A strong start to the season continued for the Butler women’s cross country team, as the Bulldogs followed their season-opening victory at the Illini Challenge with a runner-up finish at the Indiana Intercollegiate Meet on Sept. 16.
Butler had to navigate through a field of 21 teams that included host Indiana, Purdue, Ball State and Taylor. The Hoosiers came out victorious in the women’s race, scoring just 19 points. The Bulldogs’ 63 points left them 15 points ahead of the Boilermakers from Purdue.
Junior Lauren McKillop was Butler’s top finisher in the contest. Also the first non-Hoosier runner to finish, McKillop completed the five-kilometer course in a time of 17:59.
The top seven runners for the Bulldogs finished within the top 30 runners overall. Junior Becky Howarth made her way to a 10th place finish, stopping the clock at 18:11. Freshman Mara Olson and sophomore Shelbi Burnett were the next runners in for Butler, taking 14th and 15th place, respectively.
Senior Lauren Haberkorn (22nd), junior Kaitlyn Love (23rd) and junior Alyson Fosnot (27th) rounded out the Bulldogs’ top seven.
Indiana senior Chelsea Blanchard took top honors in the race with a time of 17:35.
The Butler men did not fare as well in their eight-kilometer race at the Intercollegiates. Led by freshman Tom Curr’s 16th place finish, the Bulldogs grabbed 12th place out of 21 teams.
Curr’s time of 25:34 slotted him 20 places ahead of the next Butler finisher, junior Kevin Oblinger. Freshmen David Ford (45th) and Kodi Mullins (71st) and senior Orion Wenrich (108th) rounded out the Bulldogs’ top five runners.
Purdue was the champion of the men’s race. The Boilermakers’ 35 points gave Purdue a five-point advantage over runner-up Indiana. Butler finished with 258 points.
The Bulldogs will head north on Saturday to compete in the Roy Griak Invitational in Minneapolis. Both teams will compete against several Division I teams, including North Carolina, Duke and New Mexico.