Jesse Zentz

Jesse Zentz competes in the 25th annual Montana Cup cross-country races at Bozeman's Glen Lake Park in this Nov. 1, 2016, file photo. Zentz went on to win the Masters title in 2016, and retained his crown at the 2017 Montana Cup races in Billings on Sunday.

Helena runners captured the men's masters championship at the 25th annual Montana Cup Cross Country races at Bozeman's Glen Lake Park recently.

Led by masters (40-plus) champion Jesse Zentz -- who clocked a time of 18 minutes, 25 seconds over the 5.42K course -- the Capital City crew posted a score of 24 points, outdistancing second-place Bozeman with 33 points. Zentz, 40, placed 11th overall.

Rounding out Helena's top five masters scorers were former U.S. marathon record-holder David Morris, runner-up at 19:31, Patrick Judge in fifth, Peter Dan Sullivan at seventh and John Doran in ninth.

"This was by far the largest, and probably strongest field ever assembled," reported Montana Cup co-founder and participant Patrick Judge. "(There were) 299 runners, with many former (and current) MHSA state champions, Big Sky conference champions, former Olympic Trials runners, etc."

Other team titlists were Bozeman in both the Open Men's and Masters Women's, and Open Women's champion Kalispell.

The men's individual Open winner was Sam Read of Bozeman in 17:21. Michael Kaiser, 34, was the top local Open placer after Zentz, taking 33rd overall with a time of 19:25.

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On the women's side, Kalispell's Cynthia Arnold captured the Open race in 19:59, while Nicole Hunt of Butte won the Masters at 20:42.

Sarah Urban, 37, was the top local finisher, 29th in 22:59, and teammate Katie Campbell, 42, had the best Masters time at 26:49.

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Curt Synness is on Twitter @curtsynnes_IR and can be reached at


Sports Reporter

Sports Reporter for the Independent Record

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