Our Growing Cross-Country Team
Since Doug Butte started coaching our cross country team, there have typically been 3-8 students on the team each year. Running cross country is not for the faint of heart, and starting an athletics team while working full-time off-campus is also no small feat! Thanks to Coach Butte’s faithful work and helped by the momentum from last year, this XC season was an incredible leap forward. This year we have 17 student-athletes on the team. Twelve of them ran at the 2A division state championship last weekend. Our girls team took 9th place and the boys took 20th. Our senior, Sophie Bull, took 6th place overall!
Coach Butte has to say about the XC teams this year: “We are led this season by three wonderful seniors: Sophie Bull, Taylor McNally, and Benny Weber. They all came out for XC for the first time last season as juniors and have never looked back – they have the work ethic, competitiveness, spiritual leadership, and encouraging/joyful personalities that any coach longs to build a team around. They experienced a taste of success last season and got a little hungry for an even better XC program and team for this year. Several other current team members decided to give XC a try because of their enthusiasm for the XC program.”
Middle School Cross Country
Additionally, coaches Reba Bull and Danielle Mayen run a great middle school XC program that exposes kids to the sport and gives them a sense of success when they see progress in their running. Several team members this year said the fun they had running in middle school convinced them to try running XC in high school.
Team Culture and Values
At Denver Christian, we are blessed to have coaches who help our students grow mentally, spiritually, and physically. Coach Butte was out due to illness at the beginning of the season and took advantage of that time to pray over the team. He says, “We try to create a team culture in which every student-athlete is valued, welcomed, and loved. I also try to point these athletes to having joy in Jesus. Running is a great activity that one can enjoy for the rest of their life. Being competitive, giving your best work, overcoming adversity, and faithfully offering our efforts back to God in gratitude for who He is and what He has done are program pillars I hope to instill in these athletes as they grow into God’s young men and women.”
We try to create a team culture in which every student-athlete is valued, welcomed, and loved. I also try to point these athletes to having joy in Jesus. Running is a great activity that one can enjoy for the rest of their lives.Coach Doug Butte
The Thunder cross country team has developed a strong bond over the course of their season. The team started the season with optional workouts in July and has shared many laughs and Friday breakfasts since then. Coach Butte kept things interesting with costume running days, senior-coach days, and challenges like interval training and hill runs. Building a strong bond as a team is just as important as building the skills needed to compete successfully, helping students to run not just for their own personal records but also for the success of the team. Through team chapel times, our athletes share their joys, burdens, and life-changing events.
Our Coaching Staff
The team was very blessed this season to have Shiree Fuller and Jeff Baumgartel step in during the first three weeks of the season when Coach Butte was sick. Coach Butte is instrumental in shaping the team culture, encouraging competition, and cultivating community. One of the XC athletes noted, “Coach Butte wants to see us succeed both as athletes and as individuals. He’s constantly challenging us but always makes sure that we’re doing okay. He cracks a lot of dad jokes during practices and somehow makes running enjoyable.” We are grateful for his example and encouragement.
Congratulations to the Denver Christian Cross Country team on an amazing season! We are thrilled for the way that our team has come together competitively and as a group this season.