Butler Sweeps League Titles

CLEVELAND, OHIO -- For the 11th time in the past 14 years, Butler made a clean sweep of the Horizon League men's and women's cross country titles.  Butler's men captured their 14th title overall, while Butler's women grabbed their 13th at the league championship hosted by Cleveland State on Saturday, Oct. 29.

Any doubts about the Bulldogs' ability to continue their remarkable success run were quickly put to rest.  Butler's women, running without three top performers including two former league champions, raced to a 30-point win to begin the championship meet at Squire Valleevue Farm.

Butler's men followed suit with a 37-point victory.

"Both teams really ran well today," said Butler head coach Matt Roe, who captured Horizon League Coach of the Year honors for both men and women.  "Both teams are really young, and this bodes well for a bright future."

Butler's women captured four of the top seven individual finishes, led by individual champ Shelbi Burnett.  The sophomore standout grabbed the lead and crossed the finish line in 18:40.7, nearly five seconds ahead of runner-up Gina Valgoi of Loyola.

"It was definitely her best cross country run," Roe said of Burnett's winning performance.  "We weren't convinced before the meet that Shelbi would finish first, even though she's been running well.  Gina Valgoi beat her fairly handily two weeks ago, and Samantha Hamilton (Youngstown State) has been running well.  But Shelbi ran a courageous race and took full advantage of her opportunity."

Senior Lauren Haberkorn finished second for the Bulldogs and fourth overall in 19:24.4, while junior Becky Howarth came in third for Butler and sixth overall in 19:35.5.  Junior Kaitlyn Love finished seventh in 19:37; junior Alyson Fosnot placed tenth in 19:44.1 and freshman Mara Olson wound up 11th in 19:45.7.

Rounding our Butler's squad were freshman Erica Carlson in 17th place (20:13.7), freshman Jessica Burton in 21st place (20:28.6) and freshman Chelsea Stephan in 22nd place (20:33.4).

The Butler women competed without juniors Kirsty Legg, Katie Clark and Lauren McKillop.  Legg and Clark are sitting out a redshirt season, while McKillop was sidelined by injury.  Legg won last year's individual title, while McKillop was league champ two years ago.  Clark was runner-up in 2009 and 2010.

Butler's men swept the top three individual spots and five of the top 10 positions.  Sophomore Callum Hawkins captured the individual crown in 25:43, while sophomore Ross Clarke finished runner-up for the second consecutive year.  Clarke crossed the finish line in 26:06.1, four seconds ahead of freshman teammate Tom Curr in third place.

Junior Kevin Oblinger came in ninth in 26:49.5, while freshman James Martin placed tenth in 26:53.

Freshman Harry Ellis placed 13th in 26:58.8, freshman Kodi Mullins finished 17th in 27:17.3 and freshman David Ford came in 21st in 27:31.1.  Senior Orion Wenrich finished 55th in 29:26.4.

Olson was named Horizon League Women's Newcomer of the Year, while Curr was tabbed league Men's Newcomer of the Year.