The Butler men’s and women’s cross country teams both placed among the top 12 teams at the 2010 Great Lakes Regional in Rochester, Mich., last Saturday.
In their final team meet of the season, the women’s squad finished 11th out of 33 teams. The men’s squad finished sixth out of 31 teams.
Sophomore Katie Clark and freshman Ross Clarke were the top runners for the Bulldogs.
Clark finished with a time of 21:00.5, earning her 14th place individually among 231 runners. Sophomore Kirsty Legg finished about a minute later and posted the 18th-best individual time.
Both Clark and Legg earned All-Region recognition.
Senior Marbeth Shiell was the third Bulldog to cross the finish line for the women’s team, placing 64th with a time of 22:07.6. Junior Lauren Haberkorn finished 94th (22:35.2), while sophomore Kaitlyn Love finished 98th (22:39.5).
On the men’s side, Clarke finished 18th out of 216 runners with a time of 30:44.1 and also earned All-Region recognition.
He was the only freshman in the Great Lakes region to achieve such status.
“I was just trying to perform to the best of my ability, which would hopefully help the team qualify for nationals,” Clarke said. “I went in with the idea of staying with the main group and giving it all I had at the end.” That plan worked well for Clarke, as he led Butler’s men on the 10K course.
Senior Tom Boardman was the next Bulldog to finish, placing 38th with a time of 31:20.6. Senior Kris Gauson finished 18 seconds behind Boardman and earned 52nd place.
The teams’ performances were not enough to advance them to the national meet, which will be held next week.
Although the season ended short of the teams’ goals, head coach Matt Roe was able to draw several positives from the season.
“We had some setbacks early in the year,” Roe said. “But we got better throughout the season and had our best race at Regionals.
“So that is something to be really proud of and feel good about.”
Butler’s women’s squad will lose only two runners in the 2011 season. The men’s team will lose significantly more, with six men, including both of the Gauson brothers, graduating.
Young runners like Clarke will be looked to in order to help compensate for the departures.
“We have good young talent,” Roe said. “It is impressive to have three runners who are no older than a sophomore receive All-Region recognition.”
As for next season, Roe said the teams’ goals will remain the same: qualify for the national meet.
“We will continue to progress and get stronger,” Roe said. “I think making the national meet is an attainable goal for next season.”