Junior Andy Baker Earns NCAA Championship Berth
Nov. 10, 2007
Junior Andy Baker earned a spot in the 2007 NCAA Men's Cross Country Championship, and senior Genni Gardner put herself in solid position for a women's championship berth with strong performances at the 2007 Great Lakes Regional Cross Country Championship on Saturday (Nov. 10). The regional qualifying meet was hosted by Indiana University at the Indiana Championship Cross Country Course in Bloomington, Ind.
Baker, the individual winner at the Horizon League Cross Country Championship two weeks ago, left no doubt about his status at the Great Lakes Regional. He placed third overall behind Patrick Smith of Notre Dame and Matt Withrow of Wisconsin, both owners of multiple All-America certificates. Baker covered the 10K course in 30:40.81, finishing just two seconds behind Withrow, the Big Ten Champ.
Gardner finished ninth overall in the women's competition with a time of 21:15.18. Her effort put her solidly in contention for an at-large berth in the national meet.
"If Wisconsin is selected as a team, and I don't see how they won't be, then Genni will qualify as the fourth individual from our region," said Butler head coach Matt Roe. "She's also in contention for one of two national at-large berths."
Gardner sparked a strong showing by the Butler women, who entered the meet as the No. 11-ranked team in the Great Lakes Region. The Bulldogs had three runners finish among the "Top 35" individuals and wound up with a solid fifth place team finish.
"Our women ran really, really well," noted Roe. "We jumped ahead of a number of teams that were ranked higher than us."
Freshman Rachel Gibbs placed 31st in the competition in 21:56.58, just one spot ahead of senior teammate Claire Holme, who cross the line in 21:58.27. Sophomore Marbeth Shiell wound up 67th in 22:45.21, while senior Isabelle Stoate completed Butler's scoring unit with an 81st place finish in 23:01.65.
Butler's men placed 15th out of 30 squads. Senior Sam Jacobs was Butler's No. 2 runner with a 54th place finish in 32:24.04, while freshman Tommy Davies came in 91st in 33:16.07. Senior Kent Wories was 113th in 33:38.01 and freshman Matt Lawder was 125th in 33:53.18. Freshman Nathan Tavenor wound up 129th in his first regional competition with a time of 33:56.86, and freshman Madison Roeder came in 138th in 34:21.42.
Wisconsin won the men's team title, while Michigan State captured the women's crown. The NCAA Cross Country Championship will be held in Terre Haute, Ind., on Nov. 19.