Andrew Butt and Marcus Blount

Camanche’s Andrew Butt (left) and Prince of Peace’s Marcus Blount run on Oct. 8 during the 2020 Jim Hetrick Invite in DeWitt.

CAMANCHE – After a couple of years running behind three-time state place winner and state champion Dylan Darsidan, the Camanche Storm cross country team is set to look to a new leader.

Andrew Butt, another runner with state experience, is poised to take the leadership role on the team this year. Butt has been used to placing at meet after meet, but this year he returns as the top runner.

“One of our experienced runners returning this year is Andrew Butt,” Camanche cross country coach Erin Montgomery said. “He is returning as a state qualifier and looking to improve on his finish last year. As the top runner on the team he has stepped into a leadership role in practices by pushing himself which in turn pushes the rest of the team.

“Andrew had an excellent role model in Dylan [Darsidan] the last couple of years and now Andrew is finding himself in that role model position.”

She’s hoping to see some high places claimed by Butt in multiple meets this year, and hopefully a contention for a state performance later this fall.

“We think Andrew has the potential to have a breakout season,” Montgomery said. “He also had been running in the shadows of Dylan the last 2 years. It is his time to shine and he has the experience to do that.

Also expected to be a leader for the Storm XC runners is Lucas Goble.

“Lucas has transitioned into a fine vocal leader on the team,” Montgomery said. “He is a positive force at practice by encouraging his teammates. We are looking forward to seeing him succeed this year.”

Montgomery is looking forward to some fresh faces coming up as underclassmen. She points to Maddox Homan as an example, who has been running with the team since his time in middle school.

She also has a first time runner in freshman Cameron Dorsey. She’s looking forward to seeing some impacts from the underclassmen running with the varsity squad.

As far as the girls’ team goes, returning for the Storm in Ravae Ball. She’s a junior who took her sophomore year off, but isn’t new to the courses.

“She ran as a freshman, but took last season off,” Montgomery said. “She is back this season and has great potential.”

She’s also looking for some noise from freshman Gretchyn Fairlie. She’s another runner who ran practices in middle school and is hoping for a strong start to her high school career.

The Storm, formerly the Indians, have had runners from both teams at the state meet over the last few years. Montgomery hopes that some of the younger ones who watched the success and older ones who experienced it will take that and use it as motivation.

“The main thing our team has learned from seeing success the last few years is the importance of working hard at practice,” Montgomery said. “Each runner on the team has bought into the training plans we have for them. They are all learning to be competitive with each other at practices.”

The Storm will take to the greens on Tuesday afternoon at the Clinton home meet at the Ericksen Center.

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