Bulldogs Sweep League Runner of the Year Awards

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Butler sophomores Callum Hawkins and Shelbi Burnett have been named 2011 Horizon League Cross Country Athletes of the Year.  The two Butler runners were chosen for the league’s top award by a vote of league cross country coaches.

“Shelbi and Callum’s success this cross country season was a direct reflection of their commitment to training this past five months,” said Butler head coach Matt Roe. “They started with doing everything that was asked of them this summer.  Shelbi was training over a mile above sea level in Mammoth, California while Callum was stamping out 90 mile weeks in the rolling hills outside of Glasgow. They both came to campus fit, and both improved every week of the season.”

Hawkins, named the league’s Male Cross Country Athlete of the Year, became Butler’s first All-American since 2008, when he placed 26th at the NCAA Division I Men’s Cross Country Championship.  That race capped a championship season that saw him win individual titles at the Great Lakes Region and the Horizon League.  Hawkins helped lead Butler to its 14th consecutive Horizon League men’s cross country championship.

The second-year runner from Glasgow, Scotland, earlier became the first Butler athlete to be named Great Lakes Region Male Athlete of the Year.  He was Butler’s first region champion since 1998, when Julius Mwangi captured the individual title.

“Callum runs with a lot of moxy for a 19-year-old,” Roe said. “I like the way he attacks a race and his competition. His toughness earned him a conference and regional title, as well All American honors. As he continues to refine his habits and his approach, he is going to be increasingly dangerous on the national scene.”

Burnett, the league’s Female Cross Country Athlete of the Year, turned in her best season at Butler, while helping the Bulldogs to their ninth Horizon League championship in ten years.  She won the league’s individual title in what Roe termed “...her best run of the season,” and then she paced the Bulldogs at the Great Lakes Region Meet.  She also topped the Bulldogs at the Notre Dame Invitational and the Bradley Classic in 2011.

“Shelbi is continuing to improve and mature as an athlete,” Roe said. “She has the work ethic and the lifestyle commitment to run at an elite Division I level. This fall she began to see that  she has the physical ability to compete at a high level as well.  Confidence is key and Shelbi is moving forward nicely in that area.”

Hawkins is the eighth Butler runner to be named Horizon League Male Athlete of the Year, while Burnett is the sixth Butler athlete to be named league Female Athlete of the Year.