Feb. 18, 2008
Juniors Rachel Gibbs and Tommy Davis had breakthrough performances to headline a strong effort by Butler's distance corps at the Husky Classic, hosted by the University of Washington on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 15-16. Three Butler runners recorded lifetime best times at the meet, while a fourth Bulldog posted an indoor best effort.
Gibbs turned in a career-best time of 17:07.12 in the women's 5,000 meter run, while placing 17th overall. Her previous best time was 17:12.72 in 2006, and her time at the Husky Classic was 37 seconds faster than her previous best indoor effort, set at the Meyo Invitational.
Davies recorded a lifetime best and placed 23rd in the men's 3,000 meter run with a time of 8:14.83. His previous lifetime best was 8:22.84, set outdoors in 2004. Davies' time at the Husky Classic was 10 seconds better than his previous indoor best, set at the Gladstein Invitational this year.
"I was incredibly impressed with Rachel and Tommy, and with our whole group," said Butler head coach Matt Roe after the meet. "Everyone is training and competing on a very high level. This is the toughest, deepest distance meet in the country, and nobody backed down a bit."
Also, checking in with a lifetime best at the Washington meet was senior Isabelle Stoate, who placed 31st in the women's mile run with a time of 5:00.76.
Butler also had strong performances in the women's 3,000 meter run with senior Genni Gardner placing 19th in 9:42.03, senior Claire Holme finishing 23rd in 9:45.09 and sophomore Marbeth Shiell coming in 53rd in 10:11.22. Holme shaved nearly eight seconds off her previous indoor best in the 3,000, while Gardner and Shiell posted their second-fastest indoor times.
Junior Andy Baker, hobbled by a strained back muscle, ran in the men's 3,000 meter race for the first time this season, and he wound up placing 26th in 8:16.97.
"I felt horrible for Andy. He was in a considerable amount of pain, and it was remarkable that he made it to the start line. He gave a courageous effort and ran very well despite the circumstances. I trust that he will be at 100 percent when he takes another shot at qualifying for nationals in three weeks at Notre Dame," added Roe.