Bulldogs Return To NCAA National Meet

Bulldogs Return To NCAA National Meet
Katie Clark

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. – Butler will be one of 31 women's teams competing for a national title at the 2012 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championship in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday, Nov. 17.  The Bulldogs, coming off a fourth place finish at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional, were one of 13 at-large teams selected for this year's national meet.

The 2012 NCAA Cross Country Championship, hosted by the University of Louisville, will be held at E.P. 'Tom' Sawyer Park.  The women's race will start at noon (ET) and will be followed by the men's race at 1:15 p.m.  It's the first time since World War II that the NCAA Cross Country Championship is being held on a Saturday and the first time ever that it's being contested in Kentucky.
Butler's women, ranked 26th in the final U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) poll, will be making their third appearance in the national meet and their first since 2005.  The Bulldogs placed 31st at the national meet in 2004 and then came in 24th in 2005.  The 2005 squad was led by Victoria Mitchell, who became Butler's first and only women's cross country All-American with a fourth place finish at the national meet.

This year's Butler squad is led by junior Katie Clark, who finished runner-up at the Great Lakes Regional on Nov. 9.  Her finish was the best by a Butler runner since 2005, when Mitchell won the Great Lakes Regional individual title.  Clark also captured the Atlantic 10 Conference individual championship, while leading Butler to the team title.  

Joining Clark at the national meet will be seniors Lauren McKillop and Kaitlyn Love, juniors Kirsty Legg and Shelbi Burnett, sophomore Mara Olson and freshman Olivia Pratt.  Clark and Legg both received All-Region honors, and the two, along with McKillop, Olson and Pratt, earned All-Conference recognition at the Atlantic 10 Conference Championship.  Pratt was named the Most Outstanding Rookie in the Atlantic 10 Conference.

Four members of the Butler women's team, Clark (2012), Legg (2010), McKillop (2009) and Burnett (2011), have won conference individual cross country championships!

Top-ranked Florida State leads the 31-team, national meet field, which includes defending national champ Georgetown.  Butler is one of five teams from the Great Lakes Regional in the national meet.