OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – The Butler men won a Jayhawk West Conference championship and challenged for the Region VI championship, finishing as the runner-up in a top-heavy race Saturday on the Johnson County Community College campus.
In a matchup of teams ranked in the top 10 nationally, No. 6 Allen County scored just 31 points to take the team title with the eighth-ranked Grizzlies just behind with 42 points. The two teams were separated by just two points through the first four runners.
Butler had four runners in the top eight, but Allen County placed all five runners in the top 10.
The showdown at the top overshadowed the rest of the race, which featured six teams in the top 25 of the national polls. Barton, ranked 12th nationally, finished a distant third in the region with 108 points.
In the West conference standings, Butler easily took the team title, compiling just 24 points. Barton was the league runner-up with 62 team points.
Sophomore Luke Johnston led Butler, finishing fourth individually in a time of 25:55. Teammate Nolan Hesse was just behind, placing fifth in 25:59. Freshman Jacob Hesse finished seventh in 26:21, giving Butler three first-team All-Jayhawk Conference selections.
Jesus Macias placed 10th in 26:48 to earn second-team all-conference honors. Other Butler finishers were Clayton Fletcher (22nd in 27:23), Brian Gonzalez (23rd in 27:26) and Ismael Ramirez (71st in 30:01).
Butler will now prepare for the NJCAA National meet, which will be held on Nov. 14 in Fort Dodge, Iowa.