Butler men dominate season opener at Hutch's Twilight Classic

Butler men dominate season opener at Hutch's Twilight Classic

HUTCHINSON, Kan. - The Butler men's cross country team opened the season Friday night with a dominating win at the Terry Masterson Twilight Classic at Fun Valley Sports Complex in Hutchinson.

Running at 9:35 p.m., Butler finished with their top five runners scoring in the top 20, with Grizzly freshman Eliud Koech taking third overall in a time of 20:38.7.

While winning the event, Butler easily outplaced second-place Emporia State by 32 points as the Grizzlies finished with a team score of 52. St. Mary (Kan.) placed third with 118 points. Host Hutchinson was the next-best junior college team behind Butler with 157 points and finished fifth.

Freshman Boniface Kiptoo was right behind Koech placing fifth in 20:44.5, followed closely by Emmanuel Biwott in ninth with a time of 21:21.4. Jacob Hesse and Joel Santiago capped the scoring by placing 19th and 20th with times of 22:01.6 and 22:01.7, respectively. 

Derrick Reid finished 23rd (22:13.4) to give Butler a sixth runner in the top 30, while Jacob Jackson (23:02.2, 51st) and Juan Alvarez (23:25.6, 62nd) concluded the Butler runners as a team.

"I'm happy for our men, tonight they faced some very talented teams in Cloud and St. Mary's (who placed second at the 2015 NAIA cross country nationals)," said Butler head coach Ryan Turner.

"This year we made a conscious effort to put together a team that can compete for not only a region title, but an opportunity to be a podium team at nationals," added Turner. 

The Grizzlies will compete next on Saturday, Sept. 24th at the OSU Cowboy Jamboree in Stillwater, Okla.