Oct. 2, 2008
Butler will face some of the top men's and women's cross country teams in the nation when it heads to South Bend on Friday, Oct. 3, to compete in the 53rd running of the Notre Dame Invitational. The nationally-prominent meet will feature 60 schools, including 19 teams that are currently ranked in the top 30 of the U. S. Track and Cross Country Association men's or women's polls.
For the first time this season, Butler head coach Matt Roe will enter his top nine men in an invitational meet. The Bulldogs will compete in the Men's Blue Division race, which includes #8 Michigan, #9 Georgetown, #19 Providence, #26 Florida State, #27 Notre Dame and #29 New Mexico, at 5 p.m. (ET). Butler is currently ranked 15th in the Great Lakes Region.
"Our men have had great training since our return to campus, and this is the first time we will run all of our top guys together," said Roe. "I am optimistic about our chances to go there and upset some top programs."
The meet, which will be held on the Notre Dame Golf Course, will mark the 2008 debut of Butler seniors Andy Baker and Tommy Davies. Baker, who earned All-America honors last fall, is the reigning Horizon League champion and league cross country Athlete of the Year. Davies, who joined Baker on the All-Horizon League Team a year ago, placed third at the 2007 Horizon League Championship.
"Andy and Tommy set the tone for this program," noted Roe. "They are two guys who absolutely do everything that is asked of them, on and off the course. I am excited to see them debut, as they both have been training on a very high level."
In addition to Baker and Davies, the Bulldogs will be represented by juniors Joe MacDonald, Kris Gauson, Thomas Boardman and Robert Mullet, redshirt-sophomore Justin Roeder and sophomores Madison Roeder and Matt Lawder. Senior Kent Wories and junior Steve Lisgo will compete in the Men's Gold Division Race at 2:45 p.m.
Roe also will enter nine runners in the Women's Gold Division Race at 2 p.m. Leading that group is All-Horizon League runner Marbeth Shiell, who placed 11th at the recent Indiana Intercollegiate Meet. Also competing will be senior Ashley Salt, juniors Sara Bird and Whitney Turner, sophomores Mary Andorfer and Rosemary Booth and freshmen Lauren Haberkorn, Bonnie Kaminsky and Laura Weatherford.
"Our women ran really well at the Intercollegiate Meet two weeks ago, and we're hoping for similar improvements at Notre Dame," said Roe.
The Notre Dame Invitational is one of the nation's oldest and largest intercollegiate cross country meets. It was started in 1956 and has been run continuously ever since.