MATTHEW VANTRYON | STAFF REPORTER
The Butler women’s cross country team has been consistent all season long. This time, the Bulldogs were rewarded with a second consecutive trip to the national meet.
The team finished second in the Great Lakes Regional Friday afternoon, automatically qualifying it for nationals.
It was the first automatic berth to the NCAA championship meet in the program’s history. The team finished with a score of 67. Butler finished 19 points behind first place Michigan.
Coach Matt Roe attributed the team’s success to health and determination.
“Everybody is fit, everybody is healthy,” Roe said. “That’s a huge part of it. It’s a tough group, and they’re committed to doing well. They’re getting really good results.”
Leading the pack for the women was senior All-American Katie Clark. Clark finished fourth overall with a time of 20:19.
Clark said the team felt good going into the race.
“I’d say it’s the best atmosphere we’ve had going into a race,” Clark said. “We went into it a little bit more aggressive, we felt like we could really do something.”
The men’s team finished sixth overall with a score of 163. Tom Curr led the team with a 16th place overall finish and a time of 30:43. Curr qualified for the national meet as an individual.
Roe said he was impressed with Curr’s performance and resiliency.
“I thought he ran well,” Roe said. “He rallied late in the race really well to get a spot in nationals.”
The Division I national meet will be held Saturday at Lavern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course at Indiana State University in Terre Haute.