The Butler men’s and women’s cross country teams sent full squads to the 57th Annual Notre Dame Invitational this past weekend – or at least, they were supposed to.
The entirety of the nationally-ranked women’s team (No. 21) was scratched from the meet, in hopes of both keeping legs fresh and avoiding additional injuries, and a handful of guys from the men’s crew sat the race out.
The men’s squad that did make it up to Notre Dame placed 16th in a field of 20, suffering against No. 10 Florida State, No. 11 North Carolina State, and No. 14 Texas A&M, as well as seven other nationally-ranked teams.
“We had some bright spots,” said cross country coach Matt Roe. “And we had some spots where we could’ve done better.
“When your first guy doesn’t finish in a race like that, it’s just too much to overcome.”
Sophomore Tom Curr dropped out mid-way through the 8k course, putting sophomore Harry Ellis in position to be first finisher for the team. Ellis crossed the line in 41st place with a time of 24:25.
Freshman Erik Peterson was 64th with a time of 24:38, followed by senior Kevin Oblinger in 78th (24:47), junior Tom Anderson in 82nd (24:50), and senior Matt Proctor in 99th (25:02). Kodi Mullins and Chris Kelsey finished 123rd and 128th, respectively.
In the open race, junior Ross Clarke covered the course in 25:41, good for 10th place. Freshman Keigan Culler was steps behind in 14th (25:53), while junior Craig Jordan (26:41) placed 26th. Freshman Sage Kosiorek (26:56) was 29th.
As for the women, Roe said he made his decision to hold them out because of wanting to rest them this week.
“We didn’t feel like we needed to force it,” he said. “The meet we’re preparing for is the biggest of the year – that being said, the goal is to be running and running our best on the last day of the season, which is the national meet.”
Both teams will travel to Louisville for the NCAA Pre-National Meet on Oct. 13.