August 22, 2012

Butler Tabbed Fifth In A-10 Women’s Cross Country Poll

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Butler will shift roles from favorite to contender when it competes in its first Atlantic 10 Conference women’s cross country season this fall.  The Bulldogs were picked fifth in the A-10 women’s cross country preseason coaches’ poll, released by the league office on Wednesday, August 22.

Defending A-10 champion La Salle was tabbed as the favorite for this year’s league championship.  The Explorers, who captured their seventh A-10 title in the past 11 years last fall, return two of the “Top 10” women’s finishers at last year’s conference meet, Meghan McGlenchey (7th) and Stephanie Bearish (8th).

Butler, which joined the A-10 in July, is coming off the most successful women’s cross country run in Horizon League history.  The Bulldogs captured their ninth league championship in 10 years in 2011 and their league-record 13th crown overall.  Butler runners accounted for nine Horizon League individual titles in the past 17 years.

Three of those individual champs are on this year’s Butler roster, while a fourth 2012 Butler runner is a two-time Horizon League individual runner-up and former Horizon League Runner of the Year!  Reigning Horizon League Runner of the Year Shelbi Burnett captured last year’s league individual title, and she’s joined on this year’s Butler roster by 2009 Horizon League champ Lauren McKillop and 2010 Horizon League Runner of the Year and individual champ Kirsty Legg.

Also back is Katie Clark, who finished second at the league championship in 2009 and 2010 and was named 2009 Horizon League Runner of the Year.

The A-10 cross country coaches picked Dayton second in the preseason poll, while Richmond, Charlotte and Butler rounded out the top five.  Saint Joseph’s was picked sixth, followed by Duquesne, Xavier, Saint Louis, Fordham, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, VCU, Temple, George Washington and St. Bonaventure.

The 2012 Atlantic 10 Cross Country Championship will be hosted by Temple at Belmont Plateau in Philadelphia, Pa., on Saturday, October 27.