Whitesboro cross country standout wins AAU Nationals

For Nic Butts, running is worth the early mornings, the late evenings, and exhaustion at the end of the day. Nic has been running all his life and last weekend, the work paid off. He became a national champion after placing first in the AAU Cross Country Championship.

"I went into it just trying to PR," Butts said. "Trying to do my best for my team, trying to win as a team, because I had no clue I was going to out kick the guy and get first."

Butts has been following in his brother's footsteps, who placed second at the state tournament. He is on his way to making his own legacy. He's broken several of his brother's records and he plans on breaking more.

"With me and my brother, we were always just competing all the time and always having fun just trying to have our fastest times and he would push me a lot." Butts said.

"Watching them grow in the sport, you know it's amazing the things you put your mind to it what you can do, and they show us that." Butts' father Jeff Butts said.

For a state that loves it's football, cross country and track can sometimes get lost in the shuffle. But for Nic, it was an easy decision to run without the pigskin.

"Back in the 7th grade, I just realized I was too small for football and I couldn't do that anymore. And I need to focus on one sport that I was going to enjoy and was going to do good and I was going to go to college, and that was running.

"Running is a lifestyle, it's not just get up, go out there and compete one day. I mean, he puts everything that he has into running all the time and of course being able to keep up with his grades and everything else, were very and extremely proud of him."

And with Nic being just a junior, he will have plenty of opportunity to continue to get better. He hopes his running will take him straight to college.

"I would like to go to a division one college, like my brother did," Nic said. "I'm looking at A&M, trying to go to A&M. I don't know, just fulfilling my dreams of just doing my best and running at a college."