November 17, 2012

Katie Clark Earns All-America Recognition

LOUISVILLE, KY. -- Junior Katie Clark earned All-America honors, but a missing shoe may have cost Butler a chance at a best-ever team finish at the 2012 NCAA Division I Women's Cross Country Championship in Louisville, Ky.  The Bulldogs wound up 29th in the national meet on Saturday (Nov. 17).

Butler, coming off a fourth place finish at the Great Lakes Regional and a team championship in the Atlantic 10 Conference, entered the national meet as the No. 26-ranked team in the nation.  And the Bulldogs, led by All-Region runners Clark and junior Kirsty Legg, had hopes of improving on the school-record 24th place finish of 2005.

But 600 meters into the race, Legg had her foot stepped on and she lost her shoe.  She continued to run the rest of the 6K layout with just one shoe and wound up placing 225th in 21:46.3.

"Kirsty losing her shoe cost us a good 100 points or so, and several team spots," said Butler head coach Matt Roe.  "It was a bit bittersweet for us.  I like the way she battled through it and I am proud of the team overall."

Clark had no issues.  The Great Lakes Regional runner-up continued her outstanding season by finishing 22nd overall and becoming Butler's second women's cross country runner to earn All-America recognition.  She finished the race in 20:03.8, just three seconds shy of a "Top 15" individual finish.

"Katie was stellar as she has been all year,"  stated Roe.  "She clearly proved she is one the top runners in the country.  She is coming into her own.  I am excited about her future."

Sophomore Mara Olson was Butler's second runner to cross the finish line, coming in 117th in 20:53.6, while freshman Olivia Pratt came in 195th in 21:29.6.  Senior Lauren McKillop followed Legg and finished 229th in 21:48, senior Kaitlyn Love came in 241st in 22:04.7 and junior Shelbi Burnett wound up 253rd in 23:15.9.

Betsy Saina of Iowa State captured the individual championship in 19:27.9, while Oregon claimed the team crown.