Bulldogs To Face Strong Field At Notre Dame Invitational

Sept. 27, 2007

New Butler head coach Matt Roe will send his men's and women's cross country teams against an elite field at the 52nd running of the Notre Dame Invitational on Friday, Sept. 28. The Bulldogs will compete with 15 nationally-ranked squads in the meet, which will be held at the Notre Dame Golf Course beginning at 4:15 p.m. (ET).

The Butler women will run in the Women's Blue Division 5K race at 4:15 p.m. Included in the field for that race is #2 Michigan, #6 Illinois, #9 Providence, #12 Florida State and #15 North Carolina State. The Men's Blue Division 8K race, starting at 5 p.m., includes #10 North Carolina State, #11 Providence and #13 Notre Dame. There are a total of six nationally-ranked men's teams and nine nationally-ranked women's teams entered in the meet.

In addition to seeing his teams compete against elite competition for the first time this season, Roe also will see his squads at close to full strength for the first time. Butler's top six women runners will make their debut together, while six of Butler's top nine men will be in action together for the initial time this season.

Three of Butler's women will be running for the first time this season. Seniors Claire Holme and Genni Gardner and freshman Rachel Gibbs did not compete in Butler's first two meets. Holme and Gardner both earned first team All-Horizon League honors last year, while helping Butler capture a fifth consecutive league cross country championship. Gibbs, who hails from Hertfordshire, England, transferred to Butler this year.

Joining the trio at Notre Dame will be seniors Isabelle Stoate and Aubrey Smith and sophomore Marbeth Shiell. Stoate is returning after sitting out last cross country season, while Shiell is back after earning second team All-League honors last fall.

The Butler men will be without senior Darren Gauson and freshman Tommy Davies, both of whom are rebounding from summer injuries, and sophomore Justin Roeder, who is being given an additional week of rest. But Roe will get his first look at senior Sam Jacobs and freshman Andy Baker, both top runners from England. Rounding out Butler's lineup at Notre Dame will be seniors Kent Wories and Chris Smith and freshmen Madison Roeder, Matt Lawder and Nathan Tavenor.

Butler's men were ranked fifth and the Butler women were tabbed 12th in the Great Lakes Region in the most recent U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association poll.