Bulldogs Prepare For Busy Cross Country Weekend

Oct. 11, 2007

The Butler men's and women's cross country teams will return to action after taking a week off, and both squads will be heading west but to different destinations. The Butler men will visit Peoria, Ill., to compete in the Bradley Classic on Friday, Oct. 12, while the Butler women will travel to Terre Haute on Saturday, Oct. 13, to participate in the NCAA Pre-National Meet.

First-year head coach Matt Roe will send five runners to Illinois for the Bradley meet, which will be held at Newman Golf Course at 4:15 p.m. (CT). Heading that group is junior Tommy Davies, who will be running for the first time this fall. Also traveling to Peoria will be senior Kent Wories, junior Steven Smith and freshmen Stephen Bain and Nathan Tavenor.

The Butler women's squad, currently ranked sixth in the Great Lakes Region, will be tested by a strong field at the Pre-National Meet, which will be held at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course - site of the NCAA Championship. The Bulldogs will be competing in the Blue Race, starting a 12:20 p.m., and that race features 12 nationally-ranked teams, including #1 Stanford! Other "Top 10" teams in the field are #4 Minnesota, #7 Rice and #9 Michigan State. The Bulldogs also will have a shot at Marquette, currently ranked fourth in the Great Lakes Region.

Roe will enter the same six runners who helped Butler to a 13th place finish at the rugged Notre Dame Invitational. Leading that contingent is senior Genni Gardner, who placed 12th at Notre Dame while posting the second fastest 5,000 meter time in Butler cross country history. Gardner, who also competed in the Pre-National Meet a year ago, was clocked at 17:14 at Notre Dame.

Also returning from last year's Pre-National team are senior Claire Holme and sophomore Marbeth Shiell, and they'll be joined by seniors Isabelle Stoate and Aubrey Smith and freshman Rachel Gibbs. Holme ran the 10th-fastest time in Butler history with a 17:53 finish at Notre Dame, while Gibbs tied Butler's 12th-fastest time with a 17:57 effort in South Bend.

Butler's women placed 12th in a 37-team field at last year's NCAA Pre-National Meet.