Grizzly men have two top-15 finishers at J.K. Gold Classic

Grizzly men have two top-15 finishers at J.K. Gold Classic

AUGUSTA, Kan. — Two top-15 runners highlighted Saturday's 2017 cross country season opener for Butler, who finished second among non-NCAA Division I teams at the J.K. Gold Classic, hosted by Wichita State University at RAFT Golf Course.

The Grizzlies scored 124 points and finished fifth overall in the college division, just ten points behind Emporia State. Wichita State won the meet with 27 points, having all five point scorers finish in the top 10, while Missouri (42) and Kansas State (87) placed second and third, respectively.

Sophomores Boniface Kiptoo (19:02.7) and Eliud Koech (19:06.6) led the Grizzlies by individually placing 10th and 12th.

Butler's other point scorers were sophomores Derrick Reid (20:04.5, 32nd), Joel Santiago (20:12.5, 34th) and Emmanuel Biwott (20:18.8, 35th).

Reid's performance surprised Butler first-year head coach Dustin Mettler.

"At the beginning of the year, Derrick said he wasn't going to run cross country and I talked him into it," said Mettler. 

Other runners competing for the Grizzlies were Bret Brock (20:51.6, 43rd), Timothy Kemboi (20:55.0, 44th), Hilary Kiptoo (21:28.1), Madison Edwards (22:42.8) and Terrence Mayes (23:04.8).

Butler will next be in action at the Missouri Southern Invitational on Sept. 16 in Joplin, Mo.

"We've got a lot of work to do, but at the same time, it was like a rustbuster," said Mettler. "(This race) was a little bit of confidence (for us) and we'll be ready to roll at Missouri Southern in two weeks."