October 17, 2013

Bulldogs Head To Pre-National Meet

The Butler men's and women's cross country teams are headed to Terre Haute, Ind., on Saturday (Oct. 19) for the NCAA Division I Pre-National Meet, hosted by Indiana State University.   The meet, held at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course, is a precursor to the Division I National Championships to be held at the same location in November.

As of the most recent national poll on October 8th, the Butler women are ranked 20th in Division I. The field they'll face at the Pre-National Meet includes several top-ranked teams, such as Florida State (2nd), Georgetown (5th), Oregon (6th), and Stanford (11th).  Butler will be at full-strength for the women's race, with All-American Katie Clark, Mara Olson, Katie Good, Kirsty Legg, and Olivia Pratt, as well as Shelbi Burnett and Colleen Weatherford toeing the line.

Butler's unranked men's team also faces a major challenge, with top-ranked Oklahoma State, Colorado (2nd), Oregon (4th), Tulsa (9th), and Princeton (10th) among the men's field at the meet.  Erik Peterson, Tom Anderson, Tom Curr, James Martin, Luke Zygmunt, Chris Kelsey and Keigan Culler are set to run the race, but the team is still in the process of coming back from illness and injuries: Butler has been without national qualifier Ross Clarke all year, while Harry Ellis will skip this meet with a (steadily-improving) calf strain.

The Pre-National Meet is one of the most important, as it is not only a chance to run on the national meet course, but it is also Butler's last race before the Big East Conference Championships on November 2nd.  Both Butler teams will look to improve their standing in the next regional and national polls, which will be released on October 22nd.

The Butler men will compete in the 8k Blue Race, scheduled to start promptly at 11am EST.  Butler's women will be running the 6k Blue Race at 1pm EST.

Fans who can't make it to the meet, can follow the action on Flotrack (www.flotrack.org) throughout the day.

Contact:  Bethany Werge (bwerge@butler.edu)