After making the long trek across the state of Kansas on Sept. 7, the Butler cross country team’s competed in the Colby Invitational.
For the Butler women, the meet marked the first time this season they had run a full squad.
Prior to the meet, Butler Cross Country Coach Jeff Becker elected to run only two women on the young season. For the first meet at Allen County, Becker elected to run only the men. Then at the J.K. Gold Classic in Augusta, Abiane Collymore and Aadrian McCollum became the first two women to make their season debut.
At the meet in Colby, Becker had six women compete. Of those was sophomore Fiona Masai, who finished 16th at last season NJCAA Cross Country Championships. At the Colby meet Masai opened her season with a sixth place finish and was able to cover the four kilometer course in a time of 16 minutes and 30 seconds
Also making their season debuts were Jonell Reinert, who was the fourth finisher on the team and 29th place overall in 19:08, Caitlin Bales was 30th in 19:11 and Carole Idolphine finished 35th in 20:14.
Collymore and McCollum were the second and third runners for the team. Collymore crossed the line in 11th place with a 16:52 and McCollum took 28th in 18:52.
Becker said, “It was great having Fiona run and Abiane improved greatly from her first meet of the year.”
The women finished in third in the race for the team title, behind Fort Hays State University and Colby.
Butler also ran a full team on the men’s side. However, Becker chose to again hold out some of the team’s top runners.
Taylor Parker was once again the top finisher for the Grizzlies. He was able to cross the line in 16:31 and in 22nd place on the three mile course. Parker has been the top finisher for Butler in each of the last two meets.
The men also had Fidel Munoz finish 24th in 16:33, Dale Nuckolls took 28th in 16:44, Drake Brown also crossed with a 16:44 and in 29th, Adam Kelsey finished 38th in 17:10 and Thomas Groom in 53rd with a 19:06.
In the men’s team standings Butler finished fourth.