Butler Adds Nine Cross Country/Track Recruits

Butler cross country/track coach Matt Roe has added nine recruits to his 2009-10 men’s and women’s rosters and the incoming class figures to have an immediate impact on the Bulldogs’ successful distance program.  The newcomers include eight top women, plus one talented male runner.

Joining the Butler women’s team for the 2009-10 season will be Lauren McKillop (Matraville, Australia), Katie Clark (Hull, U.K.), Rosie Edwards (Sheffield, U.K.), Kirsty Legg (Middlesbrough, U.K.), Kaitlyn Love (Westfield), Shelbi Burnett (Center Grove), Karleen Ritchie (Indianapolis/Franklin Central) and Carly Sobolewski (Indianapolis/Bishop Chatard).  The lone men’s recruit is Kevin Oblinger (Mt. Pleasant, Mich./Sacred Heart Academy).  Edwards will be a graduate student, while the others all are entering as freshmen.

“This was our first full recruiting cycle, and I could not be happier with this class,” said Roe, who is entering his third year as Butler’s head coach.  “Coach (Collette) Huffman and Coach (Darren) Gauson did a fantastic job in helping assemble this class.  We took four of Indiana’s top seniors and four elite international recruits to create what I believe will be one of the best female distance classes in the nation this year.”

Graduation took a toll on the Butler women’s team following the 2007 season, and the Bulldogs, who had won six consecutive Horizon League titles, slipped to third in last year’s league championship.  Recruiting for the women’s team became a top priority for Roe.

“I knew when I took the job that the women’s team would be a complete rebuild,” added Roe.  “After finishing as the top Indiana school at the Great Lakes Regional in my first year, we were poised for dramatic losses.  We lost virtually our entire team in a year.  This year’s class will help take us back to where we want to be as a program.”

McKillop leads the deep and talented women’s group.  She’s the current Australia U20 national leader in the 3000 and 5000 meter runs.  She placed fifth at the Australia World Junior Cross Country trials in 2009, and she helped the Australia Junior women win the gold medal at the World Mountain Running Championships in Ovramaz, Switzerland, in 2007.  She further was the 2009 New South Wales Track and Field champion at 3000 meters and in the 3000 meter steeplechase.

Clark placed fifth in the 3000 meter run at the All-English Schools Outdoor Track Championships in 2009, and she finished 11th at the 2009 English Schools Cross Country Championships.  She posted a lifetime best of 9:41.08 in the 3000, which ranked her 11th in the United Kingdom for women under 20 in 2008.

Edwards was the 5000 meter Bronze Medalist at the U23/U20 England Athletics Championships in 2008.  She was the top U23 finisher while placing 18th at Great Britain’s 2008 World Cross Country Trials, and she was the top junior finisher at the Home Countries International cross country meet in Edinburgh, Scotland in 2008.

Legg, who’s only in her third year of competitive running, ranked sixth in the U.K. for women under 20 at 1,500 meters with a time of 4:23.4 in 2008.  Her time of 2:10.83 in the 800 meter run placed her 18th among U. K. women under 20.

Love, a six-time All-State performer, helped Westfield High School to three state cross country titles (2005, 2006 and 2007) and a pair of state 4 X 800 Relay state crowns (2007 and 2008).  She placed fourth in the 800 meter run in a lifetime best of 2:15.44 at the 2009 Indiana State Track and Field Championship, and she helped Westfield to a 15th place team finish at the prestigious Nike Team National XC Championship in 2007.

Burnett earned All-State honors twice each in cross country and track.  She won a pair of county and sectional titles in track and a regional title in cross country.  She holds the Center Grove 1600 meter record (5:04), and she’s run 2:16.39 in the 800 meters.

Ritchie placed ninth in the 3200 meters at the 2009 Indiana State Track and Field Championship, and she ran a lifetime best of 11:10.92 at the 2009 Midwest Meet of Champions.  The Franklin Central Female Athlete of the Year for 2008-09, she is a school record-holder in the 1600 meter (5:11).

Sobolewski, who was injured in 2008-09, earned All-State honors in both track and cross country in 2007.  She placed 18th at the 2007 Indiana State XC Championships, and she finished third in the 3200 meters at the Indiana State Track and Field Championships.  She also ran on Chatard’s 4 X 800 relay team, which placed sixth at the state meet.  She earned All-City, All-Sectional and All-Regional honors in cross country, and she was a city, sectional and regional champ at 3200 meters in track.  Sobolewski holds school records for 3200 meters (11:05.78) and cross country (18:35).

Oblinger, who’s joining a Butler men’s cross country team that has won 11 consecutive Horizon League titles, was a 10-time All-State performer at Sacred Heart Academy.  He won State Division IV titles in cross country (2007) and at 3200 meters in track (2008).  He also placed runner-up in the state in cross country in 2008 and in track (3200) in 2009.

Butler’s cross country teams will open the 2009 season at the Purdue Open in West Lafayette on Friday, Sept. 4.