The Butler cross country team made its first trip out of Kansas this season for the Second Annual Grass Routes Festival in Austin, Tex. on Sept. 29. The Grizzlies were the only JUCO among the eight collegiate teams represented in the Division II races.
Sophomore Fiona Masai paced the Butler women over the wet and muddy five kilometer course with a second place finish. The only woman to beat Masai in the race was Kelsey Bruce from NCAA Division II school, Dallas Baptist. Her time of 19 minutes and 57 seconds was just over a minute out of the top spot.
Butler Coach Jeff Becker said, "Fiona is well ahead of where she was last year at this time, she has positioned herself as one of the top runners in the NJCAA."
Butler's women also had Abiane Collymore and Adrian McCollum run at the festival. Collymore and McCollum have each competed in every meet Butler has sent women to this season. Collymore finished the race in 21:31 with a 21st place finish and McCollum ran a 24:41 for 52nd.
Butler's men were again led by sophomore Cesar Sanabria with a 14th place finish and a time of 26:57 over the seven and a half kilometer course. However, the top story on the day may be the race that freshman Fidel Munoz ran. Munoz finished the race in 23rd place and averaged 5:59/mile with his 27:55 finish.
"Fidel finished second for the team and is really improving and has positioned himself as one of the top freshmen runners," Becker said.
The men also had Drake Brown, Dale Nuckolls, and Taylor Parker compete. Brown finished with a 28:47 in 34th, Nuckolls took 43rd in 29:15 and Parker ran a 29:37 for 44th.
The team will take to the course again on Oct. 6 at the Fort Hays State University Invitational in Hays.