Bulldogs Sweep A-10 Cross Country Titles

PHILADELPHIA, PA. -- Butler passed its first Atlantic 10 Conference final exam with flying colors.  The Bulldogs swept the men's and women's team titles and captured the women's individual crown at the 2012 Atlantic 10 Conference Cross Country Championship in Philadelphia, Pa., on Saturday, Oct. 27.

Butler women, led by individual champ Katie Clark, posted a 33-point win in the first race of the day.  Butler's men followed that with an 83-point win!  Butler head coach Matt Roe was named Atlantic 10 Conference Coach of the Year for both men and women.

"For us to be the first team to compete for for a championship is exciting to begin with.  To win on top of that is a great thing for Butler as a whole," said Roe.  "We're really excited with the results today."  

Butler's women set the tone early on the 5K Belmont Plateau layout.  Junior Katie Clark pulled away to the individual title with a time of 16:55.9, nearly eight seconds better than runner-up Meghan McGlinchey of La Salle.  The Butler leader was one of three Bulldogs to finish among the top six individuals in the championship.

"To be the first in the Butler athletic department to win an A-10 championship is huge.  I couldn't have asked for anything better than that.  I'm over the moon with it,"  said Clark (left).  "Coach is really happy too - the whole team, the atmosphere is amazing"

Sophomore Mara Olson came in second for the Bulldogs and fifth overall with a time of 17:55.4, while junior Kirsty Legg placed sixth in 17:58.8.  Freshman Olivia Pratt wound up 11th in 18:08.3, and senior Lauren McKillop placed 14th in 18:20.4 to complete Butler's scoring team.

Senior Kaitlyn Love placed 22nd overall in 18:36, junior Alyson Fosnot came in 55th in 19:10.7 and sophomore Erica Carlson wound up 66th in 19:24.9 to round out Butler's squad.

The Bulldogs finished with a team score of 37 points, while La Salle finished second with 70 points.  Richmond came in third (125), followed by Saint Louis (134), Xavier (150), Dayton (154), Duquesne (183), Saint Joseph's (196), Charlotte (235), George Washington (282), Rhode Island (299), Massachusetts (305), Fordham (310), Temple (347), St. Bonaventure (430) and VCU (523).

Butler's men were even more dominant.  The Bulldogs had four individuals place among the top eight in the conference and five in the top 16.  Junior Tom Anderson led the way with a third place finish on the 8K course in 25:51.  Junior Ross Clarke finished fifth in 25:57.3, just ahead of sophomore Harry Ellis, who came in sixth in 25:58.5.  Freshman Erik Peterson wound up eighth in 26:03.7.

Senior Kevin Oblinger completed Butler's scoring squad with a 16th place finish in 26:13.  Senior Matt Proctor came in 21st in 26:26, while sophomore Kodi Mullins finished 25th in 26:30.4.  Freshman Chris Kelsey placed 34th in 326:40.7 and sophomore Billy Klimczak  finished 59th in 27:05.3.

"We were running really conservatively, we ran as a team - we wanted to work together and get a win on a very difficult course," Roe said after the men's win.  "We executed and knew what we needed to do."

Butler's men finished with 38 points, while Saint Joseph's finished runner-up with 121.  La Salle was third with 122, followed by Temple (127), Duquesne (153), Dayton (176), Richmond (206), Fordham (221), Massachusetts (221), Xavier (234), Saint Louis (247), VCU (280), George Washington (333), Charlotte (373), Rhode Island (457) and St. Bonaventure (508).

Butler placed five women and four men on the all-conference team.  Earning all-league honors in the women's race were Clark, Olson, Legg, Pratt and McKillop, while Anderson, Clarke, Ellis and Peterson were honored from the men's competition.  Pratt was named the Most Outstanding Rookie in the women's championship, while Peterson claimed the same honor in the men's race.