Nov. 16, 2002
The Butler men's and women's cross country teams both posted a "Top 10" finish at the Great Lakes Region Cross Country Championship held on Purdue University's Varsity Cross Country Course in West Lafayette, Ind., on Saturday, Nov. 16. The Butler men grabbed a seventh place team finish, while Butler's women came in tenth.
Senior Mark Tucker continued to shine as one of the elite runners in the nation with a third place individual finish in the men's 10K race. Tucker, who won the Horizon League individual championship two weeks ago, covered the chilly Purdue course in 30:32 to finish just five seconds behind runner-up Gavin Thompson of Eastern Michigan. Defending national champ Boaz Cheboiywo of Eastern Michigan easily won the race in 30:08.1.
The Bulldogs' next four runners all played among the top 40 individuals and finished just eight seconds apart. Junior Steve Vernon came in 31st in 31:31.1, while junior Brian Dunn was 35th in 31:34.1. Junior Gary Blackman finished 37th in 31:36.1 and senior Marty Fedmowski was 39th in 31:39.8. Rounding out Butler's "Top Seven" were senior Brad Bennett, who came in 53rd in 32:00.2, and senior Lennon Wicks, who finished 169th in 34:45.5.
Wisconsin won the team title with 57 points, followed by Eastern Michigan (70), Central Michigan (123), Indiana (124), Ohio State (138), and Michigan (142). The Bulldogs were just two points behind Michigan and 63 points ahead of Michigan State and Notre Dame in eighth place. There were 31 teams competing in the meet.
Butler's seventh place team finish gives the Bulldogs a strong chance of advancing to the NCAA Men's Cross Country Championship. The Great Lakes Region is the nation's strongest cross country region, with ten teams ranked in the Top 40.
Senior Amber Gascoigne led Butler's women with a 12th place individual finish. Gascoigne finished the 6K race in 21:46.0, missing 11th place by just eight-tenths of a second! She was the lone Butler runner to place in the "Top 25" in the meet.
Junior Becky Lyne, running in her first regional competition, came in 44th in 22:27.2. Senior Kelly Moring was 54th in 22:40.2, while senior Lissa Vogley was one place back in 22:42.5. Freshman Maria Beitel completed Butler's "Top Five" by placing 89th in 23:20.9. Sophomore Monika Schneider was 97th in 23:26.2 and junior Lauren Brentano came in 122nd in 24:00.5.
Notre Dame captured the women's title with 63 points, while Michigan was second in 107. Rounding out the "Top 10" were Michigan State (120), Indiana (129), Ball State (136), Wisconsin (148), Marquette (156), Toledo (160), Miami, Ohio (230) and Butler (254). A total of 31 teams were entered in the women's race.