single-path trail, paved trail, double-track trail and a dirt road.
“It’s going to be nice to see what they run time-wise,” Johnson said.
The Maroons next race will be the Sept. 7 Butte Central Invitational at Fairmont Hot Springs.
BC will also run in the Butte High meet Sept. 25. The state meet is Oct. 23 in Missoula.
That will give the young Maroons plenty of time to reach peak form. It also might give them enough time to come up with one more runner.