Cross country: Duo heads to nationals

Two runners from the Butler men’s cross country team earned the right to continue their season last Saturday.

Sophomores Callum Hawkins and Ross Clarke qualified for the NCAA National Championships thanks to strong finishes in the NCAA Great Lakes Regional.

Hawkins followed up his victory in the Horizon League Championship meet by capturing the individual title in the regional race.

“[Hawkins] is racing at a high level,” coach Matt Roe said. “He has come a long way, and he allows the program to be successful.”

Hawkins, who has recorded a top 10 finish in all five of his races this season, finished the 10-kilometer race nearly eight seconds ahead of last year’s regional champion, Cincinnati senior Eric Finan.

“I feel the race really played into my hands,” Hawkins said. “I grabbed the race by the scruff of the neck.”

Clarke, who finished second in the conference championship race, grabbed 13th in the regional meet, allowing him to move on to nationals as well.

Hawkins said that Clarke joining him will make the trip to Terre Haute for nationals a lot better.

The Butler men finished in sixth as a team after coming in ranked seventh.

The Bulldogs were unable to send anyone to nationals in the women’s race.

Sophomore Shelbi Burnett, coming off a first-place finish in the league championship meet, was the top finisher for Butler in 58th place.

Hawkins and Clarke will travel to Terre  Haute for the national meet on Sunday. It will be the first race at this level for the pair.

“My top goal is finishing top five, which would make me an All-American,” Hawkins said.

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