Nov. 25, 2002
Senior Mark Tucker earned All-America honors while helping Butler to a "Top 20" team finish at the NCAA Men's Cross Country Championship held in Terre Haute, Ind., on Monday, Nov. 25. The Butler standout finished fourth in the final individual standings and helped the Bulldogs to a 19th place team finish in the national meet.
Tucker, running in the national championship for the first time, posted the second-highest national meet finish ever by a Butler runner. He covered the 10K course in 29:37.5 to finish behind individual champ Jorge Torres of Colorado, runner-up Alistair Cragg of Arkansas and third place finisher Grant Robison of Stanford. Among the runners that Tucker beat was defending national champ Boaz Cheboiywo of Eastern Michigan.
The only runner in Butler history to have a higher national meet finish was Julius Mwangi, who placed third in the 1998 NCAA Men's Cross Country Championship.
Junior Brian Dunn was the second Butler runner to cross the finish line, placing 81st in 31:09.3. He was followed by teammates Gary Blackman, who came in 106th in 31:26.7, Steve Vernon, who was 138th in 31:52.7, and Brad Bennett, who wound up 167th in 32:18.2. Rounding out Butler's top seven runners were Bill Peterman, who placed 189th in 32:53.6, and Lennon Wicks, who came in 196th in 33:06.1. There were 251 total runners in the meet.
The Bulldogs competed in this year's national meet without No. 2 runner Marty Fedmowski, who was sidelined by a knee injury. Despite the absence of Fedmowski, who placed 63rd in last year's national meet, the Bulldogs still posted the second-highest team finish in school history. Only the 1998 Butler squad, which placed 16th, had a higher national finish.