Butler Looks For Continued Success At Horizon League Championship

Oct. 31, 2008

Butler will look to defend both men's and women's championships when it competes at the 2008 Horizon League Cross Country Championships on Saturday, Nov. 1. The league meet will be held at the Cofrin Memorial Arboretum Trails in Green Bay, Wis., beginning with the men's race at 12 p.m. (ET). The women's race will follow at 1 p.m.

Defending the league cross country championship isn't something new for the Bulldogs. Butler has won ten consecutive men's titles and six straight women's crowns. Butler's men swept the top five individual spots and captured last year's crown with a perfect score of 15, while Butler's women had three individuals in the "Top Five" and won the race by 27 points.

But a sweep of this year's titles won't be easy. Second-year head coach Matt Roe lost six of the top seven runners from last year's championship women's team to graduation, including women's runner-up Genni Gardner. Also lost to graduation was men's runner-up Sam Jacobs.

Butler's lone returnee from last year's women's race is junior Marbeth Shiell, who placed seventh a year ago. The rest of Butler's squad will be looking to score in the league championship for the first time.

The Butler men are in a stronger position, though nagging injuries may keep a couple of runners out of the league championship. Butler's top returnee is the top runner in the league. Senior Andy Baker won last year's individual crown on his way to an All-American season. He was named Horizon League Cross Country Athlete of the Year and Horizon League Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year.

Also back from last year's top seven at the league meet are senior Tommy Davies, sophomore Matt Lawder, senior Kent Wories and sophomore Madison Roeder. Davies placed third a year ago, Lawder was fourth and Wories was fifth. Roeder placed 57th. Redshirt sophomore Justin Roeder also is back, after sitting out last season. He competed in the NCAA Championship for the Bulldogs in 2006.

Roe also has had several strong performances from newcomers Kris Gauson, Thomas Boardman, Joe MacDonald, Steve Lisgo and Robert Mullet this season.

Butler has captured the last 11 individual titles in the men's race and four of the last five individual crowns in the women's competition.