October 16, 2009

Bulldogs Join Top Teams At Pre-Nationals Invitational

The Butler cross country teams will have a chance to run on the NCAA Division I National Meet course against some of the top teams in the nation at the 2009 Indiana State University Pre-Nationals Invitational on Saturday (Oct. 17).  A total of 147 teams will gather for the competition at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center in Terre Haute.

Eight of the top 10 nationally-ranked men’s teams and seven of the top 10 ranked women’s teams will be in action at the Pre-Nationals.  Butler will compete in the Men’s Blue 8,000 Meter Race at 11 a.m., and the Women’s Blue 6,000 Meter Race at 12:20 p.m.

Butler’s men, ranked No. 19 in this week’s U. S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association national poll, will be one of 10 nationally-ranked squads competing in the Men’s Blue Race.  The top teams in the field are No. 2-ranked Northern Arizona, No. 3 Alabama and No. 4 Colorado.  The race also includes No. 7 Oregon, No. 9 William & Mary, No. 14 Washington, No. 21 North Carolina State, No. 27 Tulsa and No. 29 Cal Poly.

The women’s Blue Race includes No. 4 Oregon, No. 6 Stanford, No. 7 Iowa State, No. 11 Florida State, No. 13 Georgia, No. 19 Colorado, No. 24 Michigan State and No. 29 Iowa.  Butler is ranked 12th in the Great Lakes Region.

Butler, led by two-time All-American Andy Baker, placed 12th in the men's Blue Race at last year’s Pre-Nationals Invitational.  Baker finished 12th in the individual competition with a time of 23:53.  Butler’s women did not compete at the Pre-Nationals last year.