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Glasgow boys cross country team seeks 1st state title since 1967

Posted at 8:00 AM, Aug 31, 2018

GLASGOW – A movie ticket cost $1.25.

A new home was just more than $14,000.

A gallon of gas of just 33 cents.

Those were the prices 51 years ago, in 1967, the first and only time Glasgow won a boys cross country state championship.

“I don’t (know who was on that 1967 team),” said Glasgow senior Ellis McKean. “I should find that out. I don’t know anyone. It’s been a while.”

McKean might not know specifics of the Scotties’ program five decades ago, but he certainly understands the significance. Last year’s Class B runner-up at the state cross country invite, McKean said he spent his summer training, envisioning “(Manhattan state champion) Zak Meeker ahead of me and (trying) to chase him down.”

Meeker pulled away from McKean, winning the medalist honors by just more than 10 seconds, while leading Manhattan to the team title over the Scotties.

“We definitely know it’s something that we need to do, but we also know that we can do it. We all need a good race. We’ve (all been) running in the summer, so we’ll be prepared for it,” said McKean, who placed eighth in his age group at the Missoula half-marathon this summer.

“(Kids at school have) been really supportive actually,” added junior Isaac Braaten, who placed sixth at state last fall. “We got back (from state) last year and we got a lot of, ‘Good jobs,’ in the hallways. A lot of people were impressed and told us to go for it next year.”

The pieces are in place for the Scotties – Glasgow returns its top six placers from state, including McKean’s twin brother, Merlin, who finished 17th at state – but Meeker and Manhattan lost only one of the top six Tigers to graduation, meaning a literal race to the finish line could again await at state.

“Just knowing they’re out there and knowing they’re probably working, too, that gives you a lot of motivation to strive to do better and to want to get that state championship,” said junior Wilson Overby, last fall’s 13th-place finisher.

Overby paced Glasgow in its season-opening invite this month, placing 10th overall at the Williston Invitational on Aug. 25. The Scotties understand the impact a potential title would bring to the town, which is enriched with storied tradition in sports like football, wrestling and even girls cross country.

“There have been a lot of improvements. I remember a few years ago when I was in junior high, I watched the high school and we’ve never had a really talented boys team, it’s always been the Glasgow girls cross country team,” Overby said, referring to the 2013 Glasgow girls’ state championship. “It’s kind of different to see the boys, I guess.”

“I really hope so because it’s been so long since we’ve won a state title, people kind of overlook us. We’re hoping to change that now,” added Braaten.

Glasgow resumes its season on Friday, Aug. 31 at the Billings Invitational. The Scotties won’t see their Manhattan rivals until early October at the Capital City 7 of 7 Invitational, while the state invite is in Missoula on Oct. 20.