Cross country: Champs once again

Another year, another Horizon League title for both the Butler men’s and women’s cross country teams.

Both Bulldog squads raced in Cleveland for a chance at their respective conference championships on Saturday.

The Butler men won 13 consecutive titles heading into the race, while the Butler women were looking for their ninth title in the last 10 seasons.

The men took home their 14th title in as many seasons with a dominating 37-point victory over second place Loyola.

Sophomore Callum Hawkins continued his impressive season by taking first place honors with a time of 25:43.

Butler took five of the top 10 spots, including first, second and third place, to secure the victory.

Sophomore Ross Clarke ran a 26:06, and freshman Tom Curr ran a 26:10, taking second and third, respectively.

Clarke was coming off a first place finish at the Bradley Classic on Oct. 14.

Junior Kevin Oblinger posted a time of 26:49 to place ninth, and freshman James Martin notched a time of 26:53 for 10th place, rounding out the scoring for the Bulldogs and securing the title.

“We’ve got some room for improvement,” coach Matt Roe said.  “We are looking forward to running two weeks from now at the NCAA regional meet and hoping to be a little bit better.”

The Butler women completed a conference three-peat and took home their ninth title in ten years by placing their top five runners inside the top 10 overall and besting second place Youngstown State by 30 points.

Sophomore Shelbi Burnett turned in an 18:40, besting Loyola junior Gina Valgoi by five seconds for first place honors. Senior Lauren Haberkorn also cracked the top five by finishing fourth for the Bulldogs in a time of 19:24.

Juniors Rebecca Howarth and Kaitlyn Love finished sixth and seventh, respectively, for Butler, with times of 19:35 and 19:37. Junior Alyson Fosnot rounded out the scoring for the women by finishing 10th with a time of 19:44, besting freshman teammate Mara Olson by one second.

“Our women did a great job,” Roe said. “The team commitment and teamwork on the women’s side is very high.”

Next up for both teams is the Great Lakes Regional in Toledo, Ohio, on Nov. 12. The Bulldogs will be looking to qualify for a spot in the NCAA Championships, which will be held Nov. 21 in Terre Haute.

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