MATTHEW VANTRYON | STAFF REPORTER
A magical journey came to an end Saturday for the Butler women’s cross country team with a third place finish at the NCAA Division I National Championship Meet.
The team that began the season ranked No. 30 in the preseason rankings, turned in steady performance after steady performance as the season progressed.
The Bulldogs continued that trend on Saturday, earning a third place finish at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course in Terre Haute, Ind.
The historic finish came a week after the team finished second in the Great Lakes Regional.
Despite the high finish, Butler coach Matt Roe said he did not think that the team outperformed their ability.
“I thought we ran really well (today), but I don’t think we outdid ourselves,” Roe said in a statement released by the Butler athletics department. “The process of the season is you’re trying to get more ready, as it were, to get better every week. The moment wasn’t too big for them and they were successful.”
Leading the way for the Bulldogs was junior Mara Olson. Olson finished in 26th place with a time of 20:37.7. Olson’s performance earned her All-American recognition.
Roe said Olson finally put together all the pieces in her final race of the season.
“(Mara) has been knocking on the door of a great race all year,” Roe said. “You can point to every single race this year and say it was a good or great race. She put it together today.”
Olson’s consistency has been evident all season. She led the team at the Roy Griak Invitational with a fourth place overall finish and finished eighth overall at the Big East Championship.
Junior Tom Curr participated in the national meet for the Butler men’s squad. Curr finished 41st with a time of 30:46.4. Curr missed the All-American honor by one spot.
Roe said Curr faced adversity early, getting spiked at the starting line and cutting his foot.
The women’s team finished with 200 points, three points behind runner-up Arizona. Fellow Big East member Providence finished first with 141 points.