Barton wins Helena XC meet, other local runners perform well

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

HELENA – Brady Barton continued a spectacular season at his home event as the Helena Huskies’ junior cross country runner claimed his second first-place finish of the season at the Helena Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 12.

Barton beat several local runners rather handily with a time of 16:31.51 to claim the top spot. That marked Barton’s fifth time running a race in less than 17 minutes this season, while he has now finished inside the top three four times, the top five on five different occasions and the top seven in every race this season.

His strong performance as well as four other Helena runners inside the top 10 helped the Huskies win the team portion of the event behind 27 points, while Oak Mountain finished in second with 57 points and Chelsea in third with 91 points. Pelham also had a top-five team finish claiming fifth in the standings.

Aside from Barton’s win, the Huskies had another top-three finisher in Talon Pritchard, who claimed third in the event with a time of 17:28.82, which marked his second top-three finish of the season.

Finishing sixth and seventh consecutively for the Huskies were Caleb Byers and Edan Jamieson, who finished with times of 18:00.10 and 18:04.38, respectively. The final top-10 finisher for the Huskies was Gage Pritchard with a time of 18:14.83, which was good enough for 10th.

Helena also had three more finishers inside the top 20 and five more inside the top 30. Tyler Darden finished 13th with a time of 18:23.67, William Marshall finished 17th with a time of 18:37.04, Reid Hess finished 20th with a time of 18:57.20, Barrett Draiss finished 25th with a time of 19:17.15 and Hunter Pennington finished 29th with a time of 19:27.15.

Oak Mountain’s performance was also impressive, highlighted by fourth-place finisher Kenny Chavez, who finished with a time of 17:55.29. He was joined in the top 10 by teammate Michael Marvin in eighth, who finished with a time of 18:06.12.

Josh Scherer, Bryce Caton, Connor Moore and Luke Black all added top 20 finishes. Scherer finished 11th with a time of 18:16.16, Caton finished 16th with a time of 18:35.74, Moore finished 18th with a time of 18:39.51 and Black finished 19th with a time of 18:40.95.

Chelsea’s Miles Bush was the highlight for the Hornets thanks to his second-place finish with a time of 17:18.06. Brush has been running well this season and now has four finishes of sixth or better.

The Hornets also got top 30 finishes from Joseph McGaha in 21st, Luke Price in 22nd, Thomas Ludwig in 24th and Andrew Fielding in 27th.

Pelham also had two strong performances thanks to the finishes of Dominic Fanella and Xavien Harris, who both claimed spots inside the top 15. Fanella finished 14th with a time of 18:25.27, while Harris finished 15th with a time of 18:35.66.

Ian Howell also had his best race of the season for the Panthers, finishing 30th with a time of 19:32.89.