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Butler's Ava Hutchinson captured the Horizon League Women's Cross Country Championship individual title.
Butler's Ava Hutchinson captured the Horizon League Women's Cross Country Championship individual title.
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Butler Sweeps Horizon League Cross Country Titles

Oct. 28, 2006


Butler, running in Indianapolis for the first time since 1998, treated the local fans to a dominant performance while sweeping both the team and individual men's and women's titles at he 2006 Horizon League Cross Country Championship held on the Butler campus on Saturday, Oct. 28. It was the ninth consecutive team championship for the Butler men and the fifth straight team title for Butler's women!

In addition to the team hardware, the Bulldogs also claimed the top two individual finishes in both the men's and women's races. Senior Scott Overall raced to the men's individual championship in 24:53.7, finishing just over four seconds ahead of teammate Alex Hains. Junior Ava Hutchinson won the women's race in 17:49.70, while senior Jenni Pereira finished runner-up in 18:04.25. Butler's Genni Gardner took third in the women's race in 18:18.55, while junior Claire Holme came in fourth in 18:20.35.

"It's nice to (win the championship) at home in front of a crowd of Butler fans," said Butler coach Joe Franklin, who was named Horizon League Coach of the Year for both men and women. "The conditions were just hard enough to help prepare us for the regionals, and our goal all along has been to make it to the NCAA Championship."

Butler's men took control early and had four runners among the top five individuals for nearly the entire race. Overall grabbed the lead and held on for the duration, holding a comfortable lead over Hains and third place finisher Sam Romanowski of Loyola for the final half of the 8K race.

The Bulldogs had five of the first six runners across the finish line and eight of the top 14! Junior Darren Gauson came in fourth in 25:36.95, followed by junior Richard Kay in fifth place in 25:38.30. Senior Vinny Ambrico was Butler's final scoring runner, finishing sixth in 25:55.35. The three Butler runners joined Overall and Hains on the All-Horizon League first team.



Senior Andy Rayner, running in just his second meet this season, placed eighth in 26:09.35, senior Andrew Toward was 11th in 26:16.70 and junior Sam Jacobs was 14th in 26:39.15. All three earned All-Horizon League second team recognition.

The Butler women were equally dominant. Holme and Hutchinson quickly moved to the front of the pack, where they were joined by Pereira and Gardner. The four led the race for the duration. Hutchinson slipped ahead of Holme at the 3K mark of the 5K race and stretched her lead to the finish line for the win by nearly 15 seconds. Senior Kara Henry came in ninth in 18:38.20 to wrap up Butler's scoring quintet.

Rounding out Butler's top seven were freshman Marbeth Shiell, who finished 10th in 18:46.15, and junior Sarah Kemple, who placed 16th in 19:29.50.

Hutchinson, Pereira, Gardner and Holme all were named first team All-Horizon League, while Henry and Shiell were tabbed second team All-League. Shiell was was named Horizon League Women's Newcomer of the Year. The Men's Newcomer of the Year was Nic Aubert of UIC, who placed 20th.

Overall gave the Bulldogs their 10th consecutive individual Horizon League men's champ, while Hutchinson gave Butler its fourth straight individual women's title. Franklin earned his fifth straight Horizon League Men's Coach of the Year Award and his fifth straight Horizon League Women's Coach of the Year plaque.

The Bulldogs were competing with a full squad in Indianapolis for the first time since the 1998 Horizon League Championship. Butler also won the men's and women's titles at that race.