The 2017 East Butler cross country teams consisted of nine boys and nine girls. Four junior high runners came out for the season.
The girls had a very good season. They were led by sophomore Amanda Aerts, who had an outstanding year. Amanda won every meet this season through the District meet, and finished 10th at the State Meet. The entire girls' team qualified for State for the first time since 2013.
They finished in the top three in six meets: Third at the District Meet, and 15th at the State Championships in Kearney. Hallie Zitek had a fine senior season as our number two runner, and our freshmen and sophomore runners consistently improved all season. The girls team in particular had great team chemistry, and were a positive and hard-working group that made practices go well.
The boys team struggled somewhat this season. There were two returning runners from the boys team that qualified for State in 2016.
Cristian Hofpar led the team this season in almost every meet. There were only two seniors this year, and undersclassmen made a lot of improvement as the season progressed.
Justin Sousek made the most consistent improvements from last season, and there were a lot of encouraging performances from freshmen and sophomores. The boys team did not have a lot of high finishes in the meets, but every boy who ran at Districts had his best time of the season. Hard work and improvement were the highlights of the season.
Our junior high runners had an excellent season, bringing home 14 medals for top 10 finishes in their meets. They worked hard and showed constant improvement. I am looking forward to next season, most of the kids will be back and I think we will be very successful again next year.
-Dale Nielson, East Butler Cross Country coach