Butler's cross country teams traveled to the Fort Hays State University Open at Sand Plum Nature Trail just outside of Victoria last Saturday. It was the first meet ever held at Sand Plum and the course setup was prime for fast times.
The first race of the chilly morning was the women's race. Butler's only two competitors in the five kilometer race were sophomore Fiona Masai and freshman Abiane Collymore. Both women took advantage of the fast course by running personal best times. Masai who finished fifth overall in the race, was the top community college runner and ran a time of 18 minutes and 31 seconds. Her time places her seventh on the all-time Butler cross country list. Collymore's time of 19:45 put her in 28th place and was the third community college athlete to cross the finish line.
In the second and last race of the day it was the men's turn to try their hand at posting a quick time on the Sand Plum course. For the first time this season Butler Coach Jeff Becker chose to run 11 men.
Leading the way for the Butler men was once again sophomore Cesar Sanabria. He matched Masai's feat of being the top community college athlete in the race with his eighth place finish. His time of 25:04 was less than a minute out of the top spot on the eight kilometer race.
Sophomore Taylor Parker returned to form at the Fort Hays meet by finishing second on the team in 60th place with time of 27:00. Freshman Fidel Munoz finished four spots behind Parker in 64th with a 27:06, while sophomore Drake Brown finished in 27:11 for 67th place and sophomore Dale Nuckolls was not far behind in 72nd with a 27:26. Nuckolls edged out freshman Israel Mendoza who finished in 73rd.
Also competing for the Butler men was Eric Minjarez in 27:56 for 85th place, Adam Kelsey ran a 29:32 in 105th, Carlos Galindo finished in 30:06 and 111th, Coty Williams finished in 113th with a 31:01 and Thomas Groom ran a 31:02 in 114th.
Becker said, "We ran well, but still have a lot of work to do to be able to compete against the teams we need to compete against."
Becker's squads will be in back in action on Oct. 13 at the University of South Dakota's Tim Young Invitational in Vermillion, South Dakota.